Communities & Connections: My Users Conference Experience

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Getting ready to go out of town for a week can be a difficult proposition for a working mom. But as I reflect on the week at Users Conference, I realize it takes a village to make things happen both at home and at work.

On the home front, my village included:

  • My son’s teacher who I talked with about my absence to prep them for any changes in behavior during school so they could give my son a bit of grace while mom was away;
  • A fellow mom who helped cover to make sure supplies were kept refreshed for the art literacy program during my absence;
  • The neighbors who took turns taking my son to school every other morning while I was away;
  • My husband, who held down the fort while Mom was at work playing both roles shuttling kids to tae kwon do, fundraiser nights at the local restaurant, and acting in my place as the homework czar while I was away.

And, my work family is part of my village and many of my colleagues were there throughout the week to support me as we worked together in the Learning Lab. The clients I meet each year, not only teach me about how they use the products but we collaborate and brain storm on ways to continue to use technology to achieve their goals.

There were countless opportunities to witness that “village” mentality where our clients acted as part of each other’s village as well as part of mine:

  • Colleagues throughout the week helping each other answer technical questions, covering for each other as we attended the sessions outside the lab, and reaching out to our extended work family from Support, Implementation Services, etc. to make sure our clients had the information they needed to be successful;
  • Learning a new yoga stretch to help my ailing sciatic nerve from a client at a Christian university who visited me at the Learning Lab;
  • Fellow GreenLight users visited the Learning Lab, having met online in our LinkedIn GreenLight User’s Group, talking offline sharing insights and knowledge with each other, and together came to chat with our internal subject matter experts about additional questions in the Learning Lab.
  • At the Industry Trend Panel for Recruiting – Recruiting professionals discussing the use of social media tools, candidate pre screening questions and more; always willing to share insights and best practices with each other.
  • And Learning to play blackjack on Casino Night from the crew at a local research institution – everyone was cheerfully willing to help each other, support one another!

I realize now more than ever that I am never in this alone. This “village” concept is and always will be an ever expanding network of both personal and professional resources that help support each other to make it all happen. Our village continues to grow by reaching out to each other, those near and far, and now that I am home, I realize I have expanded my village and feel like I have even more resources at the ready to help when the time requires.

As Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” And for me, a heartfelt THANK YOU to those that helped make it all work last week. I hope in some small way I too was able to do my part to be part of our clients village of resources. Hope to see you next year at Users’ Conference!

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