Being Flawless in the Big Easy: Designed Learning at ATD24

Last month, the Designed Learning team headed to New Orleans for ATD24. Our experience was a refreshing return to authenticity and genuine connection, even on an expo floor dominated by high-tech solutions and flashy displays. The Association for Talent Development’s annual international expo, held at the vibrant heart of the Big Easy, proved to be the ideal stage for us to showcase what truly matters—compassion, conversation, and humanity.

A Glimpse into ATD24

This year, the theme of ATD24 was “Recharge Your Soul,” and we did just that. For over 80 years, ATD24 has been a beacon for learning and development professionals. From its humble beginnings in Chicago in 1945, with just 56 attendees, in 2024, there were over 10,000 professionals from more than 80 countries. It was my first time experiencing this large-scale conference, and the energy was as overwhelming as it was inspirational. It was such a joy to be among those who came to discover the latest trends in the industry, unlock new tools and solutions, and network with peers committed to creating a better world through talent development.

Our Booth – Simplicity Meets Authenticity

Positioned right by the lunch area, which was an unexpected blessing, our booth stood out not because of any high-tech gadgets or elaborate displays but because of its simplicity and warmth. Visitors were greeted by four inviting little red cubes, perfect for small group conversations. If they wanted, they could pick up simple giveaways like stain-removing pens, mirrors, books, pens, and bookmarks—simple tools that reflect our commitment to practicality and thoughtfulness.

One visitor summed it up perfectly when she approached us simply because she liked our smiles. This interaction embodied our philosophy that true connection comes from authenticity and compassion—two of the key ingredients that it takes to “be flawless™,” as we always say in Flawless Consulting®.

Being A Model

Our presence at ATD24 wasn’t just about showcasing our solutions; it was about modeling the role that we want to play in the industry. We believe in humanizing the workplace and building communities that work for the common good of all. Our low-tech booth was a physical manifestation of these values. By stripping away the unnecessary frills, we aimed to create a space where real, meaningful conversations could take place.

We envision a world where workplaces prioritize what it means to be human, fostering environments where everyone feels valued and heard. This approach not only enhances productivity and innovation but also contributes to the overall well-being and influence of employees.

The Impact of Authentic Engagement

Throughout the conference, we engaged with numerous professionals who shared our vision. We discussed the importance of leadership, consulting, and workplaces that prioritize relationships. Our simple booth became a hub for exchanging ideas, sharing experiences with Peter Block’s books, and envisioning a future where work is more than just a means to an end—it’s a place where we can find meaning.

The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. Many attendees appreciated our approach, noting that it was a breath of fresh air, even if they had never heard of Peter Block or Flawless Consulting. Our presence at ATD24 reaffirmed that to be flawless (authentic, compassionate, and a model) resonates deeply among those who want to be part of workplaces that put people, and relationships first.

Souls Recharged

We left New Orleans with hearts full of hope and minds brimming with new ideas. ATD24 reinforced our commitment to inspiring transformation in the workplace, one conversation at a time. We invite you to join us on this journey. Let’s work together to create workplaces that allow us to reclaim our collective well-being and prioritize the relational side of work, fostering environments where everyone can thrive.

If you share our vision and want to learn more, reach out or check out our solutions.

By Maya Mehta