Monday, May 22, 2006

Leadership Council Meeting

The first item on the agenda for those of us who are User Group leaders was the annual Leadership Council Meeting. This was my first Leadership Council Meeting, and I have to say that it far exceeded my expectations -- not that they were low expectations by any means. This all day event was an opportunity for chapter leaders to meet eachother face to face; share stories, tips, and techniques about organizing our chapter events; and learn some new facilitation techniques that we can take back and apply in our own meetings.

We also got to have some time with Sohaib Abbasi, the Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President of Informatica. I have to say that I was awed by his candor with our group of user group leaders. He walked into the room and took the mic for what I expected to be a 10 minute feel-good speach. Instead he spoke for less than 2 minutes and asked us "what do you want to know?" He answered every question the group threw at him to a reasonable satisfaction: from "what do you think about these ideas to make education/certification programs more targeted/relevant/accessible" to "what's your vision of where data integration is going" to "how is Informatica addressing changes in their competitive landscape." I think it's a great indication of how much respect that he has for the Informatica user community -- realizing as he said in his own words that "people won't believe the things that he says about Informatica, they have to hear it from real users."

Also in attendance at the council meeting, and equally willing to share their thoughts and answer questions, were various members of the Informatica leadership team representing customer advocacy, program management, and product management.

Sunday night was a dinneer and reception for the user group leaders. (I have to admit that I didn't attend. It was birthday, and I went out to Cliff House with a buddy from work, upon recommendation from my wife.) I'm sure that a good time was had by all!


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