This month I wrote a feature for the Financial Mail entitled, Escape the Everyday. In it I speak to the idea of escaping the routine we tend to find (and put) ourselves in and to go engage with the outside world. We can do this locally or abroad through travel, attending conferences and as well as short periods of remote working.
I propose that changing your pattern and ‘escaping’ provides novel context for your work, allows you to develop original and creative ideas, to meet new people, gain a perspective from people not traditionally in your circle of interaction and importantly gain relevance. For me this is valuable as we find ourselves at the tip of Africa globally connected, but geographically isolated with a first-world mindset in a mixed first/third world developing economy.
I’ve been giving this a go most recently through conferencing. Last month I attended ShopTalk, a retail conference in Copenhagen with this aim to learn, gain context on global retail thought and place myself in a different space to develop new ideas and perspectives. This month I’ll attend BCX Disrupt, a technology focused conference in Johannesburg. I’m intrigued to unpack what disrupt means in the context of South Africa, learn how to build sustainable competencies in a disruptive world (a session at the conference) as well as to hear how thoughts of speakers like Malcom Gladwell and will.i.am can be applied to South Africa. Furthermore, this gives me an opportunity to compare local and international conferences.
I encourage you to take a read through the article and BCX Disrupt links to consider what elements may be of interest and relevance to you – all with the aim to be a better business leader, and person in general. In part two or this post I’ll feedback on some learnings as well as provide a comparison of attending a local vs. international conference.