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Conference_meeting

I’ve been pulled in last minute to help facilitate a two-day offsite conference with senior leaders this week. While it’s both a blessing and a curse that I’ve done this so many times that I’m not half bad at it, I do know that it is a major stress for other people. That’s just the shiny side and the dull side of my coin I suppose. Today, though, I decided to write down some words of “inspiration” for my facilitator brethren which I plan to deliver to them tomorrow night before it all goes down in case it will calm their nerves.

And so I present to you, the 6 truths of all conferences:

  1. The room is always too small, too big, too hot, too cold, has horrible food, doesn’t have enough food (and on and on and on, you get it – just accept that this will happen and it is outside of your control)
  2. 60% of the people in the room are just there because they’re supposed to be there; 20% will poo-poo anything you say/suggest/do; 20% will help corral the herd and energetically support/get everyone back on course (Which faction will you join? Only you can decide that)
  3. No matter how much you prepare, there is 1 topic that you will overprepare for that is breezed through (Don’t sweat it, consider this a blessing from the Conference Gods)
  4. No matter how much you prepare, there is 1 topic that you ultimately underprepare for; this topic will take twice as long as you allocate and you still won’t “solve the problem” (Figure out a time and place to regroup, this is not the last you’ll hear on this one)
  5. There is always 20% of the material that gets washed away by the tide of time management; you should know ahead of time what these topics are so you can rearrange the schedule on the fly and de-prioritize these sections/remove from the agenda to pick up time (Know what’s important and make good decisions)
  6. If you do not have a consolidated recap of what was discussed/decided, and next steps, you may as well not have even met; you will point back to this information for years to come – so you better make sure you like what you get (Remind everyone what you did and create a documentation trail)

Til Next Time,

Michael

Found this great one today (courtesy of Buzzfeed Life) that shows what wine pairs with different options at Chipotle. Given my love for both wine and Chipotle, I had to share, even if it seems otherwise ridiculously off topic. Enjoy!

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Til Next Time,

Michael

White papers have been a fascinating topic around my office lately. I am always curious about the lifecycle of a white paper. What all is “OK” to include as the use case versus what may still remain on a client site as Intellectual Property. I know these things are usually spelled fairly clearly in the terms and conditions of contracts or MSA’s, but it does also seem like consultancies have gotten a little liberal lately on the frequency and type of information they’ll readily claim as their next published qual.

In my opinion, intellectual property is extremely valuable but tremendously difficult (and expensive) to govern/manager, or ultimately prove as being the work of one individual owner. So – at a certain point – I think information is power, and the first person to get it down on paper often times has the upper hand since they were the one who put the legwork to get it down digitally (or otherwise).

It really sucks, though, when the work that is plagiarized is work you feel you own. Whether it’s a simple use of a term (my boss uses a term “street credibility” to reference a specific organizational challenge in our part of the company, and while that is not a term she invented – using it to reference this specific business context is absolutely 100% her brain child), or something larger… These are the cases where I think we all need to be uniquely careful and watch out for each other.

I simply ask that you do your part to help police the criminals :)

Til Next Time,

Michael

Offered without comment, courtesy of American Express Tumblr. Enjoy!

tumblr_nlvk9uLDuz1srfz27o1_500

Til Next Time,

Michael

On this cheeky occasion, I would like to offer a midly-amusing comic I saw on LinkedIn recently. Sometimes (read: most of the time) this is exactly what happens during any project lifecycle. It almost feels like April Fool’s day every day, right??

how-projects-work

Til Next Time,

Michael

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