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Collaborative Virtual Breakfasts

Collaborative Virtual Breakfasts is an initiative to bring together Learning and Talent professionals in one virtual space. The initiative’s purpose is to create a collaborative forum engineered to capture positive lessons learnt in the interest of shaping organisations for the future.

In April 2020, while reflecting on how dramatically the learning world had been impacted by the pandemic, Hidden Strengths Learning’s founder, Helen Buckwell collaborated with training consultancy RPfT’s Managing Partner, Katerina Kerr, to create a powerful and supportive space for colleagues to connect and learn. The goal was to create a collaborative network of highly talented professionals across the world of learning who could collectively tackle the commercial dilemmas of the day, and explore together the role of learning and talent.  Critically – how we can adapt in an innovative way and quickly to the changing world?


Today the Collaborative Virtual Breakfasts have grown in strength and popularity and continue to tackle the current dilemmas and opportunities facing Leadership Development and business.

Take a look at the topics we've covered and download the reading lists we reflected on in our discussions

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The Reinvention & Growth of "Social" and "on-the-job" Learning in a Hybrid World

In this Breakfast we explored how our ways of learning have had to evolve in response to our hybrid world.  Our clients had been noticing that the  'learning by osmosis' approach had truly been impacted by hybrid and virtual working.  If we start with the 70/20/10 principles as a framework, how do we embrace the 70 and 20 when our ways of working are so different?  How, for example, can our Learning programmes include experiential elements to fill this void? How can we support managers to feel comfortable in coaching and mentoring teams in a hybrid world and what do they need to intentionally focus on to make a shift here? Possible approaches to adapt included being more intentional about the power of networking moments and opportunities in learning environments, alongside supporting leaders to enhance their coaching skill set to support development on a day to day basis.


Leadership development: Empowering leaders and talent to take accountability for their learning

This Virtual Breakfast looked at how we can encourage the ownership of learning within our teams. We explored ways that leaders and talent could be empowered to take ownership of their own learning and identified issues that could be blocking them from doing so.  Factors to consider included the perception of learning (what it is and how it is valued within organisations), differing learning styles and generational attitudes.  Options to enhance ownership included adapting the language we use to define 'learning' alongside techniques such as group coaching were recognised as methods to resolve some of these dilemmas.

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Leadership Development's role in attracting and retaining talent

Our first Collaborative Virtual Breakfast of 2022 invited participants to discuss the growing issue of retaining and attracting talent within their organisations.  We explored the reasons behind ‘the great resignation’, such as the seismic change to worker’s priorities during the pandemic and the discovery that hybrid working was actually possible. The group noted that senior leadership has a powerful role in creating a culture of belonging and growth, inclusion and authenticity and discussed L&D’s role in equipping leaders to fulfil that role positively and effectively.

Re-igniting the spark and finding joy in our teams

This Collaborative Breakfast took place at a point when organisations were more aware than ever of the need to prioritise the well being of their people - trends highlighting an exhausted workforce tired of experimenting.  This was coupled with considering the need to feel joy in our work - something which had also been missing for many.  We explored a variety of questions including, how to reignite the spark to combat brain fog, burnout and survive the ‘‘war for talent’?

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Empowering leaders and teams in a hybrid world

This Collaborative Breakfast addressed the issues facing leaders who were dealing with the ambiguity of hybrid working.  In the face of the constant change and future unknowns how can we ensure we maintain levels of engagement?  Together we considered how leaders can maintain their presence from wherever they are working and explored how turbulent times can provide a unique opportunity to do things better in the future.

Collaborative Leadership: Harnessing the power and creativity of the collective

What role can Leadership Development play in enhancing collaboration within organisations in order to navigate challenges? In this Virtual Breakfast we explored this question and worked together to brainstorm a variety of ideas and solutions, suitable for adapting across different settings. We also discussed how to promote collaborative leadership by making specific space for intentional collaboration, how to foster a collaborative culture that recognises this approach and how to develop the skill set required to implement this.


Building connection to avoid isolation

By October 2020, we knew prolonged remote working was inevitable. Organisations faced the task of retaining employee engagement, a vital ingredient to maintaining effective collaboration and performance.  At the same time, health and wellbeing was at the forefront of our minds, leaving Learning professionals asking how they could be ambassadors for connecting with their talent to retain and ensure their ongoing engagement and well being

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Leadership development - getting creative in the new normal

In our very first Virtual Breakfast, soon after the first Covid-19 lockdown began, we addressed the questions on everyone’s minds.  How to identify the different skill sets needed to work virtually, while still making an impact? What response was demanded from leaders to support teams during this time?  And how could we approach this creatively?

As always it was a thought provoking session and so lovely to have the opportunity to take some time to reflect and discuss with peers.

Head of Learning Global Law Firm

It is a joy to work with Katerina Kerr and her team at RPfT.  RPfT (Role Plays for Training Ltd) is a drama based training consultancy. They use drama based learning techniques to explore behaviours, change mindsets and enhance relationships at work. They engage collaboratively and creatively with private and public sector organisations to help their people achieve better performance. RPfT deliver in person, over the phone and online.


Our Collaborative Virtual Breakfasts and many of our programmes include the option to use the amazing approaches that RPfT bring and we are delighted to work with them so often.

In collaboration

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