I started writing this post at 11pm on my last evening in New York City. I may have had a few drinks.
Today has been great, useful fun. The good people of Thomson Reuters have turned up to their unconference and questioned, participated and contributed to the max.
We’ve articulated our anticipations and anxieties, shared raw, personal stories, and worked our way through awkward silences. Most importantly, together we’ve delivered a day that is truly about the people in the room and those who are important to them.
In particular I want to reflect on an uncomfortable moment when having shared many ideas, the group were trying to distil them and get to grips with the questions they wanted to explore next. This process can be difficult, frustrating even – something doesn’t always emerge immediately, particularly when trying to form ideas from such a wealth of initial output. A question was asked along the lines of ‘So what is it we should be talking about?’. It seemed a perfectly reasonable question and I’m pretty sure many others were thinking it. In the moment I turned the question back to the group and on the 30th floor way above Times Square, time stands still.
What followed was a short period of awkwardness before, after some more bouncing of ideas – we got to somewhere useful. I know it was somewhere useful because the blast wave of conversation that followed was pretty much unstoppable. Even more importantly – in that moment the group clearly saw the purpose of their gathering was all about them. They matter, their views and ideas matter.
I’ll share more from the day when I get home. For now I’ve got to pack up and leave my apartment. Thanks to everyone who has made my stay so much fun, I’ve learned loads while I’ve been away, and boy….I’m ready to come home.