SDI's Annual Conference has fast become the annual ‘must-attend’ event for IT and service desk professionals. While many in the industry feel the constant pressure to innovate in a highly competitive space, the SDI Conference serves as a welcome mix of brain-nourishing insights and inspiration to drink in over three enjoyable days.

Held at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham, the SDI Conference carefully curates over 40 speakers, as well as workshops and talks from the most innovative and inspiring minds that the industry has to offer. (And if that wasn’t enough, there’s an AMAZING party to enjoy at the end!) 

Over 800 service desk managers and professionals from a multitude of companies and countries will attend SDI20 as they look to collaborate, learn and grow together; here are 4 reasons why you need to be one of them.

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Blog post by Zena Everett, Executive Coach and Speaker on Career Strategy & Crazy Busy (business/personal productivity). Zena will join us as a keynote speaker at SDI20, which will be held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole on 16-18 March 2020. To find out more about the event click here.

“My team would be great, if it wasn’t for the people in it’ said a frazzled manager recently,  ‘why can’t they just get on with the job, like I did when I joined the business?”

Getting people’s performance on track can be a huge headache. You can manage projects, but you have to lead people.

How do you delegate effectively, striking the fine balance between giving them plenty of autonomy and trusting them to do the job properly, or checking their progress and being accused of micro managing? Sometimes it is easier to do the work yourself, so at least you know it will be done properly.

Here’s all you need to know to give the right leadership to the right people at the right time, depending on their will (motivation) and their skill (competence).

Every stage assumes a clear vision from you, explicit performance standards and clear job descriptions.  You start with firm direction and move into more of a coaching style only when the person is ready: i.e. they have the skills to come up with their own answers.

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Blog post by Scott McArthur

Scott is a speaker and consultant on transformation, mindfulness and the digital age and will be joining us at SDI20 – The Conference For Service Desk Leaders, as one of our keynote speakers. Early bird tickets are available to buy now!

Our collective attention span is disappearing as more and more channels of information make demands on our time. This is unlikely to change, so how can organisations respond, asks Scott McArthur?

Do I have your attention? I don’t take for granted for one minute that I do. Or perhaps a whole minute gives my thoughts too much credit.

It’s not news to any of us that our collective attention span has waned as the dominance of social media, technology, and an increased urgency to do more, faster, with a hitherto unknown sense of immediacy, has taken hold.

But perhaps you would feel differently if I paid you to read this. Because paying to read content is so twentieth century. Attention is the new currency, and the new economy. Attention is a limited resource.

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By Kim Ballestrin, Principal Consultant, Elabor8

At this year’s annual SDI conference – SDI20 – I’ll be delivering a workshop on Personal Kanban – a concept from Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry, which has taught me surprisingly useful lessons about my approach to work.

With only two rules – visualise your work and limit your work in progress – Personal Kanban is very easy to get started with.

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By Andrew Hardwick, Director of Global Service Management Office, Arcadis

At this year’s annual Service Desk conference – SDI20 – I’ll be presenting a session on Customer Happiness.

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By Edward Whittingham, Founder & Managing Director, The Defence Works.

I can answer the question in the title in one word: Very.

But of course, anyone with any sense should ask – OK, go on prove it then. So, I will try to too.

Let me leave this here before I go on to give some evidence about the importance of security awareness training.

In the first half of 2019, there were 4.1 billion data records breached. In the same period in 2018, there were around 3.5 billion exposed records. By anyone’s standards, that’s a lot. Not all were cybercriminals hacking into databases. Many were accidental exposures, lost laptops, inadvertent emails sent out, and so on.

The state of cybersecurity today is a mess. What is often true in life is that the simplest of ideas can be the most effective, enter stage left, security awareness training.

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Kerry Angel, Service Delivery Manager, Macfarlanes

Regardless of the industry you’re in, our clients are demanding, right? But does that mean that the service desk is always wrong when things don’t go according to plan? Constant battering of the service desk’s reputation is bad for moral internally and adds to the bad reputation externally. So what can be done?

It starts with proof. And confidence in the technology being used. And that’s where a good IT service management (ITSM) solution comes in. But how do you change possibly years of bad behaviour, attitude, and reputation? And how do you convince stakeholders that the outlay of a good ITSM solution is going to be worth it?

This is a common problem, and one that we were facing at our (Law) firm, Macfarlanes, until recently. To learn how we overcame these challenges, please come along to the annual SDI conference – SDI20 – and attend our presentation “Taking your Team – and the Business – with You”.

But first, to offer a little insight into some of the actions that you can start taking, and to offer a little insight into the types of advice that will be included in our session, please keep reading…

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By Vikki Kirby, Chief Storyteller at Vibrato Consulting©

Recently, a communications consultant told me how the big four consultancy company leading her organisation’s transformation chose to bring in their own storyteller to identify and manage core purpose messaging. She was frustrated that she then had to re-write what he came up with. She isn’t the only one left frustrated by that experience.

The business world is buzzing about storytelling. In 2017, 570,000 marketers listed Storytelling as a skill on LinkedIn, compared to zero – zilch – in 2010. I now hear story talked about like  smartphones, because ‘everyone has one’.

Stories may help us shape identity, but the business of storytelling should be highly regarded. It’s a deep craft, a tool to help us make sense of the world. Perhaps that’s why we believe we innately know how stories work? They’ve been with us since fire and have adapted to a world in which they can be as compelling in a three-hour film as in a character-limited tweet.

Aristotle taught us that leaders have three persuasion tools at their disposal:

  • Logos – the analytical quality of their arguments
  • Pathos – the emotional disposition of their audience
  • Ethos – the evidence that provides credibility

I’m on a mission to encourage better quality storytelling in organisations. To that end, here are TEN questions you should ask anyone who says they’re a Storyteller, before you let them anywhere near your business:

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Gillian Jones-Williams, Managing Director, Emerge Consultancy.

Gillian Jones-Williams is Managing Director of Emerge Consultancy Limited which she founded over 25 years ago.  She is also an author, motivational speaker, Master Accredited Coach and founder of the trademarked Women’s Development Programme RISE which she delivers in the UK and the Middle East. 

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Jean-Christophe Trentinella, Consultant, Mindful Onwards 

In preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the World Economic Forum published a report in 2018 titled "The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution." Drafted as a call to action to help governments, businesses, and individuals adapt their skillset for the future, the report outlined a list of 10 essential work-related skills for 2020. Out of the ten, four are relational skills that heavily rely on emotional intelligence and can be developed through “Search Inside Yourself”.


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As told by a Service Desk Manager

Taking place on 16 - 18 March, SDI20 is the most significant annual gathering for the Service Desk and IT Service Management industry. Over 800 Service Desk Managers and professionals will gather to learn, share and grow together. By attending next year’s SDI20 conference, you have access to over 40 keynotes, workshops and talks from some seriously innovative and inspiring people within the Service Desk world. You’ll also get to go to one of the biggest parties in the industry… the annual IT Service Desk & Support Awards!

One of my favourite things about attending the SDI Conference...

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