Welcome to Camp, and Thanks for Attending
Yesterday we posted a lengthy blog on the subject of networking and a peculiar unconference focused on an alumni group.
Today, we’ll take a moment to focus on the networking and conference focused on a particular set of BPM practitioners – those that work at BP3, and a selection of our customers who came down to Austin to join us. Just last week we hosted our fifth “All Hands” meeting, and our second “BPMCAMP” meeting – but it was the first time we tried combining the two ideas into a single event.
Day Zero allowed BP3 to get some internal business out of the way – namely, a financial review, and rolling out an organizational change, as Rainer Ribback takes the reins of our BP Services delivery organization. We worked for years with Rainer at Lombardi, and we were thrilled to lure him back into BPM last year. Rainer shares our passion for consulting, for BPM, and for our customers, and has demonstrated that by helping major BPM programs launch successfully. The truest endorsement of Rainer is that both the technical team and the customer team appreciate his guidance and leadership.
At BP3 we don’t do promotions to reward people for doing a good job. Oh sure, you have to do a great job to get promoted – but that isn’t *why* we promote someone into a job like this. A more accurate way to understand the BP3 perspective is that we identified a clear organizational need and drafted the best person possible to own it. The role of execs at BP3 is to help clear the way for our customers and consultants to be successful. We look at management as a “leading by serving” function.
Days One and Two included our invite-only customers to the event. 10 customers were represented by 17 attendees. They joined in the sessions and sparked discussion, and I think they really appreciated the candor of our team’s conversations as well. When we plan the conference for next year, we’re going to try (again) to create more open time inbetween sessions to allow for more socialization and networking.
We walked away with a renewed appreciation for our customers and our team. And it was really gratifying to see the great relationships our team members and customers have and the mutual respect that was so evident. The networking between customers is just as valuable as the networking between customers and the BP3 team.
The value of an event like this isn’t in dollars and cents. And there’s no rule system or ROI calculation that says it is the right thing to do. Too often business gets reduced down to “what’s in it for me” and rules and procedures and automation and cost reduction. But building a business and working with customers is a human endeavor. An event like BPMCAMP is a reminder that we’re in this business to help these human customers to succeed. The fact that our customers were willing to drop what they were doing to be in Austin in August to share and learn together with us is a fantastic endorsement of the need for this human connection. I know that our customers left BPMCAMP more likely to succeed. And we left BPMCAMP understanding our customers a little bit better.
We’ll have more pictures and stories to share soon – but I want to just take a moment to thank a few people:
- Our leadership team for believing in this crazy idea that Andrew and I had for making our meeting a conference
- Our BP Services / field services team – for doing the hard work of BPM every day all over the country for our customers. They make it look easy but it isn’t!
- Our BP Labs team for supporting our team and our customers, and for writing the great products we get to deploy in our projects.
- Our Sales, Marketing, and Ops teams for great event support
- And finally, Red Velvet Events, for helping organize a great event for us at the Four Seasons.
It takes a lot of help and a lot of work to put on a great event. We’re going to raise the bar next year and do it again!