Today, I find myself one day older and (hopefully, potentially) a day wiser. I won’t bet my car on the latter, but I think you get my point.
What makes today noteworthy isn’t today, but yesterday. Why yesterday?
Well, it’s because I had the opportunity to be a “Guide” for TFT13! 😀
I thought I’d take the opportunity to make a few notes about my experience of participating in TFT13, while the thoughts were still fresh in my mind.
Care to find out more? Good. Let’s go! 😉
From the time that TFT13 was announced, I knew that I’d wanted to be a part of the action. I actually wanted to be part of TFT12, but my circumstances at the time prevented me from submitting a session to be voted on, so I participated as a participant. Knowing how the last one went for me didn’t help with TFT13 — again, I was late to the voting party, but I did get a last minute entry into the queue, so that was progress of sorts. I still like what I proposed and will eventually do that presentation, I think it’s good stuff. Then again, I am biased! LOL
Knowing that I was likely going to end up sitting it out again, you can imagine my (pleasant) surprise when I was asked to participate as a “Guide” (“Host,” “Facilitator,” “Session Sherpa,” or whatever else you might like to call it…) for the America’s time zone. I’ve said several times, in multiple places, that being able to serve in this capacity for TFT13 in the America’s time zone was both a pleasure and a privilege for me. It’s no small deal that both Chris Dancy and Tessa Troubridge trusted and thought enough of me to extend the invitation. When asked, I didn’t even have to think about it — it was an enthusiastic “YES!” from the very beginning. I didn’t really care what I was signing up for, but I knew that whatever it was would be a “rockin’ good time” — and it was just that!
And, yes, it was also a lot of work on the day of the conference. I was basically glued to my PC for the entire day! At the same time, a look at the next picture should say it all:
This particular picture is grabbed from the opening segment of Mark Kawasaki’s presentation. It’s such a great feeling to be fully engaged for an entire day! One session ends, another session begins. Even when I was not actively participating on camera, I was still fully engaged, ready to jump in if the presenter had questions or issues. By the time I hit the sack, I was one tired guy, but I was happy about how I had spent my day and what was accomplished — it really was a whole lot of fun!
The SDI team (Tessa and Zoe) were a joy to work with. They kept on top of the details, communicated with all of us regularly and made it look really easy. By the time the day was here to execute, in my mind, the success of the program was a “fait accompli.” It doesn’t mean that there weren’t issues along the way or that everything went smooth/perfect. From my perspective, there were a couple of significant hiccups, like having the Google+ Hangout go sideways in the middle of a session, but it was never an emergency. Whoever I was in session with worked with me to get back to normal operations with a minimum of effort and/or drama. Fall down, get back up, dust yourself off and move on. Simple, eh?
The sense of being part of a team is one of the key points for me. I had the experience of being part of that team, not just a collection of individuals and this is something quite unusual (in a good way). All of the presenters, guides and staff rose to the occasion, did whatever was needed and “belonged to the team” without ever having to really say it. There were times I could identify where every person was either leading, following and/or collaborating. We used the social tools at our disposal and just handled whatever needed to get handled. No muss, no fuss, no being overly self-concerned about “how will that affect me?” or “what’s in it for me?” Nope, it was just being on for having the event be successful. It has been a while since I’d been able to have that experience and it was very refreshing.
The speakers all did a great job of preparation and delivery. In fact, I cannot wait to go back through and listen to all of them. I expect that there are many that I will want to listen to several times, over the course of many days. If you haven’t yet made the time to listen to some of the sessions, I encourage you to do that! If you don’t, you’ll really be missing out on something special.
Of course, in my view, a key point here is that this conference is about what can be accomplished when we:
- Forego fixed agendas;
- Choose being part of (belonging to) a larger community;
- Engage each other on that basis.
In my opinion, this is the secret sauce that makes TFT special — it’s what makes it all possible!
TFT is about you, I and what we can accomplish together.
Please accept my congratulations on having TFT13 be an overwhelming success!
I look forward to hearing from you about:
- Your experience of TFT13 AND
- How you think we are going to up the ante for the next round!
Wherever this is going, I intend to be there.
So, let’s have social media be social, eh?
Ready… Set… Engage! 😀