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The Future of Talent
Friday, July 15, 2005
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them," wrote Albert Einstein, yet the corporate world has been slow to take his advice.

Take Talent. Ten years ago, few of us expected to be working on computers, using wireless telephones/PDAs to connect with home and office globally, acting remotely as if we were local. Nor did we expect to be in such informal, networked and frequently changing work relationships. Yet here we are. And this is only the beginning....

What will we cook up once we've added these ingredients to our organizational soup? Interoperble networks, continued acceleration of change, shifting demographics, a global workplace, talent shortages, value transfer, self-organization, new technologies, divided loyalties, skill gaps, free agentry, persistent computing, dynamic friction, outsourcing, work/learning convergence, business process management, smart drugs, retention, generative design, digital convergence, conscious evolution, and...there's more.

To get our arms around the issues surrounding the future of talent, Kevin Wheeler, Eileen Clegg, and I are convening a multidisciplinary gathering on the Northern California coast in October. Verna Allee will be joining us. To maximize sharing and innovation, attendance is limited to two dozen professionals. Vendors are not permitted. PowerPoints are not allowed. Everyone will contribute. Our format is informal, with lots of time for discussion and questions, as well as walks and talks along the California coast.

Our venue is the Marconi Conference Center on Tomales Bay. The Bay is a 12-mile long coastal estuary whose pure water makes the local Hog Island oysters taste so stunning. Up the coast, the former cheesemaster of Maytag blue makes Original Blue, a fantastic cheese made from the milk of a closed herd of 250 hormone-free Holsteins. Across the Bay from where we'll be is Point Reyes National Seashore.

These are not ordinary times and this is not an ordinary event. There's more information here. Mostly, this is invitation-only, but if you're interested, drop me an email or give me a call.


Anonymous Meir Navon said...

Vendors are not permitted?
A very interesting event, but due to the facts that's far far away and the topic is not high in my priority list, I'm not applying to participate.
Having said so, I feel empowered to tackle the subject of "vendors are not permitted" : Who is a vendor? One of the main organizers of the vent (Mr. Kevin Wheeler) is a vendor! His company sells the very services that you are talking about and developing in this event.
I'm certain that no manipulation was intended here, but this doesn't sound kosher…
I've met this issue many times before, mainly when potential customers meet untactful vendors in conferences and wish to God they hadn't left their home/office that morning.
We all stand to lose if we prohibit some of the best thinkers the entrance to certain events.
It's a problem, but the way of dealing with it is not fending them up. It's having very strict behavior codes and implementing them harshly.
One example is the "Israeli training Community" that I've started a few months ago in its steering committee sit side by side vendors , customers and academic people without either side feeling threatened by the other.
Hoping for your feedback.
Your friend,
Meir Navon

12:55 AM  
Blogger jay said...

Meir, I see your point. My own services are for sale. In the broadest view, everyone's got something to sell, even if it's only their own talents.

Perhaps my statement was not kosher but was instead pareve. Had I the opportunity to restate things, I'd say, "Vendors are not permitted to sell their wares." Reason would bar most vendors, for the opportunity to talk with senior executives in an informal setting would render selling irrestible for most of them. That's why I wrote in the vendor ban. Kevin's here because some of his clients asked him to organize the even.

People who know my style of managing meetings know I am not shy about telling speakers when they stray out of bounds. At the Future of Talent meeting, however, lots of the learning will take place in pairs or trios in unmonitored conversation. We're nurturing a fragile conferencing lifeform. Frankly I didn't want to take the chance of having an over-zealous vendor screw it up.


2:27 PM  

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