Inspiration April – Installment #3: Ignite

My third installment of Inspiration April was the inaugural Ignite in Vancouver. Ignite is similar to Pecha Kucha, except only 15 seconds per slide versus PK’s 20 seconds.

On to my experience:

Most of what I produce at work is 9/10th experiment, so I appreciate the kinks and bumps in a first time event. For an even better experience next time, I’d suggest brief introductions for each speaker to help them feel welcome and set the context for us. And if possible, it would be great to only use the Ignite logo slide once at the start of the night, instead of the required margin/footer throughout each presenters’ slide deck. (I can’t help it – it’s the Presentation Zenista in me.)

And my light bulbs:

1. Loved the reference to Ignite being like corporate karaoke. Definitely going to host a get-together with that moniker.

2. From @alywise and @nataliesisson, “governed by the rule of the spirit”. Applicable not just in social media but also in communities of professionals. I also loved the “have fun and be bold” message at the end. Reminded me of this Goethe quote: “What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

3. From the Ford Mustang launch (way back in the day), they held ”smile contests” of people sitting in the display Mustang showing off their pearly whites. I think there’s a way to engage customers in that sort of thing (maybe invite customers who wrote a kudo story in for a picture, then share the pictures with employees). From this Wharton article, putting a face to a name can motivate employees.

4. Also sparked from the Ford Mustang talk, and related to gnoming, it would be neat to create a movement where your company’s had it’s picture taken when employees went on vacation/conferences etc. Imagine an online gallery of photos from all over the world with said cultural artifact and smiling employees! And not just for the staff intranet – open it up to customers and look out you have a lovemark movement started.

5. From Patty K’s talk (the public speaker who went to a conference in her pyjamas), connecting Maslow’s need of belonging back to our caveman survival days. If we didn’t fit in we’d be tossed out of the cave as tiger-snacks. Interesting tension between that and the linchpin era.

6. From @brucenix, who talked about disruption and adoption in the movie industry, with a services page that could do double duty as non-bums-in-seats-user-enabled-learning within organizations. His very first item is “keyword research and tracking” – I’d love to chat with the learning department monitoring their staff intranet’s search history to look for opportunities. Or maybe I’m behind the times? Imagine… “so far this week there have been 75 searches for X; let’s create a main link on the homepage and also suggest resources Y, Z and G that would also be useful”. It’s like internal Google Adwords, but linked to helpful resources for employee productivity. Wowza!

7. From Garrett Wasny, who nudged me to better utilize Google Alerts.

8. From Eric Smith, who shared his four sales secrets. How about hosting a sales jam, where sales folks from your company are invited to give a 5 minute talk on their top sales tips? Webinar-it, podcast-em or do it the old fashioned way, but what a great way for employees to share their tips and techniques peer-to-peer.

9. From @shanegibson, who told the story about Blenz’ CEO and the Twitter-lengths he goes to for a wow customer experience. I think there are a ton of local business heroes passionate about customer service, and I’d love to create an internal event with them on the speaker line-up. We could get some great cross-pollination happening between industries. (Bonus tip – I hadn’t heard of backtweets – a must have for anyone monitoring their brand on Twitter.)

10. Special thanks to @davemacdonald and @finstoryteller to the great conversation throughout the evening (and book recommendations).

I’ll do my best to attend the next Ignite, slated for the end of June.

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