Fun Sights and Thought Provoking Keynotes from ChannelCon


Following up on my earlier post, I want to share some of the fun sights from CompTIA ChannelCon as well as some thoughts on the excellent keynotes.  I will sprinkle some of the creative Austin inspired artwork that decorated the conference venue this week, throughout this post.

Todd Keynote

Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA’s CEO gave a very thought provoking keynote on the state of diversity in the IT industry.  CompTIA has two diversity focused member communities.  Advancing Women in IT (AWIT) and Advancing Diversity in IT (ADIT).  Both communities focus on diversity issues and helping companies create work environments inclusive of all people regardless of age, cultural background, physical abilities, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation.  It’s a noble undertaking with extensive industry support.

Todd concluded his keynote with 5 key takeaways for attendees to consider to help make diversity a part of your company’s DNA:

  1. Focus on unconscious bias.Artwork 1
    • Make the unconscious, conscious.
    • Start with a diverse slate.
    • Standardizing hiring procedures.
  2. Prioritize diversity/inclusion.
    • Approach it as a market issue.
    • Set measurable goals.
    • Put money where your mouth is.
  3. Fill your pipeline.
    • Start searches earlier to be proactive.
    • Recruit non-traditional candidates.
    • Make diversity part of your brand.
    • Partner with diversity groups.
  4. Examine your work culture.Artwork 3
    • Offer diversity training.
    • Nurture and mentor diverse staff.
    • Aim for an inclusive culture.
    • Recognize some need more help.
  5. Be a mentor and connect.
    • Use Twitter to explore differences.
    • Diversify your LinkedIn connections.
    • Be a mentor and get a mentor.

The other great keynote from this years ChannelCon was delivered by investor and entrepreneur Scott Belsky, the former founder of Behance.

Belsky Keynote.jpgScott talked about the need to overcome the reactionary workflow of today’s hyper connected world.  It was eye opening to hear him talk about plethora of platforms that alert us throughout the day of new messages demanding our attention.  The interruption to workflow is tremendous and the ability to tone the noise down is difficult at best.

Artwork 4Scott talked about needing to create a window of non-stimulation.  The amount of incoming information we have to process on a daily basis is overwhelming.  Our ability to remain productive in the face of this onslaught, is a challenge.  These windows of non-stimulation allow you time to read, think and just generally exercise your brain in a different way.

There were so many golden nuggets in Scott’s talk, it’s a bit hard to capture them all here.  That said, here are some bullets describing some of the more impactful ideas he shared:Artwork 5

  • Spend energy on how you organize your work.
  • Have a culture of capturing action.
  • Measure the value of a meeting by the action steps that result.
  • Share ideas liberally.
  • Fight your way to breakthroughs.
  • Don’t become burdened by consensus.
  • A good leader talks last.  Don’t take away the opportunity for others to be engaged.
  • Nothing extraordinary happens through ordinary means.

Taken all together, so powerful theme’s to excel in today’s business climate.

Artwork 2


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