“The minute that you’re not learning I believe you’re dead.”
– Jack Nicholson
Every year around this time, the Agile Tour of community conferences gets into full swing around the world. More than 90 cities have participated over the last 12 years.
From the Agile Tour website:
“AgileTour® is a project of Agile World University. Agile World University (AWU) is a non profit organisation which aims to gather people and which links professionnals [sic] and enterprises to collaborate at least once per year on some commun [sic] projects. AWU aims also to favor the development of Agile communities like AgileAlliance and ScrumAlliance and networks like APLN.”
I’ve been engaged in the Toronto and more recently Ottawa Agile community conferences in some capacity over the last 7 years.
My first exposure was with the Toronto Agile Tour 2012 conference now known as the TAC (Toronto Agile Community) Conference. An external Agile coach I was working with invited me to convince the company I was working for to sign up as a sponsor for TAC. We did and I’ve never looked back since.
This year I had the opportunity to take my engagement to the next level at both the TAC and the Gatineau-Ottawa Agile Tour (GOAT) conferences.
I was an attendee, speaker and sponsor.
One of the greatest benefits I’ve realized and enjoyed from these conferences has been the deep insights and learning acquired. This benefit tripled for me this year. I got to learn from three vantage points.
As an Attendee
- Learning from the keynotes. Fantastic keynotes from David Marquet, Todd Charron, Ester Derby and Bob Galen. They were all inspiring and thought provoking.
- Learning from terrific talks and workshops. My only regret is that I couldn’t attend them all!
- Learning from interaction with fellow attendees. This is always a highlight for me whether it’s catching up with old colleagues or getting to know new colleagues better.
As a Speaker
- Learning via preparation and practice alone and with others. Nothing is more humbling then getting honest feedback from family after a dry-run. At the same time, nothing is more rewarding than learning, preparing and presenting with a co-presenter.
- Enabling others’ learning. If the audience gets a light bulb moment from what I share then I’m headed in the right direction. If not, then I’ve got work to do.
- Learn more about myself and the way I respond to audience cues. From dry-runs in front of family to live runs in front of paying attendees, there are so many opportunities become more self-aware.
As a Sponsor
- Supersizing the enabling of others’ learning.
- Learning what it means to support a community that has given so much to me.
- Realizing the potential as a company to make a difference.
- Sponsorship doesn’t have to be monetary. Volunteering your time and ideas is an awesome way to give back. Without the generosity of the many tireless volunteers, the communities would cease to exist.
The moral of my short story is that we can all diversify and amplify our learning by taking on different personas at a conference.
I’d like to also thank all the organizers and volunteers behind the Agile Tours and especially those behind the TAC and GOAT agile community conferences. Without you, people like me would not have a platform to take our learning to the next level.
What learning persona will you take on at the next conference?