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Retrospective PM Conference Article - Monika Keller

Author: Joanna Lubowiecka, PMP

Joanna Lubowiecka

 

Get to know your saboteur and explore how to handle them in your everyday PM challenges by Monika Keller 

Monika kicked off the session by sharing her experiences in a toxic work environment. She described the frustration and overwhelm she felt during work tasks, unsure of the source until a crucial conversation with her manager. The manager's questions revealed Monika's self-imposed pressure and responsibility, leading to the realization that she was contributing to the toxic atmosphere.

 

MK001

This led Monika to advocate for herself, adopting a smarter approach to work. This set the stage for discussing inner saboteurs, illustrated with examples of inefficient work practices like participation in unproductive meetings and self-sabotaging behaviors like procrastination or employee energy waste. 

 

Monika emphasized that, in most cases, we sabotage ourselves, others, and our circumstances. She introduced saboteurs—inner voices with predominantly negative impacts on our mindset but also work environment and decisions.

These include the Controller, Avoider, Hyper-Vigilant, Pleaser, Victim, Restless, Stickler, Hyper-Rational, and Hyper-Achiever.

MK002

 

A poll allowed us to identify our saboteurs, leading to insightful discussions with the participants. Results showed each person had at least one, often a combination. Personally, I recognized traits of both the Avoider and the Hyper-Achiever - avoiding unnecessary conflicts while never fully satisfied with achievements.

An important question was asked: when does the impact of these Saboteurs become a concern for us? The answer lies within: it becomes problematic only when you start feeling discontent and uncomfortable in your current situation. This statement is crucial because, as individuals, we have different limits and perspectives.

Monika guided us through exercises to manage negative emotions at work, demonstrating how to regain clarity of mind in two minutes. She introduced thinking and speaking like a Sage, regardless of your current role.

The five strengths of a Sage - Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, and Activate - were presented as crucial for effective leadership and building the balanced and respectful work environment. 

To learn more about inner Saboteurs, how to approach different situations and act as a Sage, you can visit Monikas website www.3c-keller.com and dive into the Mental Program she conducts. 

Interview with Marco Singarella and David Puippe: Leads of the 12th PMI Conference in Basel

Authors: Marco Singarella, and David Puippe, PMP

Marco SingarellaDavid Puippe

Interview with Marco Singarella and David Puippe: Leads of the 12th PM Conference in Basel

Joanna: Good day, Marco and David. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today about the upcoming 12th PM Conference in Basel. Could you tell us more about the theme for this year's conference and what attendees can expect?

Marco: Of course, thank you for having us. This year, our conference theme is "INNOVATIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT: POWER SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE." We believe that in today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, project managers are facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. We want to equip our attendees with the power skills necessary to not only survive but thrive in this changing environment.

David: That's right. With the advent of technologies like ChatGPT and AI, project management is undergoing a significant transformation. We want our attendees to mark their calendars for the 18th of October and join us at the Roche Conference Venue in Basel/Kaiseraugst for a day filled with insights, best practices, and networking opportunities. We believe that exchanging best practices offers learning opportunities.

 

conference

Archive photo: 11th PM conference 2022 in Zurich

Joanna: It sounds like a compelling theme. Can you tell us more about the challenges and perspectives that will be discussed at the conference?

Marco: Absolutely. We've invited over 20 project management specialists who will delve into the challenges and perspectives facing project managers today. From navigating the complexities of new technologies to adapting to agile methodologies and ensuring effective risk management, our speakers will provide valuable insights that attendees can apply in their work.

David: Additionally, we'll explore how to harness the power of innovation and emerging technologies to drive successful projects. It's an exciting time in the field of project management, and we want to ensure that our attendees are well-prepared for the future.

 

Joanna: That sounds like a comprehensive lineup. Can you highlight some of the key takeaways attendees can expect from the conference?

