December 31st – the day of looking back; of looking forward. So…some facts looking back; some thoughts looking forward:

The site

Wow, we had a variety of visitors. All Canadian provinces, and two of three territories. Nunavut, you have 12 hours left to surprise me… 48 US States – only missed Wyoming, Mississippi and New Mexico. I wonder if that says anything? Every region of Australia except the Northern Territories, and all regions of the United Kingdom came for a visit. What I found particularly fascinating was the diversity – outside of Canada, the readership came from 82 different countries!!! Both fascinating and humbling.

The gigs

16 different clients this year, public, private, non-profit; pro-bono and paid. What fascinates me is how they all interweave. You might not think that a profit-based software company and a human trafficking summit have things to teach and learn from one another, but they do; they do. Each year teaches me that it is truly all about people – and that the human condition; the things we care about and the things that motivate us – they are consistent across pretty much all beings. I find comfort in that knowledge.

The learnings

Information Risk came out of this year – a way of codifying the risks borne when an individual or organization does not have access to the necessary information to perform their jobs effectively. Wake up people; information risk is a whole lot larger than lost USB sticks! It’s not the risk of losing information – it’s the risk of not having access to information in the first place. That’s information risk – it’s business-based and client-focused; it’s not rules-based policing activity.

Collaborative Prioritization is still brand new to most people. Invoking the wisdom of crowds, in particular, seems so much anathema to making the decisions sequestered with your executive team…or by drawing on expensive subject matter experts…and rather humbling to know that the organization can make the organization healthier far more effectively than any hero you bring in. I’ll be curious to know what Blackberry looks like in a year or 18 months.

Collaborative Transformation – the bringing together of a diverse community to engage deeply on a wicked problem – we’ve been doing it for 15 years, but it’s still fresh and new and utterly useful in the marketplace. And it’s still impossible to sell. Attendees at the Human Trafficking event in November said that they never would have come for the workshopping alone, but having been through it, it was far more valuable than the day of presentations.

Next year…

  • Next year, someone will be brave enough to build a $50M proposal with us…using Lego. And they will win the business.
  • Next year, several someones will have the courage to convene, engage and sustain broad stakeholder communities using Collaborative Transformation – and as per usual, they will be amazed that they could learn so much, do so much, and change so much in so little time.
  • Next year, someone will engage their organization in meaningful conversations around Information Risk – they will change the way Information Services are perceived, because they will bring value from a completely new direction – they will engage as business partners, not as information traffic cops.
  • Next year will be another useful one, and we will continue to fold more value into each engagement. So long as we trust in the wisdom of those who care – and engage each and all of them meaningfully, we actually do make our human systems healthier; more effective. Leaders need to lead, it is true, but leaders also need to trust in the wisdom of each and all of those who choose to work with them.

I wish you greater health – personally and organizationally. Trust in those around you. And listen. I’ve met very, very few people who don’t want to care.