As the smell of whisky and (imagined) cigars dissipates, and the buzz from the day ebbs in our memories, we can reflect on another Total Synergy national client conference.
The aim each year is to help our clients’ businesses and teams think about how technology enables better business, and apply new knowledge for continued, meaningful progress.
To that end, we share stories and talks from our team, Synergy users, and keynote speakers with complementary topics.
The Synergy team focuses on what we’ve learned in our own business, and how you can use Synergy more effectively in yours. This year CEO Scott Osborne* talked about the need to continually change to avoid the death knell of inertia. He highlighted how it's essential to have the right team structure to focus on immediate, medium-term, and long-term objectives, and the need for continual analysis of your business environment. Also that successful businesses survive and thrive with regular, considered adjustments, and that a CEO or senior manager can’t know it all, and must look at specialist capabilities when needed.
Melanie Bunting looked back at the last 12 months of Synergy version 4. Damiaan van Zanen* talked about the value of relational data and how Synergy, with other systems, can be used for business decisions, not just projects. Tom Dass analysed tales from the helpdesk and provided lots of tips and tricks on how to overcome hurdles in Synergy. Anne Thompson showed how to deconstruct projects and reconstruct them for improved measurement and reporting. Jamie Millar* talked about the importance of employees as an audience, and how good internal communications and employee relations leads to loyal clients and business growth.
We’re always humbled by the enthusiasm and commitment our client presenters throw into their talks (and the bravery of taking a deep breath and putting themselves up on stage). This year was no exception with Leanne Conley* (Conrad Gargett), Rachel Titlow (Planpac Group) and Rodney Drayton* (NBRS Architecture). And let’s not forget Synergy conference stage regular Andrew Derbidge (Partridge), who deftly facilitated the conversation with Rodney, adding his own point of view (and an irresistible dad joke, or two…).
Rodney and Andrew's conversation was a new format for the conference. It was designed to raise a conversation with you — our conference attendees — and in the industry more broadly, and it certainly did that. (The whisky was a nice touch — thanks, Andrew! — the cigars and smoking jackets were imaginary.)
Finally, our two keynote presenters — Cat Matson and Peter Berner — hit the mark with topics touching areas that affect us all.
City of Brisbane chief digital officer Cat Matson* gave us insight into what goes into building smart, connected cities. It’s not about technology, devices and apps, it’s about people. The question is how technology can bring us closer, as people, within our cities, to be more connected and enabled as communities.
Peter Berner’s* hilarious talk focused on how we all have creativity within us, and that by disconnecting from our always-on devices, grabbing our 68c technology (the original selfie stick — a pencil), we can sketch, ‘make a mark’, and rediscover the ability to be bored, contemplate, and connect our thoughts through the simple act of sketching.
Another new element this year — an experiment — was lunchtime discussion topics. Aside from the less-than-perfect acoustics, these seemed to go well... We would definitely like to get some feedback on the value of this type of discussion so we can aim to make them work better in the future. Over to you.
All-in-all, it was a huge day of original, relevant, insightful and objective talks, and an unrivalled opportunity to meet and share with your industry colleagues.
Once we’ve processed your feedback (your feedback is REALLY important), we’ll look at where we go from here in years to come.
From the whole team here at Synergy Towers, thank you to all our clients for coming to the conference, sharing your thoughts and experiences, and for your continued support.
*Videos are password protected for conference attendees only. They will be publicly available from 1 June 2017.