The conference was much improved today. The opening keynote, Dan North did a lot of context setting, qualifying recommendations with statements about in these circumstances and the like. Bob Marshall, back on his more familiar Right-shifting material was much improved over the previous day. Benjamin (please do not call me Ben) Mitchell was excellent at pointing to multiple hypocrisies. The one I liked best was when he recounted being told his feedback had lacked examples and been negative. He then asked what examples had he been given or positive statements in the judgement. I've noticed the same thing. I remember an appreciative inquiry mob at a retreat in Ireland telling negative stories about my saying negative stories had value. Then there are the people who don't like any criticism, especially robust criticism but criticise or exclude the critics from their own discourse! Mind you the hypocrite while they have lost the right to criticise, may still be right.
My presentation on the other hand was not so good. The content was good but the venue was terrible. I could hardly see the audience, the room dampened any feedback and while I finished on time I could not adapt to the audience as there was no feedback loop. It may suit some speakers, but it doesn't suit me. I used the same material at a small Agile gathering in North London using a flip chart the other day and that went brilliantly. I should also confess I skived off at one stage for a couple of hours to track down a Starbucks City Mug for Göthenborg and to use the camera, this is a very photogenic city. All done and to the airport and home. Tomorrow I am at a book launch on Leadership so that will provide the subject for tomorrow's post.
One final concerned comment though. Too many Agile conferences in my experience have too many delegates who want niceness rather than challenge. It's almost as thought they want reinforcement of a position by which it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up with them. Too much of that and it will end up somewhere else completely. Lots of exceptions to that obviously, but it's a pattern.
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