Monday, June 30, 2014

A whole lot of yakking...

Last year, I went back to my office and raved about the Big Yak. I loved it. So it was with some trepidation that I returned this year - would it be as good? And as two colleagues were with me... would they like it as much as I did? 

At most conferences, there are always some sessions that aren't quite good as the rest. Where the agenda doesn't quite work for you. At an unconference, that's not an excuse. At the Big Yak, we shaped the agenda - so if it wasn't working for us, then it's our fault!

It was really great to catch up with everyone from last year (there weren't as many Kates this year though, only the 6 of us I think!) and even more interesting to see where the conversations had moved on to. 

Benjamin Ellis was great as usual - great presentation technique and explained the rules of the unconference. I still think my favourite is the rule of two feet - if a session isn't working, then use your two feet to go somewhere else! I still want to try this in the day job... but I think the phrase 'career limiting' comes to mind!

There were so many topics discussed and you can check out the numerous blogs to find out more, but here are a couple of the ones I attended.

- How to make HR comms 'cool'
I've just started a new role and HR is one of my areas, so I was interested in this one - as were too many other people so we had to decamp to a bigger space! What was interesting, was that we all thought most HR departments had a few things to fix before we even attempted 'cool' - for example there's no point being cool if employees can't book holiday easily! But overall, we thought authenticity was more important first, rather than cool. 

- IC qualifications - are they worth it? 
This was a really interesting discussion. It felt like we'd all done different IC specific courses, training or qualifications and we were trying to work out whether they were actually worth it. Those who had done a diploma or masters definitely agreed they were worth it - although very hard work and need the right amount of effort and dedication! I'm a firm believer that theory is really valuable - but so is practice. We also said that there are still key skills like writing skills are still really important (and we still get sent CVs with typos in!)

I absolutely loved it again this year... And I'll be getting in touch with all those people who responded to my tweet about introducing social media in companies where it may prove difficult!

See you all next year (if babies, marriage and potential deportation for our @theICcrowd founders doesn't disrupt us!)

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