Marco: Certainly. Attendees can expect to gain insights into the latest trends that will take their project management skills to the next level. They will have the chance to network with fellow speakers, like-minded professionals, and potential collaborators, expanding their professional network. In addition, this year we put in place a closed LinkedIn group, where people can network prior, during and after the event. Let’s face it, people also join such event to network and generate new business opportunities. We want to provide them this possibility as soon as they register, so that they can plan and prepare any 1 to 1meetings they wish to have with other participants.

David: During the conference, renowned experts in project management will share their knowledge and experiences, providing valuable insights that attendees can apply in their roles. We're also offering hands-on workshops that will enhance practical skills in project planning, risk management, agile methodologies, and more.

 

Joanna: It sounds like there's something for everyone, whether they're seasoned project managers or just starting their careers in project management. How do you see this conference benefiting attendees?

Marco: That's exactly right. We've designed this conference to cater to the diverse needs of project managers at all career stages. Whether you're an experienced professional looking to stay at the forefront of industry trends or a newcomer eager to learn the fundamentals, you'll find valuable content and opportunities to connect with the project management community. I also want to stress that this event is not only for project managers but really for any individuals willing to lead and make things happen. 

David: The knowledge and skills attendees acquire at this conference will not only help them excel in their current roles but also prepare them for the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the world of project management.

 

Joanna: Thank you both for providing insights into what promises to be an enriching event. We wish you the best of luck with the 12th PMI Conference in Basel, and we hope it's a resounding success.

Marco and David: Thank you! We are both looking forward to welcoming attendees and believe it will be an exceptional conference. See you in Basel on the 18th of October.

 

Connect with our interviewees

David Puippe https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidpuippe/

Marco Singarella https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcosingarella/

Transformative Changes of Our Time: Parallels with the Past and the Road Ahead

Author: Annar Merirand

Annar Merrirand

Transformative Changes of Our Time: Parallels with the Past and the Road Ahead

 

Annar Merirand:

Esteemed speaker at the forthcoming 12th PM conference share his insights on Transformative Changes of Our Time, from the digital revolution to the changing nature of work, Mr. Merirand's presentation promises to shed light on the most critical challenges and opportunities that project managers face in the 21st century.

Introduction:

The historical backdrop of the two world wars and the Great Depression serves as a stark reminder of the profound impact that economic and political shocks, when combined, can have on a global scale. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the intriguing parallels between that era and the transformative changes we are currently witnessing. Today, our world is in the throes of profound shifts, primarily driven by the end of globalization as we know it and the imminent wave of technological advancements.  

Globalization's Shift Towards Regionalization  

For nearly eight decades, the Bretton Woods system has been the bedrock of international trade, ensuring the safety of global commerce through the dominance of the US dollar as the single global reserve currency.

However, it's increasingly evident that this arrangement no longer aligns with America's interests and is gradually being dismantled. Recent developments such as the signing of NAFTA 2, the emergence of the BRICS movement, and initiatives like the 3-Seas Initiative signal the rise of regional and political blocs aimed at trade and mutual defense. These developments foreshadow significant changes in the global economic landscape.  

The Next Industrial Age  

We stand at the threshold of yet another industrial revolution, one that will be defined by advanced technologies reshaping the way we work and live. The fusion of advanced machine learning with more efficient manufacturing processes, precision farming techniques, and cutting-edge energy technologies is poised to usher in this new era.

Anticipated Transformations:  

Transportation: Self-driving trucks, operating in convoys between harbors, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers, are on the horizon. Companies like Daimler (Waymo) and Tesla have conducted extensive testing. While this promises increased efficiency, it also raises questions about job displacement.  

Precision Farming: Precision farming will revolutionize food production, reducing inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides while increasing crop yields. Although this won't affect many jobs in wealthier regions, it may disrupt industries elsewhere.  

Office Automation: Automation will streamline repetitive office tasks in various fields, making these roles more efficient. This won't necessarily eliminate jobs outright but could reshape job requirements.  

Robotics and Industrial Automation: Continued advancements in robotics and industrial automation will reduce reliance on manual labor while increasing the demand for engineers and technicians.

