This week I have learned:

  • bringing people together is wonderful. We’ve had a couple of days at a CenterParcs with 200 colleagues brought together from across the planet. It’s been great to catch up with people who I’ve got to know over the last year since starting at Equal Experts, and to meet many more that I’ve not seen before.
  • the organisation involved in delivering a meet up at this scale is huge. Many organisations simply don’t bother, but as we continue in the remote/hybrid/global model of working, intentional time together needs to be exactly that – intentional and designed, but with the space to go off-piste.
  • being in person with that many people, though, is exhausting. Really enjoyable but exhausting. Do extroverts find it so tiring?
  • I’m increasingly sceptical of the drivers behind the currently hyped wave of AI. If you look at the big tech players Microsoft, Amazon and Google, then they have all staked a claim to their future revenue on selling compute power. AI uses a lot of compute power. Ergo…
  • I’m also wondering why if the biggest inhibitor to technology change is people how AI is going to be any different? Crikey, businesses still haven’t worked out how to get value from ERP systems and I’m expected to believe that AI will transform businesses as we are well into the third decade of Digital Transformation.
  • Don’t get me wrong – it’ll be useful for lots of things. I just don’t believe the hype that we are seeing at the moment. This is a much-amplified phase.
  • This article about comments from OpenAI’s Sam Altman really triggered me. He claims that the “experiment” of remote working is over and that the problem is that the technology isn’t good enough. I simply don’t buy it. There are enough globally distributed businesses to show that remote working can work. And has done for years. The issue isn’t the technology – it’s how people decide to use the technology, and that in turn is a sum of attitudes, trust, behaviours, culture, language and more.
  • I also find the idea that the “office” – which is still essentially untouched in layout since Victorian times – is a perfect thing. The average open-plan office is bad for individual working, bad for individuals to dial into online meetings, and bad for collaborating with others. Things need radically rethinking, but when the lease comes up for renewal, how many CFOs are going to buy into the value of “the watercooler”.
  • Save your pennies and take your business to CenterParcs instead, maybe?
  • There are further developments with The PlayCards. Keep track here.
  • I’m very pleased that all the Royal nonsense is over with for the time being. Bring on Eurovision and the downfall of this awful government.

Next week: More conference (but this time in a hotel in London)

The week in photos:

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