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Taluncon Recap

(February 20, 2007)
It's been a month since the bright minds converged on the EA campus for the 1st Talent Unconference. The videos of the outbriefings are now available on YouTube. Neal Bruce (Monster's alliance monger) left the best set of suggestions until last.

The question is "Did it matter?"

Of course, it was delicious to see old friends and spend time with new ones. It was fun to hang around the halls of Electronic Arts. It was interesting to see the whole tribe gathered together for the first time.

It was a good move in the right direction. But, what does it take to really make a difference? And, is a difference important?

The Talent Unconference underlined a difficult problem in the Employment Marketplace. Most of the solutions currently being offered (both as concepts and as products) solve yesterday's problems. The world really has changed and our employment practices and visions of work have not kept pace.

In more traditional conference settings, where product and service providers foot the majority of the bill, it's neither proper nor feasible to rearrange the mindset of the industry. Those services appeal to the intersection of clients and service providers. The economics of the conference business require that the events company turn a blind eye to bias.

It's not that we need some sort of non-commercial entity to promote next generation thinking. Far from it. Rather, we need a real conversation between the subsets of the industry in order to move our ability to solve the right problems forward. We need a way to find new tools for solving the old problems.

The dialog is beginning to take shape. The impact of time on the blogging community has been to strengthen the substance of the blogs. More frequently, blog publishing demands that something important be discussed. Authentic and interesting voices are coming to the surface.

The Talent Unconference was a powerful and important step in the right direction. The next moves are in our hands now. EA won't buy the industry an entire free lunch. Rather, they've given us a gentle nudge in the right direction. Let's watch for the follow up.



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