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Mindshift Festival: it’s all about feedback

Written by Elke Vermeir on 23 August 2020 for Professionals

We took our Meeting of the Minds to the next level and hosted our first Mindshift Festival: an immersive learning experience all about practice. This is what our consultants learned during the sessions.

At Exellys, we put great emphasis on feedback. Learning how to give and receive feedback in a constructive way is essential to personal and professional growth. We also take great pride in our events: they’re generally awesome. But we want to practice what we preach, so we always ask for feedback after each event. It turns out our ‘traditional’ Meetings of the Minds weren’t resonating with our consultants anymore, at least not as well as they used to. There was an overload of information, which proved counterproductive. So we took the feedback to heart, put our heads together, and came up with a new concept: our first Mindshift Festival.

From a 6-course meal to a buffet

The concept of the Mindshift Festival was to create an immersive event that offered a range of captivating experiences and sessions. We shifted from an extensive sit-down 6-course meal of inspiration to a walking dinner-style buffet where everyone could select sessions according to their own preferences. Instead of having our talents sit through a series of talks, we organised different stages and consultants could choose to attend the talks and workshops that sparked their curiosity the most. If at a certain time there wasn’t anything they wanted to learn more about, they could just chill out in the recreation area where they could connect with their peers. The festival atmosphere naturally fostered collaboration and networking. We also took a step back from talks and presentations and tried to veer more towards a practical learning experience: an immersive way of experiencing new insights first-hand.

5 learnings from the first Mindshift Festival

1. The 8 P’s of work: an innovative tool to determine whether you’re on the right path

Former Exellyst Aurélie Vercaempt founded as a passion project. In her quest for job satisfaction she ploughed her way through hundreds of articles, which were basically a few valuable insights surrounded by a lot of worthless noise. She took all her research and distilled it into her book ‘I don’t like my job… but I don’t know what to do instead’, an 8-week manual to find professional direction.
One of the modules in this manual is about the 8 P’s of work, and that was precisely the topic of the workshop Aurélie gave at Mindshift Festival. The Otcho framework centres around 8 attributes of a job, all beginning with P: Prestige, Pay, Progression, People, Product, Policy, Personality and Purpose. How would you rank these aspects? And does your current job align with those priorities? In this workshop, attendees were guided towards valuable career insights through self-reflection.

2. How the Metaverse and virtual reality are an asset to your learning experience

The session about the Metaverse explored the evolution from read-only websites over interactive platforms like Facebook to the full-on Metaverse. The impact of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) on personal and professional aspects was highlighted. The VR session hosted by Ownit then put theory into practice. Participants used VR to learn more about giving and receiving feedback. The session focused on the 6 success factors of feedback: honesty, accuracy, personalisation, specificity, proportionality and the unconditional nature of feedback. Practising their feedback skills on virtual characters gave them the opportunity to learn, try, fail and make adjustments in a safe environment, thus deepening the learning experience.

3. The value of hard work and perseverance, and other things you can learn from disadvantaged kids on the streets

StreetwiZe is a certified B Corporation that aims for a world where every talent can flourish. They help companies and organisations develop their talents, and invest their profits in developing the talents of street children worldwide through the projects. A trusted partner of Exellys, StreetwiZe came to give a session at our Mindshift Festival. One impactful slogan that resonated from the session is: ‘what is not wrong?’. All too often we dwell on what is wrong, instead of shifting our focus to the things we can control and work on that. Through their experience with disadvantaged youth, the people from StreetwiZe radiate the belief that a challenging start in life doesn’t preclude great achievements. The session highlighted the importance of taking responsibility, committing to hard work, and persevering to reach goals.

4. Outdoors & out of your comfort zone: practiced learning with Outward Bound

In an engaging workshop, 20 participants ventured outdoors for an assignment to practice teamwork skills like active listening, effective leadership and the art of giving constructive feedback. Instead of merely hearing about these skills, they put theory into practice: to complete their mission successfully, collaboration and communication were key. Following Outward Bound’s method of action and reflection, participants engaged in a reflection session after the activity. They were prompted to identify what energised them in the assignment, and what cost them energy. In the process, attendees learned a lot about themselves, how they function in a team, and where their teamwork skills could do with improvements.

5. Will we lose our jobs & other concerns about the future of AI

The only mandatory part of the Mindshift Festival was the closing keynote by Dominiek Henckaerts. Henckaerts is CEO of the IT academy MultiMedi and has been teaching about AI for the past 8 years. In his keynote speech, Dominiek provided a brief overview of the history of AI, covering the shift from curative AI, focused on problem-solving, to creative AI, which involves generating new things. Then, he turned his gaze towards the future, providing an at times somewhat grim view of the coming threats, but also some very hopeful and optimistic predictions about the realms of possibility. Just imagine what AI can do for diagnostics in the field of medicine, for example? If there’s one insight you should take away from this talk, it’s that we need to embrace AI for all its possibilities, but remain critical and keep an eye out for possible threats.

About Exellys

Exellys is a Talent Incubator. We match ambitious companies with the finest talent. Are you ready to drive the innovations of tomorrow? Ready to make an impact and become a future-fit digital leader?

Whether you are a graduate or (young) professional, Exellys will unlock your full potential by guiding you to a challenging work environment that perfectly matches your personality, expectations and ambitions.

On top of that, you are enrolled in one of our very own training and coaching programs (based on your personal and professional ambition and experience). This means that, while working as an Exellys consultant, we are helping you to bridge your ambition to excellence.

Through intensive training and coaching, you’ll gain the essential skills, competencies and knowledge necessary to become the highly effective professional you aim to be. Become an Exellyst and get in touch with us today!

Written by Elke Vermeir Talent Development Manager