It’s unusual to have an integration event this large (400 attendees) that doesn’t focus on products and technology – but instead on business strategies. We’re grateful for our incredible sponsors that recognize the value of stepping away from tech talk to collectively work on our businesses for three days. Just as impressive are our members – including the 400 attendees who get it – who choose to focus on the business behind integration and bringing new ideas back to their teams.
For the BLC attendees who stepped away from their businesses for three days to attend – and for those who couldn’t – we’re sharing takeaways from some of our keynotes that you can carry back your own organization.
The Future of Work – How Will Humans Fit In?
As the author of Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, Geoff Colvin delivers messages that can be unnerving.
He helped us look at how work will be done in the future compared to how it’s been done in the past, delivering information in a way that made us feel good about the future.
The good news: Colvin feels confident about the bright future ahead for integrators. He sees our industry and our people as having the right technical skills to work in conjunction with AI, machine learning, and the other tools we have to move our industry forward and adapt to workplaces of the future.
What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do
Laura Stack, or “The Productivity Pro,” as she’s known, emphasized the critical difference between high-value activities and lower-value activities. She also discussed the importance of being able to pass activities off to other people who are better suited for them – and learning to say no to things you’ve been doing that haven’t produced great results.
Stack had strong messages about multitasking as well: It’s simply an excuse. When you look at what you’ve accomplished, people often describe the chaos as a way to say they’ve accomplished a lot. Instead, multitasking is acceptance of distractions in your life.
Innovation – Helping Your People Bring Great Ideas to Life
At BLC 2020, Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg talked about reframing. After splitting up into small teams to discuss a personal or professional problem, he challenged everyone to frame that problem differently – and then rethink the problem we’re really trying to solve.
An example: Maybe we can’t make progress on a new service or product line. How can we step back, reframe the question and problem, and find ways to solve it? Wedell-Wedellsborg, in brilliant fashion, led us to consider that, perhaps the problem we’re trying to solve isn’t the right problem, there’s a way to accomplish more by reframing.
Build a Culture of Good
Ryan McCarty, author of Build a Culture of Good: Unleash Results by Letting Your Employees Bring Their Soul to Work, shared how and why it’s okay to bring humanity and soul to work.
He challenged us to think about companies that could be great places to work – based not on how much they pay or what kind of positions they offer, but by making meaningful differences in the lives of others. It’s about giving back to your community and the industry in a meaningful way.
By creating a culture of good, great employees come to you by way of knowing the type of company you are and the culture you’ve created.
Leadership Isn’t for Cowards
Mike Staver, author of Leadership Isn’t for Cowards, talked about three types business leaders – and the problem with each type. We identified ourselves based on whether we were people pleasers, needed to be right all the time, or needed to say yes to everything. Then he gave us the quick cure for our problems.
He challenged us to look how we spend our days, the discipline we have, and outside influences that impact our time. By knowing this information, we can take charge of our own lives.
He shared a great metaphor he tied into one of my favorite things: fishing. Although he made fun of people who go fishing, his point was perfect: If you want to catch big fish, you’ve got to go into rough waters. Often, people stay in the calmest, most protected areas and don’t see success. He talked about how comfort is the enemy of those who want to have the greatest success.
Many of us don’t like confrontation. We don’t like to make waves. We don’t like to be direct in our communications. He set us up so we could go back to our offices with a purposeful intent of not living in those comfortable areas quite as much. –Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director