The annual CIPD Learning and Development (L&D) Show is exciting, inspiring and a fantastic opportunity to step back from the day job and survey the L&D landscape. The world of L&D is changing rapidly and there are some current trends which all L&D professionals need to recognise, as well as understanding the serious challenges that lie ahead for us. Last year the L&D show opened my eyes to ensuring our organisations are “future ready”. I went to inspirational talks on several current L&D topics such as AI, leadership, coaching and neuroscience. I came away with an overwhelming sense of how times are changing and how I needed to take a step back to look at where my organisation is. Changing technology, including the automation of jobs and the potential development of AI, is likely to have the biggest impact on the workplace. We all need to be looking at where our organisations will be in five to 10 years’ time and ensure we are up-skilling people for jobs that will exist then, as technology may fundamentally change the sort of jobs that humans are needed to do. As humans, we naturally tend not to look at the future too much, which is a survival instinct from our hunter-gatherer days, but in today’s world of work we need to start thinking about the possibilities that AI may bring. We often distrust technology, which seems unfair when you think of how much more convenience it brings to our lives – I’m thinking sat-navs instead of maps and webinars instead of face to face meetings. But technology will continue to advance and the only way to make sure it is being used correctly in your organisation is to get educated about emerging concepts, be part of the conversation and make sure you are shaping the future. The L&D show helps us to do that by taking time to consider huge issues, such as AI and what will make effective leadership in tomorrow’s technology-driven world. Employees need a “growth mindset” and a passion for learning, and L&D professionals can encourage this today. Knowing the answers isn’t enough in our VUCA world, as the future issues our organisations face will be brand new and never dealt with before. I don’t believe continuous professional development is a “nice to have”; it’s a necessity. As L&D professionals, it is important that we lead by example and exhibit the behaviours we say we need from our employees, so going to an event such as the L&D show is a good opportunity to do this. I want to go to enhance my growth mindset, make the most of my passion for learning and get as much as I can out of these two days. Like any good L&D professional, I love learning, and at the L&D Show 2018 I have lots to be excited about. I’m looking forward to having some time to consider the bigger issues around L&D again and being inspired by experts. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on both days of the conference, so look out for my next blog when the conference starts on 25 April. Emily Allen is a Product Manager for HR and L&D at MOL.