Lethal Reception in Italy
I just spent three great days promoting Lethal Generosity in Milan. It has been a remarkable experience in many ways. As the guest of Joakim Lundquist whose agency consults some of the largest and most powerful B2B enterprises in Italy, I have been speaking to corporate communications executives at his Agency’s Digital Communications Seminar. I have also addressed groups at Telecom Italia, the largest phone company and Eni, one of the world’s largest energy companies.
These are very different venues from some of my older stomping grounds like, SWSX, Les Web, Hubspot Inbound or the Web Summits of Dublin or Telstra in Australia. I have had to step out of my usual comfort zone of addressing tech-centric audiences and Millennials who like to hear my arguments on why the future of the planet depends on what they do. My audiences did not include people who have become my friends on social networks as so often has been the case. It has made speaking easier because I so often met old social media friends for the first time.
I was apprehensive about this trip, about speaking to audiences that I feared would be sitting with arms folded in front of me speaking about changes and practices and people that interested them very little because they were determined to keep doing whatever it is they have always been doing.
I have been surprised and heartened by a most enthusiastic reception. It was among the best I have received i the course of my 12 year saga since I started writing and speaking about technology’s impact on business and life.
It took me a few days to understand that Lundquist brought me to Italy as part of his long-term vision and strategy for modernizing business practices at Italian enterprises. He has been pushing a very large rock up a very big hill in the hope of making enterprises here more transparent, more sustainable and more agile through the use of contextual technologies such as social media, mobile and data.
Some of the people who have contracted his communications agency are enterprise executive change agents. Mms to have been to open the eyes and minds of corporate communications managers. How much have I helped? That remains to be seen. i am not so naive or arrogant as to believe a few words about me and my books will cause people who heard me to wake up tomorrow and start doing things differently than they did yesterday. But I do feel that a few seeds have been planted and some little changes may come that will eventually bring about longer and more significant changes.
I would like to think I helped some people to see fuzzy pictures more clearly. This will be encouraged I believe, by a few amazing change agents who are attempting to steer old ships in new directions. They have demonstrated to me a passion for making corporate communications practices more conversational, sustainable,and customer-centric.
For me, that’s about as good as it gets.