#CollisionConf – Part 1/3

Welcome! Here is where I quickly recap my experience at the Collision Conference in Toronto from May 20-23, 2019 by sharing my favourite quotes and takeaways with you:

If you don’t throw your name into the hat, then it will never be drawn.

Michelle Zatlyn, Co-Founder and COO of Cloudflare in the A New Era of Entrepreneurship spoke about how she never thought to apply to Harvard because she didn’t think she had a shot. However, someone told her [the above quote], and when she applied to Harvard, she actually got in! Zatlyn is all of us when we doubt ourselves and our abilities, but she is also a great example of how we can overcome the odds and fear of rejection.

Zatlyn also mentioned how you should “engineer your way out of problems instead of buying your way out of them” which I think is a good reminder that we shouldn’t rely on money to solve our problems because we are capable of conjuring up our own solutions if we put in some thought and effort.

The hardest thing is building talent competencies…

Quoted from Robert Alexander, CIO of Capital One at the Transforming the Customer Experience panel, which discussed how Capital One was able to migrate its legacy data almost entirely to the cloud despite living in the heavily regulated financial industry. It was clear to me that undergoing such a huge shift meant having employees who were emotionally on board and technically competent in enabling change within the organization. How are you creating a culture where your team members are consistently encouraged to build their competencies?

If you’re too leading edge, you may be too early and become fringe… 

Quoted from Linda Boff, CMO of GE at the Marketing Amid Disruption panel, in which Boff alludes to a time when GE introduced a technology [unnamed] a few years too early that led to incredulous reactions… yet, today, the technology is competitively used across the world. Boff’s example emphasizes how there really is a right time and place for everything.  If you’re too early, you become “fringe” because people won’t catch on to what you’re getting at. But if you’re too late, you’re behind everyone else.

Boff also discussed how GE had been focusing on strengthening its internal brand among the workforce by reminding them of what matters to the company, and that it is not just about what has happened to it over the years.

On the external branding side, Boff encourages you to find ways to“tell a story that fits your brand and in a way that has never been done before” while emphasizing why your organization matters to the world as a whole, but doing it in a way that is locally relevant.


To be continued in Part 2… (see below for honourable mention)

If we don’t succceed together, we’ll fail separately.

– Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s