Fresh off the heels of inaugurating Training and Development Asia in Hong Kong, the Human Resources team hosted Training & Development Asia 2016, Singapore, at Grand Copthorne hotel on 22nd and 23rd of June.

As Asia’s only dedicated learning and development conference for HR leaders and L&D specialists, the event featured a stellar mix of keynote speakers.

Held for the third time in Singapore, the conference saw the industry’s top-notch corporate learning trends being revealed, dissected and expanded upon by learning and development experts from organisations such as Citi and Shell.

The conference, which was powered by a solid mix of sponsors, exhibitors and partners, also offered delegates with tremendous opportunities for networking at various parts of the day.

Here are photos from day one of the conference: [more photos on Facebook]

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Day one

Day one featured discussions around the topics aligning learning and business strategy, high potential management and succession planning, and learning ROI.

After a speed networking session, Sara Roberts, managing director, head of talent & learning, Citi Asia Pacific kickstarted the conference with a keynote on how to enable employees to take ownership of their careers.

The biggest hurdle Citi faced in implementing the career portal, Roberts explained, was ensuring all internal controls and compliance were followed.

She added: “It was mainly around information security because we were using external vendors. We wanted to sort out the internal compliance matters before we enabled our employees access to the assessment tools.”

After that insightful opening keynote, we dived into a panel on elevating global learning organisations and strategies, moderated by Aditi Sharma Kalra, regional editor of Human Resources.

Panellists included Angelo Pinto, regional head of learning and development and head APAC Campus, BNP Paribas, Anjali Parmar, firmwide talent development lead, Asia region, Gensler, Raman Sidhu, global head of learning and development, Shell Eastern Petroleum, and Magali Simon, vice president learning, talent development and perspectives, BASF.

Following a short networking break, DDI’s senior consultant Erwin Lennertz took the stage to reveal secrets of transforming L&D professionals into ‘learning experience managers’

After Lennertz's presentation, Rajan Krishnakumar, head of talent APAC for MasterCard shared tips on coordinating learning, talent development and succession management.

“We feel that the Millennials will drive how payments are going to be made in the future. So we try to hire more of this generation into the organisation,” said Krishnakumar. “Right now, about 40% of our organisation is made up of Millennials.”

Post lunch, Dr. Roland Smith, senior vice president, APAC and managing director of Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) identified the best ways of designing a top-down, and high-impact training approach.

In our next keynote session, Bernard Ho, head of talent development & learning Asia, from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ shed light on the firm’s transformation journey in its expansion into Asia, and how it altered its hiring practices.

Right after Ho, Phillip Raskin, learning and development director, Golin shared his views on how to boost productivity levels of middle managers.

Generation Z spends a lot of time on their mobiles watching videos, Raskin pointed out. “Our goal is not to get them to stop watching videos. It is to actually get into the videos they are watching.”

In the next keynote session, Alexandre Paitre, vice president, BTS brought out the need for learning professionals to make a shift from a competency model to a moments-and-moves model.

The first day ended with Raman Sidhu, global head of learning & development, Shell Eastern Petroleum exploring how to boost employee productivity through training and development.

Sidhu pointed out that the obsession with ROI or return on expectations from L&D programmes can, at times, be dangerous because it may not link to the business results you are trying to achieve.

Day two

Here are photos from day two of the conference: [more photos on Facebook]:

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The second day of Training & Development Asia 2016, Singapore, began with Abhilasha Krishnan, head of human resources, Singapore, Japan Tobacco International, sharing tips on inculcating a culture of learning in organisations.

She highlighted the different leadership behaviours and views firms can adopt in order to instill trust among employees.

“We’re conditioned to turn everything into a positive and be optimistic about how we view situations. We term challenges as opportunities. That’s great, but sometimes you have to acknowledge that a challenge is a challenge, and you need empathy in getting over that challenge,” she explained.

Following Krishnan, Christopher Goh, director, global learning and leadership, Keysight Technologies spoke more on the role of L&D in driving culture transformation.

Bridget Beattie, group executive vice president for APME, Right Management succeeded him after a short break and gave useful information on how ongoing career conversations drive business success.

Following that, Namrata Kohli, head of human resources, South East Asia, Lloyd’s Register began a keynote on how diversity and inclusion can significantly impact organisational performance and innovation.

The conference then featured its first panel of the day, which revolved around rewarding learning outcomes and incentivising performance.

Moderated by Neema Mehta, talent, learning & development director, Amcor, panellists included Namrata Kohli, head of human resources, South East Asia, Lloyd’s Register, Candy Leung, head of JB academy Asia, Julius Baer, and Gary Lee, senior project manager, talent management (global), Grundfos.

Right after that stimulating panel, Sormishtha Ghosal, head of L&D and organisational effectiveness, Cargill took the stage to reveal more about L&D’s role in identifying and nurturing emerging talent.

She talked about how Cargill has made the transformation from a rating to a no-rating based system in terms of performance management, saying this has reinforced its focus on being a development-oriented organisation.

Following a short networking break, Kulwant Bardh Singh, CEO, APAC, Knolskape addresses delegates on the future of learning, with lots of examples and a live gamified simulation in the works.

The conference concluded via a panel discussion moderated by Human Resources' senior journalist Akankasha Dewan, which explored the best ways of using innovative new age platforms for optimal digital learning experiences.

Joining her on stage were Ilja Rijnen, regional human resources director, APAC & India, Edrington, Rupali Gupta, human resources director, APAC, LATAM and MEA, Mundipharma, Phillip Raskin, learning & development director, Golin and Jennifer Neo, global director, talent and learning, APAC, Sealed Air.

The Human Resources team would like to thank all sponsors and partners:

Gold sponsors 1. BTS 2. Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) 3. DDI 4. Knolskape 5. Right Management

Exhibitors 1. British Council Singapore 2. First Finance 3. Global Knowledge

Event partners 1. SIM Professional Development 2. StrengthsAsia

Association partners 1. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 2. Japan HR Society 3. Vietnam Human Resources Association

Media partners 1. Clocate 2. CLO-ME 3. HR Monk 4. ResearchSEA 5. Senior HR Forum 6. Voices of Leaders 7. WhenInManila.com