Help, I've been "seminared"!

I love that term, "seminared," for that heady rush you get when you come back from a conference all stuffed with great ideas that will change everything for the better. Kathi Edwards has a couple of posts (here and here) on the ASAE Great Ideas Conference Blog about the seminared syndrome—and why all those great ideas so seldom translate into change in the workplace. Some advice she offers, culled from a discussion held at the Great Ideas Café on Sunday:

    People approach “great ideas” from their own frame of reference, and without a common context in which to evaluate the ideas, those ideas can die on the vine. Wow. Seems simple, doesn’t it? Yet if we who attend the conference go back and tell co-workers, “Here’s a great idea we should try!” without being sensitive to the need to build that context, we run the risk that the idea will be shot down or, worse, ignored. Far better to take a little time to think through the idea, consider the challenge or issue in the organization it addresses, and then initiate conversation that gets people to talk about the possibilities the idea represents for them and for the organization. A key part of success: let go of the idea as “yours,” and put it out there for consideration.

Excellent advice. Another big problem for me is that, once I get snowed under all the stuff that awaits my return, the enthusiasm cools and I basically forget to even try to implement the changes. Then a few months later, I forget that I had even learned something I wanted to try. One thing Kathi says has worked for her in the past was having a bunch of people from the office attend the same sessions, so everyone comes back fired up. That'd be great, but it's not too practical for offices with limited travel/conference budgets (which is pretty much everyone I know). If anyone has other ideas on how to stay fired up enough to make change happen once the conference glow wears off, I'd love to hear them. My e-mail, as always, is here, or you can drop a comment below.

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