On Thursday and Friday last week I was fortunate to be one of 900 delegates at a very high profile business conference in the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.
The two day event was called "World Class Thinking to the Power of Four" and the four speakers due to attend were Charles Handy, Gary Hamel, Michael Porter and Tom Peters.
Sadly Tom Peters had a health scare and was not allowed to attend by his doctor. Tom was told that he should not take the flight from America to England. Happily he is now well.
The conference was excellent and Tom's replacement Jonas Riddersdrale from Sweden was an excellent substitute.
Events such as this always give me food for thought - an opportunity to listen to the' great and the good' and learn about how close, or far off my own thinking is! It was well worth going and I came away with lots of thoughts and ideas that I hope will influence my thinking .
My quick feedback summary of the event follows – not everyone who was there will agree me what the hell – that sounds like life!
Prfessor Gary Hamel – excellent and entertaining talk. Very slick, well argued and delivered at a good pace with plenty of specific examples about change and the pace of things.
Professor Michael Porter – obviously excellent technically but I have to say not my favourite topic – I am not a strategy man – I am more of a 'get on with it pragmatist.' He is very knowledgeable and many will have found his session inspiring – I nearly fell asleep I’m afraid.
Charles Handy – excellent presentation – a pragmatist – told some lovely stories and kept things simple. Very relaxed and experienced speaker. I loved the fact he didn’t use any PowerPoint slides – he even used the ‘old’ system of writing on his overheads – not exactly exciting or passionate but very solid and a highly credible Guru in my view.
Jonas Riddersdrale –Entertaining and different – he used some of Tom Peters material – there were some one liners I recognised from TP presentations. He also had some original stuff from Sweden and other parts of Europe. He was well received by the audience and as a stand in I though he was very good.