TelecomONE – Warkworth, October 3-5, 2008

Telecom One InnovationThe last three days were invigorating, exhausting and challenging all at the same time. After 8 months of organisation, seeking permission (or forgiveness) and juggling schedules, a group of motivated individuals converged on Mahurangi College in Warkworth about an hour out of Auckland, New Zealand.
The attendees were from across the spectrum of Telecoms business units – along with some incredibly smart external folk, all ready to take part in the inaugural, corporate equivalent of the Kiwi Foo camp which has taken place at the same venues for the past two years. TelecomONE is an an ‘unconference’ hosted by Telecom to get people from within (and without) the business into one space and discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for the business, and what we could do about them.

After attending the second Auckland Barcamp, and being enthused by the open thinking on display there, I was very much looking forward to seeing how people from inside our business would react in a similar environment. I must say I was pleasantly surprised, the sessions were filled within the first 7 minutes of the board being opened and within 15 minutes the shuffling and merging of similar sessions was complete.

Over the course of the weekend I was fortunate to facilitate three or four sessions (one of which will result in me completing a post that I’ve been sitting on for about 4 months). Largely, these unconferences are bound by a FrieNDA to protect the discussions and create an environment of openness so I’m not planning to go into any details short of commenting that it was a brilliant event, it has restored my faith in the desire of our people to make a difference, and has given some non-Telecom folk a real shock that behind the faceless giant beats the hearts of a number of motivated, smart people who want to get things done.

Edit: A number of other attendees have also written about the event and you can see their impressions here, here, here, here, and here. Follow the Tweets here and checkout the photos here.