Feedback and reflection from a participant
Antonia Adams, director of the Global Programme Group at Clifford Chance. The group comprises 25 project professionals who work with the firm's leadership to define and deliver the programmes and projects that support the Firm's strategy.
Antonia writes: Snoozing! Or Phubbing! (Just in case you had not heard, this word was coined by an advertising agency back in 2012 to describe the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone ... admit it, you have done it as well.) I would suggest these are two very likely outcomes to an evening lecture after a long day in the office and a long drive to an evening event.
So the complete lack of opportunity or inclination to snooze or phub was, in my view, one of the defining features of the APM Oxford Chapter event on stakeholder management and which made the event for this very new APM Member a thoroughly enjoyable, energising and educational event.
Three topics were covered during the event: Pinpoint facilitation, stakeholder analysis and communication styles. The traditional approach would be to roll them up at the front of the seated audience one at a time, let them talk for 20 minutes, and then perhaps have a panel discussion; but it was precisely by breaking with conventional wisdom that the organisers minimised the snooze or phub quotient.
I won't pretend that it was not disconcerting to enter a large room with three "stands", each consisting of notice boards and flip charts ... but no chairs! However, as soon as the format of the event was explained to us, I sensed the collective penny drop instantly. We were divided into three groups, and each group spent 20 minutes at each stand, first hearing about the topic from an experienced practitioner, and then executing a mini exercise to get the feel for how one would use the technique back in the office.
Masterly! I was already familiar with stakeholder analysis and communication styles, but the mini-exercises were a much-needed prod to use these techniques rather than leave them to gather dust on my mental shelf. I had never come across Pinpoint facilitation, an approach to running meetings or workshops that is far more likely to engage your attendees than the traditional round table method, and so this session was of particular interest to me, and I am looking forward to receiving the material from the event so that I can think about how to put this into practice.
In conclusion an intellectual pick-me-up at the end of the day ... that is how I will remember my first APM event. I look forward to many more to come.
The Oxford Chapter offer their thanks to Antonia for her considered summary of the event.