By Sabrina Smith
After years of holding our event in Orlando, we took a break and headed to Las Vegas this year, and the MGM Grand did not disappoint! Reflecting on the plane ride home, I took some time to review the social media conversation on Twitter (#Perspectives14) and loved reading that “this Perspectives wasn’t just fun, it was inspiring!” Our theme this year was “Innovate, Influence, Impact” and the speakers were fantastic!
Fortune Magazine’s CEO of the Century was our opening guest speaker and in the words of John Ambrose, "he rocked the house." This legendary leader was in attendance at Perspectives in part to announce the launch of Welch Way presented by Skillsoft, a collection of six immersive online learning programs featuring Jack Welch’s strategies and best practices on management and leadership. Jack had the audience engaged, laughing and answering tough questions with his no-nonsense straight talk.
- Find a better way every day.
- Candid does not mean being rude, it means searching for the truth.
- Be the sweeper, get stuff out of the way so your employees can get the job done (think Winter Olympics sport curling).
- Everyone is a mentor.
- A learning organization is the ultimate competitive advantage.
Our SVP Strategy and Corporate Development, John Ambrose, shared with us his thoughts on Big Data and more specifically what Skillsoft’s plans are to harness it. He talked about how employees are deluged by data and interruption or “squirrels”—texts, voice mails, conference calls, meetings, emails. The overwhelmed employee checks their phone—wait for it—150 times per day (Deloitte HCM study).
So…what is the antidote to data overload? Paradoxically it’s big data. John shared with us initial results of Skillsoft’s work in its multi-phase joint development effort with IBM that leverages the power of big data in enterprise learning. And he taught us that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…as data.”
This was a keynote unlike any other that I’ve experienced. A self-described disruptive strategist, Erik is an internationally recognized graffiti artist, author and entrepreneur. Pulling from his history as a businessman and an artist, Erik’s on-stage paintings seamlessly became a visual metaphor to the core of his message, encouraging organizations toward profitability through innovation and superior levels of performance.
He challenged us to stop the glorification of busy and encouraged us that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. As he asked the question, “How are you going to reignite that childlike imagination as a leader in your organization?” I jotted down a few themes:
- If you want to grow your organization you have to grow your people.
- Sometimes it pays to take a risk.
- FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.
- Fear kills performance and cripples opportunities.
- If we are afraid of being wrong we will never come up with anything new.
For Skillsoft Leadership Channel™ and Advantage customers, Erik’s presentation is available on demand as an archived Live Event.