Interesting that when we think of the word “provoke”, we often think of the negative definition of the word as in “deliberately make (someone) annoyed or angry”.
And yet, “provoking thought”, or the commonly used term “thought-provoking” causes us to think of the positive definition – “contains interesting ideas that make people think seriously”.
I traveled to a new destination and attended a summit for two days this week that was very thought-provoking. A room full of CIOs discussing areas of opportunity and areas of concern, in a safe environment where we could learn and question and share. And for a person like me who is an introvert by nature, there is the added challenge of consciously putting myself into a situation where the value I get will be dependent on actively approaching people I never met before. I agreed to participate in a ‘meet the press’ style presentation on stage to ensure I wouldn’t back out of attending. There was nothing to gain except knowledge and nothing to lose except time.
Topics included digital disruption, cyber-security, vendor management, IT talent, AI and machine learning, and agility.
I came away with interesting ideas, serious thoughts, and some new professional connections. I met CIOs from companies across the country who I wouldn’t have run into if I hadn’t taken the time and pushed myself to attend and interact. I was inspired by the conversations and by the expertise in the room. So, I guess there was nothing to lose after all.