Confident about Change
You expect certain things to pop up at a conference on technology. At our Collaborate Technology Summit at the PGA Resort in Palm Beach, Fla., this week, it was the iPhone 5. If you had one, you were showing off your panoramic photos during breaks. In social media sessions, however, what kept popping up was the old conversation about how to handle change, namely how to do it yourself if you are a planner trying to manage myriad tasks and tools, and how to facilitate it for your meeting participants.
“We all know that we, as meeting planners, don’t like change,” said Stormi Boyd during her session “Hello, iPad. Goodbye, binder!” Heads nodded, but why? Why do we dump on ourselves like that? We have all learned so much in the last year, the last five years and the last 10 years. Think about the differences between the way you were doing meetings three years ago and now. How long would that list be?
During another discussion about social media, speaker Jeff Shinabarger, a relatively young planner with an impressive background in using social media for his meetings, was not afraid to tell the group, “I don’t know all the answers.” He threw some of the questions back to the audience and, yes, there were people with answers and examples. That’s open sourcing in action. That’s sharing our expertise. That’s communicating. And that’s what social media is about—period. It’s simply another way of communicating with your community of friends, colleagues and attendees.
So, don’t be afraid of asking. Don’t be afraid of learning. Don’t be afraid of change. Think about all you’ve learned in the last few years. You probably don’t remember, but you once learned a whole new language when you were only a year or two old—because you wanted to communicate with those around you.