As with previous transformative changes, new and better-paid jobs will emerge. However, the critical question is whether the majority of the population can acquire the skills required to secure these jobs.  

Challenges and Concerns  

Embracing these technological advancements is not without its challenges. Large Language Models, for instance, have enabled malicious activities, raising concerns about misinformation and manipulation. Furthermore, advancements in image and speech synthesis blur the line between AI-generated and real content, posing questions about the integrity of democratic elections. The dismantling of the Bretton Woods agreement will disrupt supply chains and may spark multiple conflicts. These challenges set the stage for the complex landscape ahead.   

Finding the Light  

History has shown that we emerged from the crises of the 1930s and 1940s as a more resilient civilization. Life expectancy increased by 30 years, infant mortality rates dropped from 50% to under 4%, and absolute poverty rates plummeted from 80% to under 20%, among other improvements.  

Today, we are on the brink of a technological and political transformation. While challenges abound, we can navigate them by harnessing the benefits of innovation and coming together to address societal concerns. The journey ahead may be uncertain, but human resilience and our vision of a better future will continue to guide us forward. We will find the new equilibrium, as we always have.  

In the words of G. Michael Hopf, "Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times." Let us strive to be the strong men and women who shape the good times ahead.

Transformative Changes of Our Time: Parallels with the Past and the Road Ahead

Author: Annar Merirand

Annar Merrirand

Transformative Changes of Our Time: Parallels with the Past and the Road Ahead

 

Annar Merirand:

Esteemed speaker at the forthcoming 12th PM conference share his insights on Transformative Changes of Our Time, from the digital revolution to the changing nature of work, Mr. Merirand's presentation promises to shed light on the most critical challenges and opportunities that project managers face in the 21st century.

Introduction:

The historical backdrop of the two world wars and the Great Depression serves as a stark reminder of the profound impact that economic and political shocks, when combined, can have on a global scale. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the intriguing parallels between that era and the transformative changes we are currently witnessing. Today, our world is in the throes of profound shifts, primarily driven by the end of globalization as we know it and the imminent wave of technological advancements.  

Globalization's Shift Towards Regionalization  

For nearly eight decades, the Bretton Woods system has been the bedrock of international trade, ensuring the safety of global commerce through the dominance of the US dollar as the single global reserve currency.

However, it's increasingly evident that this arrangement no longer aligns with America's interests and is gradually being dismantled. Recent developments such as the signing of NAFTA 2, the emergence of the BRICS movement, and initiatives like the 3-Seas Initiative signal the rise of regional and political blocs aimed at trade and mutual defense. These developments foreshadow significant changes in the global economic landscape.  

The Next Industrial Age  

We stand at the threshold of yet another industrial revolution, one that will be defined by advanced technologies reshaping the way we work and live. The fusion of advanced machine learning with more efficient manufacturing processes, precision farming techniques, and cutting-edge energy technologies is poised to usher in this new era.

Anticipated Transformations:  

Transportation: Self-driving trucks, operating in convoys between harbors, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers, are on the horizon. Companies like Daimler (Waymo) and Tesla have conducted extensive testing. While this promises increased efficiency, it also raises questions about job displacement.  

Precision Farming: Precision farming will revolutionize food production, reducing inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides while increasing crop yields. Although this won't affect many jobs in wealthier regions, it may disrupt industries elsewhere.  

Office Automation: Automation will streamline repetitive office tasks in various fields, making these roles more efficient. This won't necessarily eliminate jobs outright but could reshape job requirements.  

Robotics and Industrial Automation: Continued advancements in robotics and industrial automation will reduce reliance on manual labor while increasing the demand for engineers and technicians.

As with previous transformative changes, new and better-paid jobs will emerge. However, the critical question is whether the majority of the population can acquire the skills required to secure these jobs.  

