I attended the ACMP Regional Conference Canada in Toronto just over a week ago. It’s probably taken that much time for me to let the content sink in, my brain to digest it and to make sense of the many conversations that abound at such gatherings. Any conference is more than the presentations, its second layer is the connections with other minds, thoughts and insights. I’m so pleased to see this gaining traction at more and more similar events.
With around 200 people in attendance, it was a great learning and thinking experience. I love my change management conversations and my personal highlight was facilitating 53 fellow attendees in an exploration of Change Management: where next? This for me was an experience that not only confirmed the depth of passion we have for growing the field and exploring the opportunities it brings forward but it confirmed the themes that were the foundation stones of the conference in my view.
Probably the most common theme was AGILE. Beyond the Agile project management approach this was truly the use of the verb to be agile. Underscoring some great presentations from people like Jason Little and Sean and Hashmeen at RBC were the conversations around being agile in approaching change. Organizations that want flexibility within their staff and their required learning need to demonstrate agility at organizational and individual levels.
The second theme I took away was CURIOSITY. Now I have a slight bias here as I presented on the topic with Nik Beeson, but before that happened many presentations from Liane’s opening Key note, through the round table discussions and general conversations raised the subject. The desire to investigate, to not fear being curious and to encourage questioning was evident for all. Releasing curiosity is releasing that desire to learn.
My third observation was a focus on COACHING. Several conversations I had beside the main conference discussed how to develop others in Change Management capabilities through experienced professionals coaching them. Using Leadership Coaching to develop sponsor engagement and support as well as the opportunity to understand the value of change management.
This leads me to my fourth area, that of the term CHANGE AGENT. Time and again reference was made to people being and becoming change agents in all its guises. I recognize my own passion for this but reflect that it’s frequency of use is a good thing. We all have roles to play as change agents for ourselves and encouraging others.
My final take away is PASSION. Wherever I was, whomever I spoke with, and very evident in the facilitated discussion, attendees had a passion for the profession. This was reflected in senior practitioners wanting to develop more depth, offer support to those new to the field and make it accessible to more people. For the newer entrant just discovering their appetite for the field, a definite hunger for knowledge was present, sometimes overwhelming but so uplifting.
It was a pleasure to be part of this great regional conference. It was a strong follow up to the global ACMP conference. If it set the bar for future regional events, it is a high bar to follow. It’s only a small proportion of the size of the global conference but it punched above its weight. Thank you all for a great experience.
I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on the conference please share.