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Friday, September 22, 2017

Lean Quote: Why Attend a Conference?

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"For me, conferences are like little mental vacations: a chance to go visit an interesting place for a couple of days, and come back rested and refreshed with new ideas and perspectives." — Erin McKean

This past week I spent time at the Northeast Lean Conference. Conferences serve as a great environment to learn more about content specific to your industry, product/services, industry trends and networking with other business owners.

Here are a few reasons you should go to conferences:
  1. You will Learn – If you want to be a leader in your industry you must always be learning new skills. Even if you think you are a master of your trade, there is always someone else that knows more. What better way to learn than from those who know first hand. Perhaps it is not your business idol that is the main speaker at the conference; you never know who you might run across that will teach you.
  2. Energy and Enthusiasm – So you go to a conference, there is a bunch of ‘rah rah’ cheerleader excitement. When you get home, usually the hangover wears off, and you crawl back into your normal life right? Being around like-minded people can excite you and get you ready to take on the world. However, it is up to you to carry that energy on with you after the conference.
  3. Investing in Yourself – It does not matter what kind of conference it is, there are always takeaways.The educational aspect of a conference can expose you to new ways of conducting your business and help you discover how to be more productive. By adding tools to the toolbox, you are better prepared for the unexpected.
  4. Network and Meet People - A big reason for going to conferences is to meet with like-minded people and industry peers. Conferences bring together people from all different geographical areas who share a common discipline or field, and they are a great way to meet new people in your field. At a conference you will be able to get together with people from a wide range of backgrounds, of whom you may not encounter at your home workplace or institution.

So why attend conferences? We each have our own reasons for attending but my personal opinion is that conference attendance dramatically enhances both your professional and personal development, as well as providing you with tools and skills which you cannot be taught in-house or online. 

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