The 2023 Toyota Kata Summit, aka “KataCon9” is coming up fast – officially 14 and 15 March, with a extra breakout sessions on “Day 0” on Monday March 13th. Also the evening of the 13th is the Kata Geek Meetup, a less formal series of short presentations and discussion.
Last year (2022) was “Old friends meeting for the first time” as 2021 had been virtual and the online community really came together during 2020 and 2021. And that community remains. I’m not sure what this year’s vibe will be – every one is different.
One thing that is a little different this year is that the TWI Summit is running in parallel in the same venue. This means if you are registered for either you can go back and forth to see the people and presentations that interest you. There is a lot of overlap between the two communities in any case.
And – yes, I will be there. I will be presenting at the TWI conference, and am the closing joint speaker for the two combined audiences. My messaging is nearly always about leadership and the culture we are trying to create within our organizations, and my goal is always to leave you thinking a bit. (Hence the name of this blog *smile*) I am also doing a breakout workshop about how Toyota Kata and TWI integrate into a single system. (Hint – it isn’t about tools.)
The conference is a really cool mix of regulars (for example, I have been to all of them) and people with all levels of experience with Toyota Kata from the curious to the thought leaders.
While the formal part of the conference is always awesome, I want to share some tips about how to get even more out of your experience there.
Simply put, a lot of the opportunity for learning happens in the times before, and especially after, the formal program. Monday evening and Tuesday evening, especially, present huge opportunities.
The Kata Community is one of the most open and sharing communities of practice out there. Even though lots of the “regulars” are consultants, for example, the vast majority of us share information, tips, learning with one another – not just at the conference. This happens year-round.
And you have the same opportunity. Talk to people. Ask questions, Ask questions about who you should ask. Seek out
expert experienced opinions. Got a specific issue or question about application? Ask. Get a conversation going. I am far from the only one who has spent hours going into depth with people in the evenings. For me, it is fun, it makes me think, I learn, and the exchange is refreshing.
From a purely value perspective – you can get a conversation from world-class practitioners and consultants for the price of a beer, if that. You’d likely pay a lot more if you engaged them as a client. *smile* The key is – spend time with people.
Likewise, one of the mantras of our community is “Have a coach, be a coach.” This is a great opportunity to connect with someone who wants to practice their coaching skills – or if that’s you, to find a more-than-willing learner. If you want to “be a coach” I suggest you also connect with someone to coach you as you coach – a 2nd coach.
But to get the most out of KataCon you, first, have to actually attend.