My recent blog post on creating energy gave an example of small ideas that a leader can support. This post is about going big.
Recently, Matt Heusser (@mheusser) was able to attend and write about TechSmith’s Internal Developer Conference. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I read his perspective on the event. As much as he hit on so many of the amazing benefits this event created, there are even more that we experienced.
Just a quick few examples:
- The lead developer – Tony, who came up with this initial idea, learned what getting something of this size off the ground takes and then how to step back over the years for others to evolve the event as it continued.
- I observed a developer go from reading post cards in front of his face as he presented to the next year, having post cards in his hands to the following year challenging himself to not have post cards at all. He was so proud of how far he had come and so was everyone else. This is team building that no role playing game will ever give you.
- People on the committee understood the opportunity they were facing and creatively rose to the challenge each time. The lunch time entertainment is something that I think each year won’t be able to be topped and yet they do.. from “pair programming, the musical” to “whose line is it anyway improv”. Aside from the healing powers of laughter, it’s truly inspiring to remember how amazing the people you work with are.
Unfortunately, I didn’t attend this year’s event as I made the very difficult choice to leave TechSmith. To say I was sad would be an understatement. One of my favorite things as the leader, was to make sure I visited every single person’s presentation that was in my department. Sometimes I could only stay for 10 min as there were multiple sessions at the same time but I always wanted to see them sharing and challenging themselves. Excuse the mama bear moment, but I was proud of each one of them!
Not every experiment you sponsor as a leader is a winner, this one continues to knock it out of the park. I have no doubt TechSmith will continue to rock this conference. I also have no doubt that one day I will bring this concept to another company. So thank you Tony for the inspiration and the courage to act!
If you had an internal conference, what would your session be about?