Sunday, 17 October 2010

Warm jello, George Clooney and the end...

So, the conference is over now and I'm at home. Still slightly jet lagged after a 10 hour flight, although it was brightened up by a view of the flight deck, and a lovely conversation with the captain who patiently explained to me that just because the flight was bumpy, it didn't mean I was going to die!

Some sessions I haven't blogged in detail about include one about shared services in Europe, with many of the services from JISC being held up as examples of good practice, which of course they are.

And a talk by a CIO who used the recent disasters of the volcanic ash cloud and the oil spill to illustrate different aspects of leadership.  In both, leadership, integrity and clear communication were highly important.

Finally, a President of a large University who gave us her advice on what makes a good CIO in 4 main themes: strategic focus, managing change, teamwork, communication. I was so enthralled by her talk that I didn't take any notes, but you can watch it here.  Her description of managing IT as being like holding warm jelly and having it drip down your arms into your armpits was inspired.

As usual, it was a great conference with some excellent speakers, and a good crowd to network with. Over the years I've made many connections with colleagues from all of the world during these conferences.  This year was slightly different in that it was the first one I've not taken a laptop to, I managed for the week with just an iPad. The biggest advantage was not worrying abut battery life - normally by lunchtime I'd be sitting at the edge or at the back of the room looking for power sockets, or going back to my room to plug it in. It lasted everyday from the beginning of the 8am session to the end of the 6pm one, usually with about 40% battery left.  Somethings were a little harder, such as manipulating photos in my blog, but nothing was impossible.

 Was trying to think of a photo to finish with, and this one amused me - possibly the closest I'll ever get to him....

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