Life has been way to busy lately to get anything down but I thought I should finish up the post on how the whole IODA conference went. As the heading suggests I can humbly say we 'kicked butt'. We put in long hours, but everyone pulled through and for the most part everything went without a hitch....almost. As is usual with anything technological there are so many variables that it would be an absolute miracle were nothing to go wrong. Of course when something decide to decide to pack it in, it will undoubtedly be at the worst possible time. In our case it was Wed evening. Ron and I decided that we would head back to the youth hostel to get ready for the evening and leave Frank and Matt to hold down the Fort for a couple of hours. Unfortunately half an hour later everything stops working and they are left dealing with a room full of people trying to get on the net. We arrived about an hour later to help with the problem and after plugging, unplugging and swapping components and cables we narrowed it down to the little d-link switch. Essentially we were seeing the link flash amber. After swapping it out everything worked fin. To their credit Matt & Frank did find the problem but forgot one little detail which held them back...when going from a switch to a switch you need a crossover cable. The D-links have an automatic cross over port but the cisco switch they replaced it with does not. Just one of those well learned lessons. It was an awsome experience for all the students and a lesson you just couldn't reproduce in the classroom.
That was basically the only problem we had the whole week. Amazing really. I've never really heard of IODA or the field of organizational development, but this conference really opened my eyes to what they are all about. In a nutshell their goal is open communication channels and form better relationships within a company or community in order to make a happier and more productive work environment. A very honourable field and one that I whole heartedly support. In most conferences the IT department is seen but not heard, and when the conference hours are over they just disappear back into their holes. However these guys really walked the walk and included us in the whole conference. We were invited to all the events and enjoyed the French Canadian Night where we were welcomed as the official sponsors, the Western night on thursday and the final wind up on Friday. We met a lot of amazing people and were approached by numerous groups raving about the service we had provided. We really did do OC proud. Hopefully we'll be able to get this into the OC journal so people can really appreciate what we did. I also made some really good contacts with some Hungarians, Belgiums and a lady from Schlumbeger who were either consultants and trainers in OD or part of Human Resources. In fact our networking went well into the wee hours of the morning. Two nights of that and I can tell you that by Saturday and Sunday I was well and truly done for. The awesome outcome from this little party, and some later e-mail discussion, is that we are now all part of an IODA Practitioners Facebook group. I'm really looking forward to the future discussions as they are all a very enthusiastic group.
By Saturday morning it was just Trevor and Christiane left to Help Ron, Clinton and I. We stripped everything down in about 40mins and were on the road by about 10:30am. As is always the case after all these things it is a little surreal when it all ends. We must have run into the Belgium guys three difference times as we were leaving and each time involved a hug and a goodbye. I personally didn't go for the third one, but it was entertaining.
Clinton, Trevor and I unpacked everything and then made it home for some much needed rest! What a week.