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10 Words of Wisdom for consultants

16 Oct

I would like to share some words of wisdom I got from fellows consultants… an amazing group of folks, in fact.

discover the location and you might win a special prize!

a beautiful place

The occasion has been a camp I attended this summer, a great professional and human experience organized by Graham Oakes. Set in a beautiful location, in that relaxed context I enjoyed every talk, every discussion and every shared thought. There, I learned powerful communication techniques, interesting tools to facilitate and analyse relationships and better face changes. I have been initiated to System Thinking, Psychology and much more, but the best part of the camp was the people and their willingness to share their personal intimate wisdom. I picked up my favorite 10, here they are:

be patient

as perseverance, calm and balance.

listen to your body

in the physical sense and also as intuition (sometimes gut feeling is a good approximation)

challenge your assumptions, always

it is hard, yes, but worth it, and the world is not in black and white but infinite shades of grey

sympathy

participation, understanding and compassion

it’s a sales job

remove useless modesty, be real and understand that sales is part of your job

authenticity

not in contrast with the above, if you are willing to take the path of the uber-consultant

get a two years “travel around the world” experience

ideally early in the career, who dares not agree with this one?

have always many options open

and do act. Options are one of the most valuable asset of a consultant.

ask powerful questions

I’ve always loved the idea that questions are sometime more important than answers.

be so good they can’t ignore you

ok, this was from me, also mentioned in an older post :-)

A final though: there is so much wisdom is simple words as authenticity, that a lifetime is often not enough to reach it. Thanks folks!

Inspiration and disillusion at Better Software, Firenze 2010

24 May

Better Software is a great italian conference at its second editon now. Better Software is about software development and project management, web and mobile, agile, startups, open source and making better software in general; it is an event Italy really needed, in fact.

At the conference, that gathered more than 350 people this year, I presented a different approach in web project management on an early-morning talk: Unconventional tools and tecniques for project managers.

The talk comes maily from some experiences in managing international projects, where we (myself and the Team, of course) have focused on getting more effective in improving overall quality also by adopting this less formal but more
powerful approach: creativity.
Slides
are available on Slideshare (www.slideshare.net/francescociriaci/unconventional-tools-and-tecniques-for-project-managers).

Beside my talk I’d like to share my personal notes and opinions on the event itself: first of all it has been inspiring!

There are talents in Italy, incredible persons.just a banner: Be so good they can't ignore you

I really enjoyed and got inpired by Leandro (leeander.com) both from  stage and after (chatting about startups and self-tracking) and Giacomo Guillizzoni (www.balsamiq.com) which has deeply inspired almost all participants to the conference: the hint? “Be so good they can’t ignore you“. Morever he gave on stage one of the best representations of an “overnight success after ten years”.

Ciccarelli (working at the www.densitydesign.org) showing horribly wrong dashboards and giving great hints on data visualization, Andrea Provaglio (andreaprovaglio.com) on systemic approach to the organization and Andrea Santagata (www.banzai.it) on statups in Italy.

Content-wise I really appreciated Luca Mascaro (www.lucamascaro.info) on UX Agile Design (whose workshop I attended last year), Alberto Brandolini (ziobrando.blogspot.com) especially on the part on education and, last but not least, Fabio Castronuovo, not only for some great new elements for project management but also for the insight on Jazz :-)

And of course I need to thank all friends (including the incredible Develer Team, the organizer of the conference), colleagues and new great new people I met at the conference!

Then came also disillusion.

Francesco Cirillo (www.metodiagili.it) gave me the hint and I realized (again?) that in Italy there is still very little knowledge of agile, very little interest for quality in software, especially in web software, and I’m afraid also very little attention to UX. There are incredible persons in Italy and a widespread mediocrity.

Moreover: Leandro and other “veterans” confirmed that NO, I can’t make such a startup as Miomood in Italy (in Italian: noncelapossofarcela!). Let’s say that the probability lowers from 1:50.000 to 1:1.000.000.

It’s time to take some more risk…

Pagella del Web2.0 in Italia – Maggio 2009

14 May

La settimana scorsa sono stato a Better Software, prima edizione di una conferenza che in Italia veramente mancava.

I temi principali: progettazione agile, open source, web2.0

Il talk che mi ha colpito maggiormente: Interaction Design e Analisi dei Social Network di Davide Casali e Gianandrea Giacoma

Voglio ringraziare qui gli organizzatori per l’ottimo lavoro, in particolare Simone, Giovanni e Francesco, per la dedizione e l’energia che hanno messo in questa impresa!

La conferenza è stata l’occasione di fare un po’ il punto della situazione sullo stato del web/web2.0 in Italia. Da cui l’idea di una pagellina semiseria che, in base a criteri assolutamente arbitrari, cerca di riportare in modo sintetico il giudizio medio che possiamo pensare di dare al nostro paese.

Nota: i voti, come nelle antiche pagelle, vanno da 1 a 10.
 

Pagella del Web2.0 in Italia – Maggio 2009

Criterio di valutazione Voto Commento Trend
Diffusione Enterprise 2.0 4 Interessanti presentazioni e discussioni, ma ben pochi casi di successo. Il rapporto “L’Enterprise 2.0 al tempo della crisi: la concretezza di chi osa” uscito da poco. in crescita, con moderazione
Diffusione social network 6 In crescita, ma per la maggior parte ancora legata all’esplosione di Facebook in Italia crescita buona
Capacità di web-marketing 3 Poche le aziende specializzate, pochi veri esperti, a detta di chi era presente alla conferenza. Questa offerta ridotta va insieme ad un ridottissimo investimento in web delle aziende. in crescita, notevolmente inferiore a quella di altri paesi
Volume Web advertising 4 Roberto Ghislandi, nella sua ottima introduzione al marketing nel mondo web2.0, presenta numeri aggiornati sui nostri investimenti in advertising online: investimenti semplicemente ridicoli. crescita di molto inferiore a quella di altri paesi
Volume e-commerce 5 Sempre Roberto Ghislandi ne parla nel suo talk. Discussioni successive, ma lo sappiamo siamo molto indietro. crescita, notevolmente inferiore a quella di altri paesi
Idee e progettualità web2.0 7 A better software si è ritrovata una piccola rete di persone, aziende, progettualità. Molte idee, ma ancora limitate ambizioni di trasformarle in business su vasta scala. in crescita
Business Angels & Venture Capital 4 Esperienze dirette e indirette riportate durante la conferenze; il consiglio di quasi tutti è: “meglio se vai in Silicon Valley a cercare, anzi, forse è l’unica soluzione”. leggera crescita
Capacità di sviluppo tecnico 7 La comunità italiana degli sviluppatori, project manager, designer, information architect, ed esperti web è piccola ma molto attiva. Speriamo non emigrino tutti. stabile
Legislazione e giurisprudenza 3 Elvira Berlingeri ha fornito un quadro molto completo e non proprio positivo della situazione italiana per quanto riguarda i rapporti tra legislazione e giurisprudenza e il web. stabile

Valutazione complessiva Voto 5

La media, in verità sarebbe più vicina al  4 e mezzo, ma, come a scuola, prendiamolo come voto di incoraggiamento.

Consiglio vivamente a tutti gli interessati di questi temi di scaricare dal sito di Better Software le slide messe a disposizione dai diversi relatori. Tutte le presentazioni che ho potuto vedere sono state veramente buone, ben preparate e molto chiare.

Speriamo che l’anno prossimo l’Italia arrivi almeno alla sufficienza!

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