I missed the first day's activities due to a personal commitment. I heard mixed/negative reviews of the opening keynote, Drew and Jonathan Scott, HGTV's Property Brothers. When past keynotes have included Malcolm Gladwell or Colin Powell, I can see how this year might be a bit of a letdown.
The second day keynote, David Robertson, was very good. He talked about how innovation evolved at Lego, based on a book he wrote on the topic. A key to Lego's current success was their ability to do more with less. They cut their inventory of parts in order to have better focus after almost going bankrupt in 2003.
The final keynote, Stacy Allison, was also very good. She was the first American women to summit Mt Everest. Some of her key points:
- Know how your story - your passion - is relevant to the organization and the mission
- Learn to laugh at yourself
- Know when to let go (she had to abandon her first attempt and come back a year later)
- It's our personal vision, not the organization's, that picks us up when we get knocked down
- Recognize your daily and weekly successes, not just the big one at the end
- When resolving a problem, focus on the solution without blame
I didn't see any of the paper presentations. I delivered one myself, plus participated in a panel discussion so I spent my time focused on those activities. The feedback I heard was typical...there were some really good sessions and some weren't so good. I know PMI spent more time preparing the speakers and working with them on the presentations, so I would think this would have had to helped the quality of the presentations.