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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

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    Sunday, December 07, 2014

    The First ITSM Conference In Asia - July 1998!

    I was cleaning up in my office today (yes, I know, it’s Sunday!) and came across some documentation from the very first event that introduced “IT Service Management” to the IT marketplace in Asia.

    Specifically, in partnership with PDA, we presented a 2-day conference in KL and later the same week in Singapore - July 27-31, 1998. The very first ITIL Foundation courses in Asia were presented that week too!

    The program was not too extensive, but the speakers were real ITSM heavy hitters at the time!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 12/07 at 04:58 PM
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    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Will I See You At One Of These Events?

    Over the next few weeks and months I’m going to be out and about speaking at various industry events. Here’s the list so far:

    May 28: Chicago, IL
    May 30: Boston, MA
    June 2: Atlanta, GA
    June 4: Charlotte, NC and
    June 5: Miami, FL
    Where Cherwell are producing a seminar titled: “The Science Of Metrics” and I’ll be speaking on the subject of “The 5 ITSM Projects You Should Start Doing Tomorrow Morning!”

    June 18: Santiago, Chile
    “Pink Elephant’s 4th Annual IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition” I’ll be presenting 2 sessions “The 8 Key Traits Of An IT Service Management Superhero!” and “The 5 ITSM Projects You Should Start Doing Tomorrow Morning!” I’ll also be facilitating a most unusual discussion “What The World Cup Game Between Spain & Chile Can Teach Us About IT Management Services”!!!

    August 17-20: Scottsdale, AZ
    “Pink Elephant’s 3rd Annual IT Service Management Leadership Forum” On the Sunday I’ll be facilitating a discussion “IT Governance: What Is It? Why Is It So Important? What Do IT Leaders Need To Know About It?” with my buddies, Rob England, Troy DuMoulin & Jack Probst. Then on the main event program I’m facilitating another discussion “Your (S)aas Is On The Line! What Does Today’s IT Service Management Leader Need To Know About The Cloud?” with Troy DuMoulin & Malcolm Ryder (Archestra Research). I will also be presenting one of my favourite all time Pink sessions “What Gregory Peck Can Teach Us About ITSM Leadership”, a 2-part workshop with my buddy, George Spalding. The next day, after the main event, I am also hosting a full day workshop “The ITSM Leadership MasterClass”.

    September 8-10: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    “Pink Elephant’s 6th Annual IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition” I host “The ITSM Leadership MasterClass” the day before the main event, and 3 more sessions over the following 2 days: “8 Key Traits Of An IT Service Management Superhero!”, “5 Critical Actions For IT Service Management Leaders” and “Winning C-Level Buy-In With An Effective Business Case”.

    September 11-12: Singapore
    “Pink Elephant’s 6th Annual IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition” where I begin with “The ITSM Leadership MasterClass” on the first day and present 3 sessions on the last day “8 Key Traits Of An IT Service Management Superhero!”, “5 Critical Actions For IT Service Management Leaders” and the Conference wrap-up “Translating Knowledge Into Results”.

    September 18: Toronto, ON
    I’m presenting a 1-day seminar “The Business of IT” with my Pink buddy Troy DuMoulin.

    October 19-22: Washington, DC
    I’ll be presenting at itSMF’s “FUSION14 Conference & Expo” on the subject of “Justifying ITSM Improvement Projects To Executives Management” in the Strategic Track.

    Phew!

    But that’s not all, Pink has more events planned before the end of the year and so I’ll update if anything is added.

    Finally, if you’re involved in program planning for a group (maybe an itSMF LIG or an HDI Local Chapter) or you work for an IT services organization planning to host an event for your customers, then please consider inviting me along! You can either contact me directly, or better still reach out to Pattie Lanktree at Pink. Pattie coordinates all our speaking engagements and so nothing happens without her say-so!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/12 at 04:39 PM
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    Friday, May 02, 2014

    What’s The Purpose of ITSM In Your Organization - part 2

    I often wonder who reads this blog. Now I know!

    I arrived here in San Francisco a couple of days ago and as is sometimes the case, I received a nice little “welcome pack” in my room (and Four Seasons’ exclusive Iconoclast Cab is one of my favs!). See pic number 1:

    Now sometimes I have been known to enjoy the wine and not pay much attention to the note in the envelope. Not this time, see pics 2 & 3!!!!!!!

    You’ll find the original quote in my previous blog entry before this one - just scroll down.

    And Pink Elephant mentioned in the same breath as Four Seasons - I’m flattered!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/02 at 08:33 PM
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    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Plenty Of Opportunities For More Customer Service Training!

    Sometimes, after being in the education & Consulting industry for over 25 years, I wonder if we still need to teach people the basics of stuff like customer service. After all, there’s hundreds of books, courses, blogs and conferences dedicated to this subject. Surely everyone who needs to demonstrate good customer service knows how it should be done?

    Apparently not!

    As I boarded my United Airlines flight to Mexico City the other day I was greeted at the plane door by a surly Flight Attendant who took one look at my small carry-on bag and snarled “I’m gonna need you to check that bag.” I have traveled all over the world with this bag and never once been asked to check it. It fits easily in either the overhead bin or under the seat. So my immediate response - in a soft, pleading tone - was “Oh really? Are you sure I can’t fit it in?” What I heard next was nothing short of stunning to me.

    “What is it about “I’m gonna need you to check that bag” you don’t understand”?

    Really! Is there any need for such un-called for rudeness?

