When I submit to conferences, I spend quite a bit of time considering what is important to share. I can typically go through a program and find tons of sessions about techniques and/or the “how to do it right” sessions, which I absolutely find valuable and important. However, I remember a time when I sat in the audience thinking “well, that’s nirvana-land”. As a result, I have targeted submitting sessions that show the struggles and growth. Sure, this doesn’t always paint me in the best light but it’s honest. I’m not perfect and I’m ok with that.
So I was thrilled when I was selected to share at Agile Development Conference 2014 – East in Boston on November 14th about Lessons (the good, bad and ugly) from busting silos within organizations. In preparing, I reflected on the results of actions at various levels of silos (team, department, organization). I reflected on what was important and what was noise. Most importantly, I reflected on my part in both the small and big picture: what would I do differently, etc. I have yet to finish a session and not have a realization that I wished I had learned in the moment.
I think this happens because I have to begin looking at the topic from a stranger’s point of view. How do I get an audience up to speed on why this topic is important? How do I get an audience to connect with the challenges? How do I get an audience to understand the complexity? How do I get the audience to learn a tangible take-away? And how do I do all of that in a short period of time? It’s amazing the path your mind takes as you weed through all of your history and create a story. That right there is worth so much for my growth.
And if I can do it, you can too! I highly encourage you to share your reflections. Here are some options to reflect and share at:
- within your company
- local user groups
- local professional associations
- colleges and universities (associations, classrooms)
- local conferences (typically 1/2 to 1 day)
- conferences (typically 2-5 days)
- and if you don’t want to speak in front of people, you could always start a blog
How has reflecting and sharing your lessons helped you?