By midday on Thursday, we all looked a little worse for wear. For almost four days we had been eating and sleeping innovation and the next big thing, whether in human resources, web conferencing, learning management, or enterprise collaboration. Exhausting, but exhilerating stuff at People 2010: Saba Global Summit in Boston.
One tired-eyed customer who I met after the last keynotes and closing remarks said that this year's conference was the best she had ever been to, that she hadn't even considered making so many connections, or bringing back so many excited new ideas to her company. Her sentiment was echoed throughout the ground floor of the Waterfront Westin, and Amar Dhaliwal's request of more than 600 attendees, that they reach out to the fringe of their network and:
find connect share laugh
was obviously followed to the letter.
I was particularly struck by the vibrancy and enthusiasm at the event because the first day of the conference was my first day with Saba. Without having seen my office, or met any colleagues in person yet, I proceeded to meet a large portion of the more than 600 customers, partners, and Saba employees leading the charge on Web 2.0 developments in people management. My new colleagues and even some customers called this technique an 'immersion by fire' tactic of on-boarding. All I know is that I was quickly welcomed into the fold, and immediately exposed to the many fascinating ideas and discussions that permeated the conference. My walk through fire gave me some invaluable insights into the culture, values, and focuses on Saba. I wanted to share some of my favorite experiences with
Here are some photos I took at the Summit of some of the engaging speakers and sessions I was able to attend:
Collaborating in Your Enterprise: Managing Change - A Conversation with Thought Leaders
Jim Lundy, Saba; Nick Howe, Hitachi Data Systems; Andy Wooler, Legal & General; Janice Watrous-McCabe, Allina Hospitals & Clinics; Alice Harkin, Saba
Driving Global Saba Centra Adoption Despite Limited Resources
Paula Hanby and Peter Olguin, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Creative, Contemporary, and Collaborative: Connecting with the Real World Anytime, Anywhere- from Down Under
Roger Edmonds, Department of Education & Children's Services, S. Australia
Roger's presentation of his usage of Saba Centra to bring social interaction and education to K-12 students who are seperated from their teachers and classmates by 100 miles or more was inspiring, touching, and hilarious. I walked away with an Australian Flag, and one lucky person got to take Skippy home. He's the one with the spiffy hat.
Saba Customer Excellence Awards
Awards were presented by Jeff Carr and Alice Harkin, Saba
Jason Averbook, Analyst Keynote
Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Infusion
Jason stressed the need to implement technology in a way that produces a 'What's in it for me?' moment among staff. He pointed out how collecting perfomance and HR information continuously allows managers to make the right choices, something that did not happen in 2008 when the recession began and the wrong cuts were often made. He also pointed out that Social Networking Tools for HR are not enough, you can't just start with the processes, you need to know how to leverage them.
He also got the audience to produce content for his address from their cell phones, a real-time interactive element of his presentation.
Keynote Speaker Jim Lundy
Vice President and General Manager of Collaboration, Saba, spoke about finding that next great idea. He brought up examples like Google's innovation model and asked the audience how they encourage innovation in their organizations. He showed how Saba Live can facilitate an environment of total HR engagement with business strategy and enrich the employee experience. One book he recommended looking at was Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte, published in 1996, but with ideas that are still relevant to the transformation happening in business today.