BIF’s motto is Connect-Inspire-Transform. That’s exactly what happens at the magical BIF conferences. We hear incredible stories, have profound conversations, eat and drink (even al fresco!), and have Wi-Fi. What more could we need?
Connect-Inspire-Transform is also what it takes to make the magic happen. Oh, along with some collaboration and leadership, which define the smiling faces of BIF team: Tori Drew, Chris Flanagan, Katherine Hypolite, Eli Stefanski, Christine Costello, Jeff Drury, James Hamar, Sam Kowalczyk, and Saul Kaplan. At BIF-7, these folks are so welcoming, smiling and make it all seem so simple. And perhaps at some level it is simple, but it’s definitely not easy.
The BIF team is authentic. They truly live and breathe their mission – it’s not just a saying or a goal, it’s a way of life; it’s how they work. There are many moments of more perspiration than inspiration, of last second changes. BIF’s core values remain constant throughout. That’s part of the paradox of innovation – the need for the stability of core values and beliefs to transform our world for the better. Having been privileged to sit in for a brief moment of rest and nourishment with Olga’s fabulous tarts (and #innopies) before BIF-7, the passionate kaleidoscope of laughter, frustration, triple checking, sighs, and smiles was palpable, and powerful.
One example stands out. BIF was live streaming. My friend and client, Matt Hlavin of Thogus was at BIF (along with a bunch of “Clevelanders” who were nagged into going to BIF, gratefully). During Angela Blanchard’s story, Matt’s right-hand, Lisa Lehman, watching it live in Avon Lake, OH, texted Matt that Angela didn’t have the ‘clicker’ in her hand seconds before Angela looked for the clicker! Someone watching in real time, 650 miles away, was so engaged that she noticed such a detail! And the next book for the Thogus leadership team’s “group” read is John Hagel’s Power of Pull along with Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation. That is the power of BIF – connecting people all over the world and inspiring them so they transform their worlds, miles and time zones away. Next year, when you’re at BIF, remember that – and thank one of those BIF team smiling faces.