I’ve commented before that part of what makes each ILTA Annual Conference so valuable is the event’s emphasis on providing actionable takeaways – lessons that can make a real difference in how you and your organization operate. So after returning from the conference last year, I put together a list of my own personal takeaways. I then copied the items into an Outlook appointment that repeats quarterly. My six-month ‘appointment’ just popped up, and I thought I’d share my takeaways here. It’s not only useful to remind myself of these lessons, but it’s also interesting to evaluate which I’ve implemented (and which proved more challenging). If you have a list of your own takeaways from #ilta10, please share them in the comments.
User Feedback
1. Jo Haraf – Use post-its labelled with ‘love it’ / ‘hate it’ / ‘fix it’ to get feedback from users.
2. Jo Haraf – Book recommendation, “Innovation Games” by Luke Hohmann, for understanding your customers’ needs.
Change Leadership by JAG
3. Ask, “what impact is this action going to have on the people around me?”
4. When implementing change, communicate early and often the HOW and the WHY.
5. Vest personnel in change: transparency, communication, candor.
6. “The role of leadership is to turn challenges into opportunities.” General Dennis Reimer
7. Keep people informed as you’re about to change their lives.
Client Satisfaction
8. Are you measuring your clients’ satisfaction with your extranets? Only 5% of respondents to ILTA survey said ‘yes.’
9. Plan to fail: mitigate the consequences; learn; use the failure as a guidepost.
After Action Reviews
10. Be open & honest; review the system not the person.
11. Conduct either by timeline or by theme/topic.
12. Document everything you did right! Not just the areas for improvement.
Friendly Project Management Tools
13. Basecamp = Simple, very usable tool for helping to manage projects, plus integrates with email.
14. LiquidPlanner = Very useful gantt tool; the only software that allows you to input duration ranges (e.g. 2-3 days, 1-2 weeks).
Working with Vendors
15. Make sure you understand how the vendor will meet your success criteria.
16. Working with vendor – Don’t just reward for success, but also penalize for not meeting criteria.
That’s my list – please share yours in the comments. And remember, registration for #ILTA11 opens on March 1.
  • Ayelette –

    Thanks for this reminder that the ILTA Conference is not a one moment in time experience. Rather, its benefits can have an impact months after the conference.

    In reading over your notes from one of the sessions I organized (Failure/ After Action Reviews), I wanted to make one clarification. Rather than "plan to fail," I'd suggest that we should "expect to fail" and, therefore, set up enough learning opportunities around the inevitable failure that we can legitimately "plan to succeed" based on what we've learned from the misfires. The key here is not to demonize failure, but rather to understand it for what it is: a result of the fact that no one is omniscient and that no planning is perfect. The ones who are really successful are the ones who draw the right lessons from the disappointing results and then use those lessons to propel their project to success.

    – Mary

  • Great post, Ayelette, thanks. I attended some of these sessions as well but haven't cracked my notes since! What a good idea.

    Kathleen Hogan

  • Hi Mary,
    Thanks for the clarification. Though I must admit I like the idea of 'planning' to fail, and think that perhaps it's the word 'fail' that needs to be re-understood.

    Especially in an industry of invention and innovation, I believe you have to go down a series of un-planned paths before you hit the mark, and in that sense, you need to 'plan' for the unexpected. I'd argue those un-planned paths shouldn't be considered 'failures' or disappointments but rather 'explorations' or opportunities to learn, and that the idea of actually planning for those explorations (rather than simply expecting them) is quite exciting.

  • Ayelette –
    Thank you for the reference to my book. Minor spelling correction – my last name is "Hohmann".


    Luke Hohmann
    CEO, The Innovation Games® Company
    Author of Innovation Games®: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play
    http://www.innovationgames.com: The seriously fun way to do serious work — seriously.
    Follow me on twitter at lukehohmann
    Knowsy knows…

  • Apologies, and thank you, Luke, for the correction.