| 5 min read

What the speakers at LEVEL UP LIVE ‘23 taught us about L&D

See the highlights from a day of innovation, inspiration and insight

Cassie Gasson

Cassie Gasson Chief Marketing Officer

Stuart Broad Helen Marshall Level up Live 23

Last week, over 250 THRIVE customers gathered at the historic Royal Institution London for a day of inspiration and conversation led by the likes of Stuart Broad MBE and learning leaders from Sky, Dunelm, Vodafone, AA and so many more!

With workshops and discussions strongly focused on three themes; skills, leadership and content, attendees walked away with some clear takeaways to level up their own learning strategy. 

But we of course can’t keep it all to ourselves, so we’re sharing this wrap up of quotes and takeaways from the iconic day. 

It's okay to be on a journey with skills - most people are” - Helen Marshall, CLO at THRIVE 

Kicking off the day was Chief Learning Officer, Helen Marshall, and Co-Founder Mark Ward who emphasised the importance of embracing the journey of skills development. 

Helen spoke about the benefits of adopting an agile approach to skills development. Agile skills allow individuals to have a better understanding of what is happening on the ground rather than relying solely relying on a top-down approach. She encouraged attendees to leverage the information readily available within their platform to tell stories, inform where the gaps and development are and guide their learning and development strategy.

Mark also added how doing this puts your learners at the centre of your approach commenting:

“Agile skills help you flip the skills conversation on its head and respond directly to what your employees are telling you.”

Like what you’re reading, here’s the full recording to watch what you missed when it suits you…

“You don't need to be the captain to lead” - Stuart Broad MBE 

From coaching to mental preparation and leadership, England Cricketer, Stuart Broad MBE, joined us to share his experience, growing, adapting and evolving over his 18-year career in the game. Kicking off the conversation, he spoke about mental preparation vs physical preparation and the importance of positivity, mindset and passion when performing under pressure. 

Positive psychology was a key focus in building mental resilience and preparing for what Stuart called ‘warrior mode’ which gets him in the zone to play his best. He also spoke about how this mindset was adopted in different coaching techniques sharing;

“Different coaching styles can all lead to success, but some are more sustainable than others.”

Believing there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to coaching, Stuart shared his experience with different coaches and different methods, highlighting what works for one player might not work for another. However, he did emphasise how success can’t be sustained with extreme methods of training. 

The quote that left a lasting impression on the whole audience was how Stuart has been thrust into leadership and his view on what leadership means commenting;

“Everyone has the ability to lead, you don't need to be captain, but the lieutenant is just as important.”

Stuart shared his view that leadership is not just about being the captain of the ship. Every player has the ability to lead in their own way, whether it's through their performance on the field, their attitude, or their communication skills. He emphasised that the role of the "lieutenant" is also essential and it's important for players to take responsibility and support their teammates, both on and off the field.

🎧 Listen to the full conversation live on the Diary of a CLO. 

Inspiring your front line teams & impacting performance - Words of advice from Ann Summers, Vodafone, Dunelm and DECIEM 

  1. “Be patient” - Becky West, Learning & Development Partner at Ann Summers
    Becky reassured delegates to be patient, often in a Retail environment it can be fast paced and easy to panic but Becky advised the audience to trust the process and not rush things..
  2. “Know your audience” - Rob Beattie, Comms & Capability Manager at Vodafone
    Instead of assuming what your learners want, Rob suggested involving them in the process and letting them shape your offering. Suggesting it’s one thing to think to know what your audience wants but it's another to actually listen when they tell you what they want. This approach not only creates buy-in but also allows them to be your free PR generating excitement among other employees for what’s to come.
  3. “Keep it simple” - Helen Robinson, Head of Talent at Dunelm
    Helen focussed on time highlighting that time is scarce for retail employees on the shop floor, so it's crucial to provide quick and meaningful content that's easily accessible.
  4. “Launch season is never over” - Kristina Tsiriotakis, Senior Director of Organisational Development & Learning
    Even years after launching, Kristina urged the audience to maintain the same level of excitement and keep up the launch hype saying; every initiative should be treated like its launch day. That way you can focus on continuous improvement, refining and trying different things!

Need more words of wisdom? Here’s the full recording to catch up on the live panel discussion…



“If you don’t back yourself, who will?” - Monique Carayol

The closing keynote from the inspiring day was Monique Carayol, award-winning changemaker and Leadership Coach.  With a 20-year career in the NHS, Monique rose to a high-profile board executive director role in 2016, becoming the youngest and only black director on the board. She won the Precious Outstanding Woman in the Public Sector award and is a regular leadership and career progression speaker and panellist.

Monique shared practical insights on how to lead authentically, focus on your strengths, create safe spaces and environments at work that truly empower others to do the same. She boldly stated; “if you don’t back yourself who will'' Monique highlighted the importance of shouting about your own success. Although it might go against everything people of a certain age were brought up to do, when working remotely, or even in a hybrid way, there is a greater need to amplify your success to a wider group of people to avoid being left behind.

The other takeaway was about not knowing all the answers, Monique said: 

“It's okay to say I don't know, especially if you genuinely don't know the answer.”

Although it’s extremely difficult to admit, Monique spoke about how being truly yourself and authentic isn’t easy in a leadership role, but it's worse to say something untrue, or something you'll regret.

Need to know more from the day? We’ll be sharing more exclusive content from the workshops over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes on LinkedIn for more. And if you want to be part of the next event we’d love to speak with you!

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