Reflections on the Conference – the importance of bedding things down

I have wondered why it seemed so important that I reflect on what I learned yesterday at the conference, why it seemed so important to collect different threads together to include in blog posts created earlier.

When you go to a conference, especially somewhere like the Brisbane Hilton, it is quite surreal.  The surroundings are plush, the lighting almost golden, sounds of the speakers enhanced.  You walk out of the rooms and are served lovely food.  You might be moved to tears, called to action, feel inspired.  You want to hold onto all of that.

I find I often want some quiet to be able to pull everything together, to distill the ideas and think about what this means for me.  Often there is not this opportunity immediately after a learning event, and if too much time passes, the momentum is lost.

I often see in people who come to learning events, an impatience to get on the road, to move onto the next thing that they have to do.  I think it is important, no matter how briefly, to offer an opportunity for reflection, to consolidate and integrate the takeaway messages and to think about what they will do differently from here on.

So… what will I do differently following on from my learnings from yesterday:

  • I will seek the opportunities for creativity, growth and even for fun in a work environment currently punctuated by knockdowns
  • I will seek to build in the voice of those who matter most in our organisation
  • I will treasure my family and let them know it at every opportunity
  • I will feel more connected with the indigenous citizens of Australia
  • I will aim to make learning a positive experience that is a call to action, no matter what the topic
  • I will seek to be tired and passionate and generous and creative, rather than tired and grumpy
  • I will spread messages of optimism and avoid messages of anxiety

My notes from the panel discussion on leadership are here – click to go to a larger image:

Lessons from the Leadership Panel

Lessons from the Leadership Panel


More on the Conference

Dr Jackie Huggins – I could truly listen to her all day. A key message – involve us, don’t do to us…even better, let us lead it

Peter Baines

Peter Baines – very powerful message about leadership and about living.  Peter’s story was about leading forensic teams in Thailand after the Boxing Day Tsunami, the lessons in bringing people with you, balancing compliance and governance with creativity, and turning good intentions into real results.  He established a charity in Thailand called Hands across the Water, to build homes and schools for kids orphaned in the Tsunami.  His stories again could move you to tears, and laughter as well.

The keynotes speakers and the session presenters held common threads:

  • George Lee Sye spoke about how to influence, engaging with people by understanding what is important to them
  • Julie Price from the Workforce Council who spoke about a program demonstrating learning by using professional conversations, resulting in ongoing professional networks
  • Ed Madigan, Endeavour Foundation, who spoke about recruiting school-based trainees, with the aim to benefit the individuals and the sector, not just their organisation – he spoke about the critical aspect of looking at what you are selling when you are recruiting.  They moved from selling an opportunity to work as a Disability Support Worker, to a pathway to a career.

MC - Suzanne Thompson

I mentioned earlier the MC of the conference – she was by far the best MC I have ever experienced.  Suzanne Thomson was fun, welcoming, respectful… reconciliation in person, she walks that talk of sharing and respecting cultures, of having fun, and learning along the way.

Link to the conference program

Ebb and flow

Feeling wrung out

Feeling wrung out

The last few weeks have been crazy, and while I have found a lot of energy during the day, I am usually totally spent by the evening.  With busy weekends, there has been little time to regenerate.

Yesterday I went to a conference.  I was regretting registering, thinking I had sooooo much else to do – but I needed to go because – well, I had paid for it – paid a lot for it.

So I went.  Within 15 minutes I knew I had gotten my money’s worth.  I knew it was going to be different.

I had missed the Welcome to Country – and it sounded like it was awesome.  The person who had done the Welcome was still on stage, and the MC was talking, and it was like an informal conversation.

Then Robyn Moore came on stage.  Robyn claimed she had been in all our homes.  Sure sure…. but she had … more than we knew!

Spray and Wipe ad

She kicked off singing the Spray and Wipe ad, and later revealed that she was the voice of Blinky Bill, a character well known to all Aussie kids.  She had an amazing skill in having you laughing, crying, laughing all within a few minutes.

Blinky BillBlinky Bill

Be in love with your potential!

Be extraordinary!!

 Robyn MooreMy notes from Robyn’s presentation are here.

Notes from Robyn Moore's presentation