My first response to a critique, even if it’s just in my head: “Are there any other tasteless demands you wish to make upon my artistry?”
Blogging, as an example, is rarely an exercise in typing. It’s mostly an exercise of assimilating a career’s worth of opinion and one-sided arguments into a witty and self-promoting diary of genius. “Sometimes” it’s simply an organized point-of-view, or a position of a shared experience. What is it ALWAYS? Creative writing, art. At least in the mind of the blogger.
The problem is that evaluating the end product of an artistic or creating endeavor ALWAYS is a criticism of the artist or creator themselves. You are making an assessment of their talent, and interpreting parts of a whole. To the creator, the missing word, the wrong shading, the saltiness of the bread, or the lower than expected octave is FUNDAMENTAL to the cohesiveness of the entire work!
However, providing constructive feedback in real time, DURING the creative process is not only received well but is sought explicitly. Directors provide background and emotional settings for an actor WHILE its being filmed. Executive chefs taste base ingredients and combinations WHILE the meal is being prepared. And my marketing partner argues over the tone and substance of my erratic and verbose style WHILE I’m writing, well before its published.
WHILE or DURING is also the perfect timing for most career and corporate evaluations of effectiveness. Your strategic and operational job likely should be assessed WHILE you are performing your duties to the best of your ability. Looking back after you retire, or even just after a single year is “on the books“, wondering what could have been more effective is actually less effective than coming to those conclusions and making adjustments in real time.
Take me for example, over my career as an executive developing internal enterprise-use applications and operating internal IT, every thing I have learned can be summarized in this witticism: craft is what we know, art is the unexpected use of that craft; all projects require both. I had to make several adjustments over time to incorporate this learning over a couple decades. Imagine if I only attempted to change at the end?
Additionally, I encouraged learning, understanding and applying knowledge gained from the outside world. Everybody is an expert in their own company, and that internal-only knowledge-base breeds very little creativity and positive change. We need to hear stories, understand trends, create relationships and assess the potential of applying that knowledge to our own company. We need to spend time outside of our company, outside of our industry and even outside of our city to fully appreciate how others have innovated and how that new knowledge can be translated into innovation for ourselves. ESPECIALLY important for our newly assigned jobs as the digital transformation pace setters for the business.
Digital transformation, the business changes needed to react quicker to digital disrupters, requires a new way of thinking, moving the purpose and goal of IT from “providers of applications” to “CREATORS of INSIGHT.” You need outside influence and education to help with outside game changers to your business.
And what better way to interact and learn, and more importantly APPLY new found knowledge, than a highly organized symposium of like minds with a trusted partner? I’m personally inviting you to Hitachi NEXT 2017, the premier event for the digital revolution.
I know, I know. Yet ANOTHER vendor conference. Let me guess what’s rolling around in your mind: product pitches and technical deep dives, hordes of people, generic topics, vendor-centric, and suburban settings in the middle of a petrified forest.
That question on your mind is: Is it worth my time and energy? My team’s time and energy?
Having been to (and continue to attend) literally 100s of conferences in my technology executive practitioner career, I want to make sure my time is well spent with three criteria, which we’ve directly and purposely worked out for you:
- I want to meet Interesting people (live, in-person Disruptive Perspectives with opportunities to dig deeper). You can:
- I want to have Interesting conversations (engage in a Customized Learning experience). Pick and choose from:
- talking with accomplished thinkers, business strategists and technology experts that align with your specific interests to tackle real-life challenges. Real customers presenting with real stories
- attending a CIO Forum that The Wall Street Journal is holding to examine how business gets smarter when IT meets IoT
- picking from sessions in Digital Transformation, Enterprise IT, Internet of Things and Machines, Banking and Financial services, and Real-World Results including Industrial and Telecommunications
- I want to see Interesting technologies and problems being solved (see and touch an Experiential Area). Plenty of time to:
- engage in group discussions with customers, partners, solution experts. And experience the real-life benefits of technologies and expertise across many different industries.
- see, touch and experience solutions in Smart Operations and Security, Smart Energy, IoT Platforms, Smart Manufacturing, mining and Transportation, Smart Data Centre, and Data Intelligence
And the best part? This is the Freshman class! Our inaugural event in an intimate setting with an unusual amount of networking experiences (limited executive invites increase personal relationships), and exposure to insights not just with technology but with various vertical industries. It’s quite likely the only event you will attend this year that will create new deep relationships and actual actionable next steps to be applied to your own organization. EXACTLY the goal of external learning
So, to answer that burning question: Yes, It’s worth your time.
Register here: Hitachi NEXT 2017
I’ll see you there. Oh, and bring all your PowerPoint decks. I have some comments to make.