Mystery, Intrigue, Conspiracy, and Comedy…. All were present at the 2016 Berlin CWG Conference..
We will talk about all that in a minute or 2… I know you all care more about how the conference went than the strange tale of 2 tutus…
Sunday… How did I get the time wrong?? Meet & greet started at 18:00…. Somehow I got there at 19:00.. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the close availability of multiple good places to drink beer, nor the amount I consumed earlier in the day..… At any rate, the meet & greet was well attended. I think there were between 60-80 people there at one time or another…
Then came Monday.. Something interesting I noticed… The “old boys club” is becoming less and less… 12% of the attendees were women! 2 of the CWG director positions are women as well! These are great shifts in the CWG. We need to continue those shifts and begin another one…
Namely getting more younger people involved.. Lets face it, old dogs like me won’t be around much longer…Hence why Danielle is attending now.. All of you that are over 50 need to begin thinking about (and acting on) a transition strategy to the younger people in your organization who will keep the CWG going long after we retire..
We heard many of the same things we’ve heard before from SAP… Hybris and the SSC are gaining traction… Slowly it seems, but still gaining.. The majority of the audience is still LO-VC, but maybe that’s another shift that will occur as well..
Speaking of LO-VC… You really need to look at Dr. Petra Meyer’s presentation on S/4 HANA.. I’m not going to tell you why, but if you use LO-VC and have plans to go to S/4 HANA in the next few years, you owe it to your company to take a look!
I did not play the traditional version of “Beer or no beer” during the presentation Monday morning… Instead I made the mistake of challenging the audience to see how many of the 100 beers at the Mommseneck we could drink… Next thing I knew, there was a signup sheet with over 35 people on it…. Which turned into over 60 people wanting to go to the Mommseneck Tuesday night for dinner, drinks, conversation, and…… Something else… What is that old saying about “being the last to know”???
Somehow late Monday night I ended up in the hotel bar swapping stories with Marco Calcagno and a whole bunch of other folks..
It turns out that the conspiracy started there… See the shady characters at the far end of the table leaning against the wall?
You see, I told a story about a dare I had taken at work many years ago… Marco built on that story with some, shall we say, risqué thinking… Little did either of us know, as soon as that story was out of my mouth, the plotting began… It all started with an email… Which turned into a shopping trip and an exercise in creative thinking… But I retired from the bar early (around midnight) while certain other unnamed conspirators decided to close the bar down…. Plotting and planning all the while…
Tuesday had some interesting stuffl… My successor (Danielle Pretzer) gave her very first presentation at the CWG.. It was very well attended and received!! Look for more of Danielle and less of me in the coming years…
Wednesday was kind of a blur….. Somehow, I managed to get through my 2 presentations without messing up my co-presenter too much (my apologies Herve)… Why was Wednesday so blurry you might ask?
Well, Tuesday evening, after having dinner (and, of course, more than a couple of good German beers) the conspirators struck!!! Don't forget that guy smirking in the far corner, yeah the one getting his camera ready... :)
They called Marco and I in front of the group and out came the craft items…
The presentation of those craft items…
Notice I didn't spill my beer!!
And then the dancing started….
Of course, that lead to more good German beer and another round (or more) back at the hotel bar..
As you can tell, we had a lot of fun… And for those of you whose boss is reading this over their shoulder, yes, we got a lot of work done too.. You see, those nights in the bars actually create a lot of bonds and friendships that are leveraged for many years… I know that without the friendships I have formed in the bars over the years, I would never have gained as much knowledge of LO-VC as I have… Many of those same drinking buddies have helped me solve more than one or two problems over the years..
So the moral of this sordid tale is simple;
Work hard, but never forget networking… Make it fun and laugh… Especially at yourself… It will pay huge dividends in the long run…
Special thanks to Marco Calcagno for allowing me to share our story!
Photo and video credits to Stephan Reich
Primary conspirators (in no particular order, and a few probably left out);
- Brian Koslowski
- Danielle Pretzer
- Nicole Krull
- Ute Kurtz