D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Rolling With the Punches

Monday, November 21, 2011 10:03 AM

So I’ve been tweeting the last little while “Rolling with the punches” and I’ve had some people ask me what that meant. Whether you’re running a conference (like I am this week), or a project, or a birthday party for a 2 year old, you need to be ready to handle those things that are unexpected. Risk mitigation can only go so far and its at those times that you need to become resourceful.

So let me tell you what the last few days have been like. Today is the first day of Prairie Dev Con Winnipeg, a conference that I run. On Friday I was informed that my keynote speaker had lost his voice, one of my speakers had a family emergency and had to back out, and I got a warning from another that he was travelling over the weekend and if there was a storm or something he may not be able to get back by Monday for his talk. A storm didn’t happen, but their car did break down and he was delayed.

Finally, Saturday night I took my printing order to Staples. It was at 5 and they closed at 6, and I had a bunch of surveys to be printed and cut. The girl working said that she’d have it ready by the next day (Sunday). Her intent was to come in the next morning and finish the job. Unfortunately, she had to be hospitalized that night and never made it into work…and never informed anyone of the remaining work. They found out at 3pm when I came to pick it up and there was no way they’d be able to cut everything in time.

So how did we roll with these punches?

- Miguel, my keynote speaker, was a trooper and was able to do the keynote but asked that his session get moved from Monday to Tuesday. This is why I wait until the last day before printing out schedules, they can change up to the event and even later.

- I was able to move some sessions around to accommodate my stranded speaker and fill the empty slot from the speaker that couldn’t make it.

- Staples was able to get me half the cut surveys so I took those and my wife will pick up the rest today. I altered how we’d collect session surveys, and actually I think it’ll work better.

So all of this is to say, plan but also plan for what you can’t plan for – there will be things that happen that blindside you, that you’re not sure how to handle or solve. Stop, take a deep breath, and don’t feel that you need to limit yourself to the boundaries that you initially set for yourself. Roll with the punch and learn from it so that you can avoid the blow next time.

Now, back to the conference!

D




Feedback

# re: Rolling With the Punches

"People plan while gods laugh" is what I live by :-)

Good post & good luck with the conference D'arcy and PrDC'ers! 11/21/2011 1:18 PM | Nathan B.

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