Gartner ITxpo Gold Coast

nexus of forcesDuring the past 4 days I attended the annual biggest Gartner conference ITxpo.

I haven’t been here for a number of years and was really looking forward to it. My program was not aligned to any of the pre-defined streams and had a good selection of mobile, big data, business intelligence, cloud and enterprise architecture with a sprinkle of leadership and management aspects.

Gartner always has multiple sessions in parallel and I find it difficult to choose at times. Nonetheless I was happy with my schedule that looked ram-packed with exciting stuff.

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House rules

Recently I came across a sticker called “We are family wall decor”. It was a simple poster showing a few call out elements. I loved that.

I loved it because they were “do this” things and “we do this” statements. They were positive and encouraging.  I translated them for a business (team) context:

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ad hoc team challenges

At times teams are formed ad hoc. There is not much planning possible and you as a leader have to work with who ever is there. The same goes for the team – they have to work with everybody else.

It doesn’t happen too often in a “normal” working environment unless you work in a matrix structure where project teams are often different. During my time in the army it happened a number of times. And I remember quite vividly when during officer training our team of 8 got mixed together and over a period of 3 days we had to work our way back to base camp with different leaders and challenging tasks on the way. A number of times we were not united and had strong words with each other. Some coped better than others when they were in the leadership role.

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Balancing Needs

as a leader I always have to consider a number of different aspects before or when making a decision. Even planning falls into that category. I like to call this

Balancing Needs

simply because it’s like the person crossing the chasm on a rope. There is the environment: the wind is blowing, it’s drizzling, and the temperature sits at comfortable 17 degree Celsius. The objective is to get across the 15 meter gap within 30 minutes and to entertain the audience! The risk is falling into the water and being laughed at. Probably missing the cut for the next engagement. There are also 3 other artists who have a similar show to present.

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With Intention!

I’ve seen people busy themselves with reports, spreadsheets, documentation, and meetings. I’ve heard it a thousands times “Gosh, I don’t know how you do it, I don’t even know where to start so much work is in front of me.”

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This sounds to me like the rabbit in front of the snake, unable to move a muscle and petrified. The rabbit is quite capable of outsmarting the snake. But some instinct doesn’t allow it to do this. It’s like the person who is hording seemingly important tasks and not getting any done. In that case it’s not instinct but habit. Nonetheless, it takes an outside nudge to jump out of it.

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