Following an earlier APM event held in Exeter (Avoiding conflict before it arises) several of us met on 7 September 2017 and chatted about the possibility of trying out a different, more informal type of event. Although APM regularly hosts talks, usually in Bristol and Plymouth, that do allow for networking opportunities we felt that an alternative format and venue could attract a different audience with more space for interaction.
On the evening five attendees out of the twelve who had expressed an interest in the event attended. In some ways it was a luxury not to have a large group to manage while we were exploring this format. Our conversation started with the perennial favourite topic of how to get things done through others using the TED video “Stop trying to motivate your employees” as a conversation starter. The basic message behind this video is that everyone is already motivated, the trick is to identify whether someone is motivated by seeking pleasure or avoiding pain - this distinction affects whether they will be more interested in avoiding problems or creating new opportunities. Research has shown that the most effective individuals can flip backwards and forwards between these two mindsets. From there the conversation covered team working, how much we all tailor Prince on our own projects, the pros and cons of managing remote teams, team building, project management training, the marshmallow game and behaviour nudging, a technique that the UK government are using to influence the public’s behaviour on health campaigns, public giving etc. (This group have even considered how biases affect project planning and delivery decisions which could be a discussion topic for a future meeting).
Those who attended the evening enjoyed it and were keen for it to happen again. There was a feeling that many of the events in the South West are in Bristol or Plymouth so it was good to have something “more central”. It’s interesting to note that even though LinkedIn and Twitter were given as a means of confirming attendance the majority of responses were still via the APM attendance form which suggests that we still have a reliance on the tried and tested methods. We are certainly prepared to host a similar event in the near future.