By Steve Moran

Leadership panels at conferences need to be better.

I may be a bit biased and jaded, because I attend 15+ conferences each year and play the role of audience in dozens of panel presentations, but I think I have this right.

This is something I wrote in my notes while listening to a panel discussion at a recent conference. I won’t say which one, because the problem is ubiquitous.

I wrote this note in an act of frustration, not really planning on using it for anything. It wasn’t just me — I looked around the room, and nearly everyone in the audience was on their smartphone, and trust me, it wasn’t to take notes.

It was sad, because the ideas were really good, and could really have been helpful to other operators. The problem was that it never really got beyond noble bragging.

If only they had talked about things like this:

  • This is exactly what we did …
  • This is how you can do it too …
  • This is how it improved our bottom line, our staffing, our occupancy, our culture …
  • These are the mistakes we made that you can learn from …
  • This is what we learned and what we will do next.

We ultimately want to know why what you are doing matters — how it is making a difference in your business and in the lives of residents, family members, and team members.

Apply these five strategies to the next panel you are on, and people will either put down their smartphones or use them to furiously scribble notes. You will be a part of transforming this marvelous, wonderful industry.