Learning, Sharing, and Networking at the 2018 PMI — Leadership Institute Meeting: Report from a GGU Project Management Graduate Student

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By Thi Han, PMI® SF NextGen Board Member & Candidate, MS in Project Management at GGU

The Project Management Institute® — Leadership Institute Meeting (PMI LIM) is a three-day conference that offers an opportunity to network and share ideas with birds-of-a-feather PMI community members around the globe. This year LIM was in Los Angeles, California, and with the theme: Change Makers, PMI LIM brought up the significant concept of change and change management. With the slogan Champions of Change, LIM purposefully guided us on how to embrace the consistent disruptive change.

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Thi Han

The conference featured keynote speeches, educational sessions, Chapter Learn and Share sessions, and hands-on workshops. This was one of the best leadership meetings, and it was an honor for me to attend, so I want to share my first-time experience with the chapter.

Professor Marie Spark (header image, keeling at far left), GGU Project Management Program Director also attended this conference. In addition, GGU alumni (AKA) Next Generation Leaders: Batchimeg Shagdarguntev, Tanwi Negi, and Mauli Thacker also attended this conference.

Coping With Change, Storytelling, Neuroscience, and Agile Management
(Day 1)

The conference opened with remarks by Michael DePrisco, Vice President, Global Membership and Chapters, PMI. He asserted that many organizations have come up with ideas to adopt and adapt disruption, and highlighted the three key concepts to cope with change:

  1. Be willing to rethink fundamentals.
  2. Embrace technology and new ways of working.
  3. Transformation is a journey, not a destination.

Together with the opening session, 2018 PMI Board of Directors were welcomed and introduced. The keynote speaker for that day was Matthew Luhn, one of the first story creators at Pixar Animation Studios. By sharing his thrilling professional and creative experience as an animation artist, Matthew pointed out the importance of good storytelling, asserting that, “Beyond everything, there’s a story.” In addition, he emphasized the need for a caring employee environment: “Unless you have the environment, you can’t be creative.”

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Matthew Luhn, one of the first story creators at Pixar Animation Studios

The two afternoon sessions by featured speaker Spencer Horn were really beneficial. By relating project management to neuroscience, his lectures provided the skills to recognize, interpret, and manage the emotional drivers, which would, in turn, achieve effective leadership.

The Learn and Share session of the day, a case study of organizational agility from the PMI Chapter of Antioquia, Colombia, was comprehensive and pragmatic. They showed how they tackled their toughest challenge when adopting Agile project management.

The PMI San Francisco Bay Area Chapter and Ethics, Chapter Governance, & Emotional Intelligence
(Day 2)

The PMI SFBAC team is comprised of the active members who have been volunteering in the chapter. Active volunteers include students, professors, and working professionals.

PMI Ethics Member Advisory Group works in partnership with PMI Legal Staff as the Global Advocates in educating PMI members, certificate-holders and non-member volunteers regarding the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. In short, they are an advisory body that is responsible for guiding all the chapters to act in accordance with PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

The session taught me how to embrace the two Cs (Conflict and Change) to be an effective leader. The presenters suggested that by efficiently using the third C (Communication), we can enable and increase positive and productive conflict as well as collaboration.

The second session, Emotional Intelligence (EI), covered several useful tools and techniques for Chapter leaders to foster productivity. The featured speakers explained how emotions can drive our behavior, and also shared how to analyze our EI. The four key EI factors to consider are Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management.

LIM 2018 fulfilled my aspirations of learning, sharing, and networking as a NextGen leader. Throughout the conference, I gained leadership knowledge, industry expertise, and organizational management skills that I can definitely contribute to the chapter and the society.

I attended a session called Rules, Regulations, Responsibility: Understanding Your Role in Chapter Governance. The featured speakers from Chapter Member Advisory Group (CMAG) revealed the purpose of the chapter board and fiduciary duties. Furthermore, I had a chance to learn the governance challenges from different chapters and keys to building trusted member relationships.

The keynote session featured the touching words of the 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist Mallory Weggemann. By sharing her inspiring story, she insisted that everyone keep a mindset of “We all have the ability to change the world.” The second day ended with an ideal dinner at the LA Marriott’s Diamond Ballroom. The dinner with a live band was held in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of PMI. Our PMI SFBAC team really had a good time enjoying the music and building the network with other PMI community members.

Our NextGen Leaders group headed to the Grammy Museum to attend the Emerging Professionals Networking event. The event gave us an opportunity to network with young PMI leaders from different parts of the world. The museum exhibits the special collections of the famous musicians and singers of all ages. We all had a wonderful time exploring and building our global network there.

Magic, Artificial Intelligence
(Day 3)

The day began with the keynote speaker Jon Dorenbos, known as the NFL’s Magic Man, one of the finalists of America Got Talent 2016. He inspired us by sharing his life experiences, relating them to his jaw-dropping magic. He also discussed the importance of discipline, teamwork, and the acceptance of failure in achieving a common goal.

After the keynote session, some of us tried the PMI Escape Room, which was a fun team building activity.

The first afternoon session was Artificial Intelligence and Project Management: Beyond Human Imagination. The presenters focused on the evolution of PM, the role of AI, and the future of PM. They are optimistic that AI could help project managers to improve PM processes at every level.

The last session, The Happiness Equation, was a wonderful and entertaining presentation by Dr. Dennis Cummins, the author of the book Turning Terrible into Terrific. The session gifted us with interesting takeaways including how happiness can increase the bottom line, decrease employee resistance, and create a culture of positivity in the organization.

LIM 2018 fulfilled my aspirations of learning, sharing, and networking as a NextGen leader. Throughout the conference, I gained leadership knowledge, industry expertise, and organizational management skills that I can definitely contribute to the PMI SF Chapter and the PMI society.


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