Hey, What’s the Big Idea There Fella?

And we’re back from another year of the Alliance conference where Derek once again won the late-evening talent show with his surprisingly catchy rendition of Supertramp’s Take the Long Way Home on the glockenspiel. I tell you, the hidden talents that guy has are truly astounding.

I, meanwhile, devoted a good deal of my time to thinking. I know what you are saying – “Um, er, aren’t you always thinking?” Sometimes, yes, yes I am, although that thinking is often more focused on “How do I get done what I need to get done today?” This thinking was more devoted to strategic thinking, where I was able to sit, listen, and consider how what other people were talking about could be adapted to future planning for my business. For me, that’s one of the most valuable things about full-day or multi-day events (such as CMEpalooza) — it allows me to shut down the “fight or flight” part of my brain and think creatively and strategically.

It goes without saying that there are many creative people in our industry – one of my favorite things to do is to go up to colleagues and ask, “So, what interesting things are you working on?” Not only does this allow people to do what they often do best — talk about themselves — but it also will sometimes spark an idea in my head about something I can adapt to my business. Some of the best CMEpalooza session ideas are sparked in this way, and I jotted down a few notes for things you may see from us later this year.

A few other notes for you:

  1. I was very excited to get a chance to try out the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device that was featured in one session. “Maybe, if you are nice to us, you can come up after the session and try it out,” they told me the day before the session. I guess I wasn’t very nice because they packed that thing up faster than this guy ate a watermelon. Eh, I probably wouldn’t have trusted me either.
  2. I took up the heroic San Francisco challenge of, “I’m going to keep walking uphill until I can’t walk uphill any more” one evening. Two hours later, I think I touched a cloud. Or maybe that was just a mirage. Not one of my brightest ideas.
  3. Maybe most importantly, Derek and I met our CMEpalooza Spring intern! You’ll be hearing from her later this week, so her identity will remain a secret for now (ooohh, the suspense!). She was both “honored and excited” to meet us in person. Needless to say, those feelings went away pretty quickly once she saw who she was dealing with. I was just happy Derek didn’t spill his drink on her.


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