Recently, someone on our team went to a conference and when they got back they were telling me about some of the cool stuff that they saw there. This got me thinking, why not use opportunities like this to enrich and better the team, while at the same time encouraging the mentality of continuous improvement.
I have spoken before about letting people who are passionate about a topic take ownership of it and run with it and this scenario is no different. Typically, when people come back from a conference, or training, they are usually pumped up and enthusiastic about something that they have learnt there. This is something that your team can feed off and is the perfect opportunity to allow them to learn more about the topic, while at the same time owning it. Like I have mentioned previously, if someone is passionate about something, they will do it to the best of their ability and take great pride in it.
Infusion of Change
Usually, we get into a habit of doing things and miss the opportunities for us to do try things out, or do something different. Going to one of these conferences injects a "dash of adrenaline" into the team as the mere act of seeing someone really excited about something, and the vision of where it can take us, can make everyone excited and raring to go.
One thing to remember is that you don't have to go to a conference to inspire change. I was chatting to a colleague recently and they were telling me about some of the topics that were discussed to meetup that they went to, and this is were I realized that any external interaction, outside of your team, can give you a set of lenses to see things in a different light. So try to encourage people to go to these and if possible, maybe your company will allow a different person in the team to go to one of these every so often, as part of their working hours.
Another thing that I would also suggest is to send other team members, and not yourself, to these events. The reason for this is that it not only gives them the opportunity to learn and grow, but it allows them to inspire the team. You probably already have quite a bit on your plate and by allowing other people to go on the training and be invigorated, relieves you from trying to implement and own it, and in doing so spreads the load across the team.
In short, I would just like to summarize by saying that let people learn, grow and take ownership of their passions. It makes the team stronger as a whole.
Until next time...keep learning!