My email inbox has always been peppered with invitations to attend a myriad of events: conferences, seminars, workshops, training events and the like. More and more, webinars and podcasts join the offerings, with the advantage of being available (often free) at my own desk. Of course, evaluating the best use of my time and the return on the investment of that time is another thing.
Today’s emails included Practical Influencing Strategies, Employing and Vetting non UK nationals, NHS Reform - Driving Cultural change, Thought leader podcasts, Business Wellbeing, Delivering our Future, NHS Commissioners: a new integrated Strategy…..I could go on, and on.
I’m sure all of these are valuable, enriching and worthwhile. But as I run through the list of speakers I am building a picture of a whole new career framework emerging. I remember the saying about teachers “If you can, do - if you can’t - teach.” Very unfair to teachers - I know. But are we in danger of cultivating a whole raft of people who do nothing but move around the circuit talking about the NHS reforms, when what is needed is people to get on and make it happen?
I sat through a webinar that was scheduled to last an hour and gave up after only 20 minutes - the content was tenuously interesting, but I could not see that it was going to get any better than that. I could be accused of having a short attention span, but if it hasn’t inspired my interest in 20 minutes, then I’m moving on. Attending a conference is less easy to dip out of - by the time you have invested time and money in travel, abandoning it is less easy to justify. But having said that, how many of us have attended a conference, and seen the delegate seats emptying after the mid afternoon tea break? Soul destroying for the speakers scheduled for the final slot.
What’s my point? Business Critical is what we are about right now. Spending time and money attending yet another event will need to be compelling - with the very best speakers - if it is going to add value. And that means I will be hitting the “delete” button more often than not.