This week has seen me travel on the big bus of the sky the mighty A380 from Canberra to London in anticipation for the ICF Global Conference in Hammersmith starting tomorrow (Wed 3rd Oct). This will be my first such conference with the ICF, so as you do, you always question with some scepticism the value of conferences (especially when you are paying vs a corporate attendee) but I have convinced myself that I will get some value from the content I have seen as a part of the agenda.
With this in mind, and to force myself to gain value, I intend on posting some key learning’s around the themes each day to give an update on how the world of coaching is progressing and adding value to individuals, businesses and organisations, but also to give my relationship in learning in comparison to the theme.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Connect, Learn, Inspire” so these will be the central focus points I will address. Each day i will share what it is I have gained or learnt within these themes, starting from tomorrow in a serious view, but today in relation to my time so far in the UK.
So what have I done since Saturday and my arrival here? This isn’t my first time in London, as I have been here a few times before, so the typical tourist things were out- been there done that and bought the T-Shirt.
I arrived at Heathrow at the ungodly hour of 5.50 a.m some 27 hrs from leaving home), got the tube to Hyde Park, walked towards Marble Arch up Park Lane, then past Mayfair. I thought I was playing Monopoly and had my first piece of Inspiration– maybe I can get a photo of me at each Monopoly Board destination?- that idea didn’t get past the ‘this is a cool idea’ phase. After a frustrating wait for my room, I hung out in Edgeware Road and re-lived my Middle Eastern connection with some new friends at the various Shisha cafes, .My main ‘Connection” was with a Kuwati Doctor in Edgeware Road, where we spent a few hours talking about the world and solving all its problems cross culturally.
Sunday took me to the “Learn” phase of the journey- off to Oxford on the train to have a cultural experience. I must have timed this well, as the train was over-flowing and every student was just arriving in town with their entire family to prepare for Uni. Oh well, the buildings were amazing and I spent the day wandering around all the campuses and maybe had a couple of local ‘ales’. It was from here that i moved out of town and stayed where I am writing this from- the awesomely named – ‘The White Bear’ in Shipston on Stour in Warwickhshire. www.whitebearshipston.co.uk . This is a cool pub with good old fashioned service, friendly locals and of course cold beer. They do an amazing English breaky and have pretty good coffee too (I have had 3 this morning as i eat my breaky and write). Apart from being a bit anti their current WIFI password, due to recent sporting events (which i won’t tell you- you have to come here and see), this was a great place to stay and definitely has more character than the ‘standard’ hotels. The staircase to level 2 is pretty steep and narrow too. It was from this base that I explored William Shakespeare country yesterday to Warwick, Stratford Upon Avon, Broadway etc and again saw an amazing range of old Tudor style and stone cottages within the villages.
So today, it’s back off to London town to prepare for the next few days of ‘Connecting, Learning and Inspiration”. I will connect with an old friend tomorrow in London whom i worked with in Dubai, and haven’t seen for a few years, so that will be my ‘learning and inspiration’ for sure.
Until my next update for the serious stuff, See ya later from London Town.