Challenges and Concerns  

Embracing these technological advancements is not without its challenges. Large Language Models, for instance, have enabled malicious activities, raising concerns about misinformation and manipulation. Furthermore, advancements in image and speech synthesis blur the line between AI-generated and real content, posing questions about the integrity of democratic elections. The dismantling of the Bretton Woods agreement will disrupt supply chains and may spark multiple conflicts. These challenges set the stage for the complex landscape ahead.   

Finding the Light  

History has shown that we emerged from the crises of the 1930s and 1940s as a more resilient civilization. Life expectancy increased by 30 years, infant mortality rates dropped from 50% to under 4%, and absolute poverty rates plummeted from 80% to under 20%, among other improvements.  

Today, we are on the brink of a technological and political transformation. While challenges abound, we can navigate them by harnessing the benefits of innovation and coming together to address societal concerns. The journey ahead may be uncertain, but human resilience and our vision of a better future will continue to guide us forward. We will find the new equilibrium, as we always have.  

In the words of G. Michael Hopf, "Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times." Let us strive to be the strong men and women who shape the good times ahead.

AI in Project Management Workshop: A Duel of Titans - ChatGPT vs. Bard

 Laura Ares

Author: Laura Ares

In the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI), two titans have emerged as formidable players in the world of text generation: ChatGPT and Bard. Recently, a workshop titled "AI in Project Management: Capabilities, Limitations, & the Power of Emotional Intelligence" brought these AI giants to the forefront, showcasing their unique capabilities and examining their limitations in the context of project management.

The Duel Begins: ChatGPT vs. Bard

The workshop kicked off with an exploration of the capabilities of ChatGPT and Bard in the realm of project management. Both AI models demonstrated their prowess in understanding and generating human-like text, offering insights into various aspects of project management.

  • ChatGPT's adaptability and versatility were evident as it effortlessly tackled a range of project management scenarios.It showcased its ability to assist project managers in tasks such as generating project reports, drafting emails, and even providing advice on stakeholder communication. 
  • Bard demonstrated its flair for storytelling, illustrating how it could craft engaging narratives to convey project progress and challenges effectively. Its creative approach to text generation was intriguing and brought a fresh perspective to project reporting.

Limitations: Where Do They Fall Short?

While both ChatGPT and Bard exhibited impressive capabilities, the workshop driven by Florian Ivan didn't shy away from exploring their limitations. Although it is very useful to avoid the blank page syndrome or even as a checklist, the content is quite generic and really depends on the art of each user to provide the necessary information to the AI model.

As he flagged, “technology is more advanced than we are”, but one element remains irreplaceable - human emotions, and according to the expert, it will be the main limitation for these tools, at least for the next months to come.

The Power of Emotional Intelligence: A Human Touch

One area where both ChatGPT and Bard fell short was in replicating Emotional Intelligence (EI), which is essential in project management. EI encompasses empathy, interpersonal skills, and an understanding of human emotions - qualities that are difficult to replicate in AI models. At the end, as Florian said “EI is understanding why SMART people do stupid things”.

The workshop underscored that AI, no matter how advanced, cannot replace the nuanced human touch required for effective communication, team collaboration, and stakeholder management.

Manage your emotions, not control them

This emotional intelligence journey emphasizes the importance of managing and identifying emotions without the relentless pursuit of control. How? With 3 simple steps:

  1. Stop - Pause - Write your emotions: name your emotion and make it manageable. In other words, find a solution to a problem.
  2. Know your trigger: adapt yourself to the context. For example, do not give bad news in the morning.
  3. Express yourself: replace current expressions such as “Could I ask you a stupid question?” by sentences like “ I do not agree with you. Assert yourself.

Conclusion: A Convergence of AI and Human Expertise

In the end, the workshop left participants with a clear message: AI can augment project management, but the true power lies in the collaboration between these AI titans and human professionals. As project managers continue to leverage AI tools, they must also harness their emotional intelligence to ensure successful project outcomes. To quote our speaker: "it's just a tool. make your own judgments".

Laura Ares