We all surely left this conference with better sense of connection and purpose as IT managers of tomorrow. Let’s fast rewind the experience!
For 3 days in mid-June the Sheraton Hotel in Sopot turned into a main hub of IT managers in Poland. This year the conference had nearly 400 attendees, including 33 speakers on 3 main stages and about 15 workshops. Here is a brief summary with some insights, main takeaways, winners of IT Manager of Tomorrow Awards 2019 and a small Chernobyl bonus.
Day 1 recap
Krzysztof Kozakiewicz opened the conference and Chris Dancy gave the first Keynote Speech, where he told his story of how he became more human and self-aware through collecting Data about himself and turning it into Wisdom and Vision. Dancy also held the “Data and You” workshop for those interested in doing the same on their own.
Highlights & Takeaways
The whole day was full of meetings, networking and great speeches. Paul Wilkinson explained how does new ITIL® 4 work and why it is important to focus on its values – the ITIL Guiding Principles – and to foster the culture of feedback. Patrick Kozakiewicz preached on successfully implementing mindfulness in organizations. Tomasz Pająk and Paweł Cichoń held a debate where they impersonated two kinds of IT managers. One was the “ ancient boss”, who praises full control (over processes, decisions, employees) and the other one was an agile manager, who delegates responsibility to team members and values collaborative decision-making. Jair Ribeiro told how to create an AI strategy that works (for Volvo for sure). The main takeaway was to better understand AI before using it. Jovan Protić shared Ringier Axel Springer Polska success story on how to make media digitally and financially self-sustainable and independent. He pointed out, that the implemented technology sometimes becomes business on its own. Dan Keyworth showed us how McLaren expands its edge technologies to compete in F1 races and reach for more.
Last Keynote Speaker of the day – Krzysztof Dąbrowski – presented his personal view on what it takes to be the best version of a manager and how to make it happen. He also pointed out importance of self-development, self-consciousness, sound humbleness, as well as different dimensions of wisdom, communication, team, vision and managing tools. The main takeaway was to grow, explore and search for adventures in life and work. To excel you have to do things other than the others do. It was very inspiring and horizons expanding.
IT Manager of Tomorrow Awards Final Gala
After few months of their hard work of preparation we got to meet all TOP10 finalists who competed for the IT Manager of Tomorrow Awards 2019. They all gave interesting and dynamic speeches, answered questions and scrutiny of the Jury. This is the final verdict, which was announced at the evening Gala:
The First Prize – Maciej Obuchowski (Arla Foods) presented his take on the organizational aspects of implementing robotic process automation and is invited by Dell Technologies to experience the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi 2019.
The Second Prize – Robert Radziejewski (Allegro) is invited by ABB to attend the Web Summit 2019 in Lisbon where he may also be one of speakers.
The Third Prize – Eliza Stasińska (mBank) is invited by APMG to attend Agile Business Conference 2019 in London.
The Audience Award – Joanna Kosowska (BNP PARIBAS Bank Polska S.A.) and her team are invited by Conlea to experience one of top business simulations (MarsLander II or The Phoenix Project).
Day 2 recap
Joanna Chwastowska opened the conference with her speech on how to make right social and ethical choices to make some positive impact on the world. One should grow, take care for others and never stop to innovate. Because it’s time to love hard problems. We also got to know why it is so important to sign up at the DKMS database – you could save someone’s life!
Highlights & Takeaways
Piotr Grządziel told us about the Four Horsemen of future job market and how to navigate it (like a pirate!). Michał Przymusiński from the polish Ministry of Digitization amazed crowd on how agile and innovative his team is and what plans they have in updating state’s administration. Akshay Anand explained what is the mini-Seldon Crisis (check Isaac Asimov) of IT Organizations and how to overcome it. Important takeaway was to focus on empathy and make the customer a co-creator of value. We could plunge into mindfulness at the workshop led by Patrick Kozakiewicz. There was also a serious debate on how to avoid common failures and successfully align IT with Business (Wilkinson – Keyworth – Ribeiro). Niels Loader made a point why a full transformation of organization is also a “political problem” and that as a leader you have to lead by example. Last debate included the First Prize winner in IT Manager of Tomorrow and showed us how a proper mindset of a capability owner is a must (Płocke – Kozakiewicz – Zakrzewski – Obuchowski).
At the end, we had some pure motivation coming from the story told by Karol Bielecki, the celebrated and titled sportsman. This was his personal story full of resilience, faith, tragedy, overcoming barriers and obstacles. To meet new opportunities one needs to start and move toward them. The success comes from trying and not giving up, as he exemplified.
Finally, we got a little bit of “Clap your hands, stomp and whoop whoop!” from Patrick Kozakiewicz, followed by his 3 tales on powers of: Fighting, Silence and Connection. Patrick’s last advice was that regardless what is happening, you can take a break, look around and make this moment delicious. It was a cheerful and wise finale for this uplifting and smart event.
Throughout the whole conference all of us enjoyed the Fun Zone prepared by Dell Technologies (F1 simulators and Witcher Fan Zone), as well as the Chill Zone by SPOC. The noteworthy meetings and interviews with speakers took place at the Exhibition Area – by the Conlea Expert Corner and Let’s Manage IT stand. We also had opportunity to take Gdańsk VR tour by Invest in Pomerania and visit stands by Nordea, Beyond, No Fluff Jobs or DKMS (where one had chance to register to its database). Furthermore, we had Mercedes CLS 400d test drives available. Kinarps provided furniture for the Executive & Speakers Room Conlea Expert Corner. Thanks to our Partners this event reached even further!
Let’s get ready for Tomorrow in 2020
We can’t wait for IT Manager of Tomorrow 2020, which Krzysztof Kozakiewicz – president of Let’s Manage IT Foundation – has officially announced! We are preparing the next edition of conference that presents the future role of IT Manager. See you Tomorrow in 2020!
Bonus: The Chernobyl Effect vs Agile management
For those who know the HBO series and are familiar with some key elements of the 1986 tragedy we have a little bonus. The more our world relies on IT powered solutions, the more responsibility rests on how IT is being managed. We asked some of attendees what takeaways are there in this story, especially considering the IT managers.
How to avoid such disasters on small and large scale?
What skills and traits should a good leader have to lower the risk or negative impact?
What should people be reminded of to feel safe in their workplace?
Here are some of the responses:
- Trust your people.
- Care for training, knowledge and procedures.
- Remember you are not always right.
- Plan well and respond according to real environment.
- Feel safe to oppose.
- Never kill the messenger
- Avoid the culture of fear.
- Bear in mind the cost of risk.
- Control your ambition, arrogance and fear.
- Don’t exert or submit to influence, stress or time pressure.
Let Tomasz Pająk – one of speakers – sum it up: “If messengers are doomed, don’t expect that anyone will inform you about an incoming disaster. You’ll learn about an accident long after it happens and when it’s already too late to prevent it. Beware of culture of fear in your organization. Be more agile.”