This year's meeting (my first) was, according to all participants, significantly different from others. It was modeled on the famous TED conference which presents a series of keynote level speakers in 18 minute profile formats to inspire thought and ideas in the meeting participants. Again...it was not 100% successful, but it was well into the 90% range.
What did I learn today?
- Our industry is becoming commodotized and we must find ways to battle that condition.
- Our core business - water consulting - continues to inspire me with the incredible things we accomplish for our clients and our communities.
- Our logo is not just our logo...it is a constant reminder that we must thoughtfully evolve or else we may regret the demise of what is instead of celebrating what we can be.
- "Digging deeper" is something we should always do when asked by a client or colleague to support them...have we gone the extra steps to ensure success for all?
- We must imagine the unimaginable - like arctic deserts from renowned artist Ap Verheggen.
- You must balance sacrifice with reward and make decisions for our business and ourselves with that in mind.
- We don't need to create a global business in a vacuum...our clients will take us there and will shape it if we allow them to. We just have to be ready to move!
- How to balance (and how fragile balance can be) and how to apply concentration to a goal from renowned artist Madir Eugster.
- We must "pay the meter" as we grow our global business by giving back to society in sustainable ways.
- Open my eyes to how fast the world of technology is moving by Alexander Klopping - a 24 year old internet prodigy with unbelievable ideas and a grasp of the future possibilities of our world. You can find him on YouTube...but only in Dutch. I assure you, in person, he translates well into English!
- The world can become smaller and the opportunities bigger if we use our own company programs to foster exchanges of staff between our offices and teams.
- When something is developed for one purpose, you must review it with an open mind...it may actually have an entirely different and better purpose - from musician Fay Lovsky who played the theremin.... really, go look that one up on Google.
- Organizations can take shape from our own viewpoint...and we need not heavily engineer it...if we will only let it evolve naturally.
- Entering new markets can be fraught with peril....or rich with reward...enter smartly.
- Teams are the key to quality, innovation, and efficiency - use them.