After lunch, Mary Pat Tubb, a Manufacturing Engineering Manager at John Deere Harvester, gave the keynote speech about blending communications and technology. She works on a global team with direct reports in China, India, Europe, and across the United States. Every day she leverages video conferencing to keep in touch with her employees. As the meeting spans most of the world’s time zones’ she must be there at 6 a.m. and her Chinese employees must stay until 6 p.m. in order to make the meeting. These concessions are necessary in order to maintain effective communication in a global company. Travel is also necessary, as face to face communication is still the most effective. Mary Pat stressed that compromise, understanding, and a willingness to make the extra effort are key in global communication. However, as long as everyone is on the same page, it can lead to opportunities and accomplishments of great magnitude.
For the final workshop, Betty Leonhard presented “Effective Meetings.” Betty is a SWE trainer who presented some interesting points on how to keep meetings on track, on time, and productive. She stressed the importance of an agenda and holding people accountable, both for attendance and action items. To keep the meeting on track, table or discuss offline items that do not pertain to everyone at the meeting. Overall, Betty’s talk was informative and well-presented. The conference closed with some final remarks from the hosts and door prizes! Amber Johnson from SWE-ECI won an awesome scrapbooking gift basket. Lastly, a technical tour was given of a nearby plant following the closing.