E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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TLE-2007 Highlights – The Power of Networking

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In previous weblog posts I mentioned how it was going to be a bit difficult for me to detail most of the stuff I have been exposed to while I attended last week’s IBM‘s Technical Leadership Exchange event in Paris. Given the nature where most of the materials, although not confidential, would be of a sensitive nature for this kind of outside-of-the-firewall audience, I am just going to do my best on detailing what has been the main highlight from the overall event, which I am sure you have guessed already from the title of this weblog entry: The networking opportunities. But let’s start from the beginning.

In last year’s event in Madrid I must confess that the networking opportunities were not as good as I thought they would be. There were very few breaks and too short overall, so when you got quite comfortable with the whole thing you find out that the event is over! This year though things have been quite different. We had plenty of different networking opportunities, with breaks in between keynote and elective sessions of about 45 minutes and plenty of time for lunch, too! And all that without counting the networking events put together after the long day attending different sessions. It looks like the organisers of the event actually acted upon the feedback many of us provided in this respect last year! Great stuff!

Yes, this year they had to put together more sessions under the same name time slot, but I think that was a good thing. I know I have missed out a few presentations I couldn’t make, while I was attending others, but then again that is the whole point of recording them all for later viewing, don’t you think? However, there isn’t a single chance that you can miss out on the opportunity to network with other folks! And specially in this kind of events where you know that such a huge bunch of folks would be coming along.

And that is exactly what I did! I used every single opportunity I was given to hang out with different folks and had a great time throughout. So much so that to me, such opportunities to network in these events are actually much more rewarding, educational, enlightening, thought-provoking and so forth than making it to the elective sessions themselves. Don’t take me wrong, breakout sessions are great and they do provide lots of good content to digest throughout time, but the thing that cuts it for me for any such event as this one is basically hanging out with other people, connect with them, share experiences, knowledge and, collaborate, why not? on the same subjects we are all passionate about. Re-energising is the first word that comes to mind

Does it get any better than that? I doubt it. That is why to me the main highlight from this year’s IBM TLE event has been the opportunity to network with others and help build up new relationships and nurture those that I already had from the past and which I also find equally valuable. The rest was good, but getting to know other people who you have got so much in common is, to me, priceless. And worth while on its own the two days travelling, back and forth. I guess you could say that I am the kind of person who prefers to work and improve his own social capital skills rather than the explicit knowledge skills that I know I can get from elsewhere. Although, check out my next weblog entry around the subject of "The Irony of Social Computing". It would make you have a good laugh and think about things twice, specially if you are involved around the area of social computing within the Enterprise…

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