When Opportunity Knocks — The 2017 Creative Melbourne Walkshop!

Earlier this year I caught up with a former lecturer from my EMBA studies, Dr Arthur Shelley. Arthur invited me to meet at our usual coffee shop for a catch-up and to see how my graduation and summer holiday went. We sat for a while discussing the time off we each had and what the near future held for me as I pivoted out of my studies and began to relaunch my career.

You see, I was looking forward to this meeting as it was going to be different to any we had in the past. I was no longer the student, and Arthur no longer the teacher. Rather, we were meeting as friends who now shared and learned from one another.

Throughout my degree I had taken Arthur’s classes and was always intrigued and challenged by the way he viewed his environment (personally and professionally), constantly communicating, exploring and questioning his surroundings and the people he interacted with, just as I did.

Twenty minutes into the conversation I asked Arthur how everything was coming along with the planning of Creative Melbourne #Cre8Melb, an event that he was in the process of creating.

Arthur replied — “Well, that’s one of the things I wanted to talk to you about. I have this idea of a Walkshop, and I think it may suit you…”

“YEP, I’m in. I’ll do it!” — I replied instantaneously.

Arthur — “That’s what I like about you, without even knowing the detail of what I’m asking you to do you’ve said yes.”

“Arthur, you are presenting an opportunity to me that you think I am capable of delivering for you. Of course I’m going to do it; I’d love to be a part of it and be a guest speaker. Of course I’m going to say Yes!” — I stated.

You see, doubt never crept in; I saw the opportunity and said: “Yes, I’ll do it!”

The meeting wrapped up, we shook hands and went our different ways. I exited the café, turned the corner and right there, standing smack bang in the middle of the footpath I stopped and thought to myself;

  • What on earth just happened?
  • What did Arthur ask me to do?
  • Am I capable of doing it?
  • How am I going to design it?
  • How am I going to create, produce and deliver it?

You see, I had gotten to that place where ambiguity and knowing collided. The opportunity presented itself, and I grabbed it with both hands.

I found myself in that place where you have that innate sense of knowing the unknown and that you have the skill set to connect the dots just a Gary Klein writes about in his book, ‘Seeing What Others Don’t’.

With only two short weeks to design and produce my Walkshop, I got to work on it immediately. Sitting on the bench in front of the state library, I proceeded to sketch out my first mud map with the proposed route. From this first map came two physical dry-runs to help identify what worked, what didn’t and most importantly what was missing.

Finally, three days out from the event with four iterations of the route to be traveled and nine dry-runs later, I was ready to present my Walkshop!

With an international list of speakers on the bill; Juan Roman (NASA-USA), Karuna Ramanathan (Public Service Division-Singapore), Mark Boyes (Knowledge Ink-Australia), Jean-Charles Cailliez (Institut Catholique de Lille-France), Vincent Ribiere (Institute for Knowledge and Innovation-Thailand) and Paul Culmsee (Author-Australia) to name but a few, I knew I had to step up and deliver which is exactly what I did, presenting my Walkshop not once, but twice.

All too often we search and look for opportunities to advance ourselves and grow into the person we know we can be. Unfortunately for many, these opportunities pass without grabbing them and making the most of it. This was one opportunity I was not going to let pass me by.

I wish to thank all the attendees, fellow speakers, and most of all Arthur and Cath Shelley for the opportunity of being one of the inaugural speakers of this fantastic event and having the confidence in my abilities to present my Walkshop.

I look forward to seeing everyone once again at next years event, see you there!

2017 Creative Melbourne Group