The New Frontier
No, not a song about the anxieties of Gen Xers in the 1980s (although if you’d like to discuss that I’m always ready to share my teenage-and-beyond neuroses), nor is it an experimental recording of just-about-where-I-grew-up, but is instead something that I’ve (and two of my besties Tim German and Celvin Kattookaran of whom more anon) never tried before: the spoken word.
I’ve presented sessions, moderated discussions, and acted as a panelist at conferences, given webinars, written articles for magazines, written blog posts (OMG they go on and on), posted to technical messageboards official and otherwise, and even written books. A small amount of observation will point out that if there’s one thing I like to do, to better or poorer effect, it is to communicate. My father always told (and continues to, actually) me, “Your big mouth will get you into trouble” and I fear that Dear Old Dad was and is right. Such is life.
Most of this has been prescriptive — Cameron the Expert (ahem) tells you, Gentle Reader, how to do this and why it should be done. Wonderful on the rare occasions that Yr. Obt. Svt. is right but I fear somewhat one sided. At least it lets me get the last word in.
I’ve done all of this for well over 10 years. I suppose I could go on doing more of the same and to a large extent I daresay I will. Having dismayed most of you with that, I have to confess that doing all of this can get a bit stale.
So here I am (or was? keeping track of tense can get tricky), feeling that sense of ennui coupled with the Plague version of le cafard. The result: a sense of creative staleness. What to do? Yes, Cameron can be self-reflective although he dares not stare too deeply into the abyss.
When I contemplate my so-called career, when I really ponder what has mattered to me personally and professionally, it’s easy to see what has mattered the most has been people. But blogs, books, and webinars are necessarily directional: the speaker or writer is trying to express an idea and cannot have world+dog talking to him at the same time. By necessity, writers/speakers/panelists/moderators/whatever in those contexts and their audience are not equals; the latter are being spoken to by the former. The result: a great big fat zero when it comes to one side knowing the other. Yes, people are involved but it isn’t very personable; in fact by nature it is impersonal. I don’t get to know you (alas and alack), you don’t get to know me (be thankful, mostly).
Writing this in late September 2020, I think I can without objection note that the one thing the entire world could use a lot more of is collegiality, listening to one another, and understanding. If it is better to jaw-jaw than war-war, we need to talk.
Conversations are not one sided, they are reciprocal; conversations are freewheeling, they are not prescriptive; conversations are as old as humanity itself, each is new and novel and fresh; conversations are how I, you, we connect. We must.
And thus the podcast EPM Conversations was born.
In its own words
“Call it Enterprise Performance Management or Corporate Performance Management or whatever you will — we will bring the most interesting, thoughtful, and sometimes maybe a wee bit controversial personalities in our little world and simply talk. The conversations will be free ranging and open ended. We (Cameron, Celvin, and Tim) think you will find it interesting. We hope.”
One cannot accuse of us of not having ambition. Seriously, this is going to be Good Stuff and I think we can pull it off. At this writing we have lined up 12 incredibly
foolhardy generous guests who are firmly in the center of EPM and others who stray from the norm. I pray that you will find all of them interesting.
That’s as prelude – as a concept EPM Conversations has many possible different directions and it is my (and our) hope that it’ll surprise you, Gentle Listeners, and us. Direction can mean many things: format, hosts, guests, topics, although it will always come back to people, interesting people, people who can speak for themselves and for us, the greater EPM community.
A difficult birth
It is one thing to have an idea, another to figure out how to do it, and yet another to actually realize it. I’ve had the idea of a podcast for well over six months. Ages ago I bought the domain, the WordPress blog, began site design and…full stop. Ugh. Happily the fall’s invigorating air (forgive the artistic license – it’s in the high 60s here so not crisp fall weather yet but more like not enervating summer temperatures) spurred me onwards as did my cohosts asking, “Cameron, what on God’s green earth is going on with the podcast?” As for tardiness I blame a mix of laziness and dealing with the medical, economic, and societal collapse of the world. Isn’t that good enough of an excuse? If it isn’t, what is?
I mentioned two other comrades in arms, Tim German and Celvin Kattookaran, in the lede of this post. Celvin and Tim are two of those connections. I know them only because we met at ODTUG’s Kscope, first as speaker/audience, then as copresenters, and then as friends. They are fascinating men with wildly different and diverse backgrounds. I am privileged to know them and proud to call them friend.
What’s next on the menu?
Episode No. 1: Introduction with Tim German, Celvin Kattookaran, and Yr. Mst. Lyl., Hmbl., & Obt. Svt.
Celvin, Tim, and I hope you’ll give it a listen and subscribe on EPMConversations.com, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
Join us, won’t you?