I suck at bowling. I am in awe of people who have mastered the sport to the point that it appears effortless. It is a sport because it is competitive, but I have seen professional quality, muscular, football-type athletes attack the lane with brute force and fling the ball at record time down one gutter or the other. It requires finesse, coordination and flawless execution to get it right. Every time I have been invited to participate in a company bowling league, I reluctantly brought my lack of finesse, uncoordination and flawed execution to the bowling alley. By the end of the season, I always won a trophy for “Most Improved Bowler”… a dubious honor at best.
My dream job (after I hit the lottery, of course) would be to become a professional conference attendee. Something robotic in my very being keeps shouting, “Input! I need more input!” Processing that data seems to come easier when it also includes a social side as well as the cerebral side. Hanging out with damn smart people is an immeasurable benefit to these events. Boring and dull death by PowerPoint lectures even become bearable when social interaction between the scheduled sessions offers real learning opportunities. The master event planner would be smart to make the whole conference like a coffee break and encourage mingling and mangling ideas. No wait… somebody already did that! It is the masterful unConference technique. When I attended the #truBoston event several years ago, organizer Bill Boorman commented that he had to arrive early to “unorganize the chairs.” That was a signal that this was not to be a sterile, sit-down-and-listen style of conference.
Salima Nathoo and Jeff Waldman cooked up the #SocialHRCamp idea and in true unConference form it is an all day social event. Boston is one of my favorite places and within driving distance so it was a must-do event for me. I commented at one point that swivel chairs were necessary since there was 360° learning. No need to unorganized the chairs if presenters and participants are engaged. I lost count of the light bulb moments where a popular social media term or phrase emerged from the fog into the room to make everything brighter. Even though the event name included the letters “HR,” thought leaders from communications and marketing brought social media concepts to life and illustrated the collaborative nature of social media and that ownership is a relative term.
I suck at social media. I am in awe of people who have mastered this craft to the point that it appears effortless. A key aspect of pushing knowledge to the forefront of consciousness is to give as much or more than is received. I sensed a few people swiveling to hear my comments, but thank goodness this is not a competition. If there were to be trophies awarded for #SocialHRCamp I probably would qualify as the “Most Improved Camper”… a dubious honor that I would wear with pride.