    This is just a simple example of how it doesn’t matter what expensive tools, training, processes, websites, apps or gadgets a company might to chose to invest in, if the people working there have a poor attitude - the whole service thing just falls apart. It’s all about people.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 10/16 at 06:41 PM
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    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Leadership Fun In Mexico

    I enjoyed talking to our customers at the opening to the 8th Annual ITSM Conference in Mexico City yesterday. The session kicked off with a short video highlighting leadership qualities demonstrated by recognizable leaders from the past and present. I can’t post the video here, but I have included a copy of all the still images and statements in this file. BTW, how many of these great leaders can you name?

    However, the point I wanted to make in my talk was that you don’t have to be a “Designated Leader” with great power over resources in order to show leadership. We can all be “Everyday Leaders” in the eyes of our co-workers and friends if we demonstrate some of the qualities I outlined.

    Look through these PowerPoint slides to get a better idea of what I discussed; including suggestions for what we can do to improve our leadership abilities when we’re not in charge.

    What do you think? Have you seen leadership in action from those who aren’t in charge?

    ======================================================

    UPDATE - Just loaded the video to YouTube!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/24 at 04:30 PM
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    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Summer Travels - Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore & Arizona!

    Just been reviewing my calendar and realized I have a busy travel schedule over the next few weeks. We have 4 major Pink events in 4 different countries and I’m speaking on the subject of “ITSM Leadership” at each one. Here’s the full run down ....


    “8th Annual ITSM Conference” in Mexico City next week.

    My opening keynote is titled “ITSM Leadership: You Don’t Need To Be In Charge To Get Results”.


    “4th Annual ITSM Conference & Exhibition” presented mid-July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Singapore.

    I’m involved in 3 sessions:

    • The opening keynote - “Key Challenges For The ITSM Leader Today” - where I’ll specifically include references to what I believe are challenges unique to delivering ITSM in Asia.
    • A co-presentation with Pink’s George Spalding titled “Pink Elephant’s Top 8 Absolute Must Do Projects For Every ITSM Organization”
    • The closing “Round-Table With The ITSM Experts” which I chair, and will be joined by Cathy Kirch of Allstate, Jerry York of University of Texas Health Science Center, Rich Razon of PureShare and Pink’s own Troy DuMoulin & George Spalding.

    “1st Annual ITSM Leadership Forum” presented mid-August in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    I’m really excited about this new event on our calendar! Not only are we presenting it at one of my favourite venues, the Fairmont Princess Resort, but also because of the format. We’re facilitating a series of deep discussions into a couple of dozen high priority concerns that ITSM leaders are struggling with today. I present the opening and closing keynotes as well as facilitate a breakout discussion group:

    • The opening keynote is titled “Vision, Strategy & Leadership In IT Service Management”.
    • The closing keynote is a repeat of what I present in Mexico next week - “ITSM Leadership: You Don’t Need To Be In Charge To Get Results”.
    • And the breakout discussion is all about how the Cloud can be exploited by ITSM - “Should ITSM Tools Be Located On Premise Or In The Cloud As SaaS?”. A little provocative sounding, maybe, but a topic many of our customers want to talk about.

    Let me know if you’re planning to be at one of these events and I’ll make a point of looking you up to say “Hi!” (or “┬íHola”).

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/15 at 01:44 PM
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    Wednesday, June 01, 2011

    3rd Annual IT Service Management Conference in Asia

    I just received a copy of the e-brochure describing our next special event in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore & Hong Kong in mid-September. The hardcopy is at the printer right now and will be going out in the mail to our customer database in Asia within the next week or so.

    This Conference has an exciting new format. An holistic approach for how you can turn the knowledge we give you into new actions and positive results for the business. I’ll be blogging and tweeting more about this in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, download your copy of the e-brochure and don’t forget to sign-up - there’s an incredible early-bird offer you need to take advantage of right away!

    3rd_Annual_ITSM_Conference_-_Asia.pdf

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 06/01 at 03:14 PM
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    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Updated Session Materials From Last Week’s Knowledge11 (Service-now.com User Conference)

    Ask anyone at Pink and they’ll tell you I’m the biggest stickler for making sure we never present anything where the speaker’s visual aids do not match up with the handouts. Some speakers are so conscientious (I’m being generous here) that they continue working on their presentation after the deadline date for submissions has passed. So the event organizers have a V1 of the presentation - which often goes into pre-printed handouts - and the speaker turns up and uses the V2 version on the day.

    So guess what happened when I presented at Knowledge11 last week!

    Yes - you got it. I sent in my “Disruptive Trends & Technologies - Are You Ready?” session a few weeks ago, then when I spoke last Thursday I had inserted a few more slides. But hold on - I have an excuse. I didn’t change any of the content (words, phrases, charts, diagrams, etc) I just inserted some photos to lighten things up a bit.

    So if you want to see some pictures of me in my early IT days, hair and all, you’ll find them in this file- enjoy! Disruptive_Trends_and_Technologies-_Are_You_Ready.pdf

    BTW - must give a shout out to my Pink buddy - Chris Dancy - who clearly wowed everyone at the event. He spoke a couple of times earlier in the week (I was in the penultimate time-slot on the last day) and by the time I showed up I lost count of how many people came up to tell me he’d done an outstanding job. Yay Chris!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/24 at 11:48 AM
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    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    An ITIL Christmas In Malaysia!

    George Spalding and I finished the Pink Perspective in Kuala Lumpur today and then went for a walk across the road ....

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 12/08 at 10:06 AM
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    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    A Lesson in Capacity Management in Singapore’s Sim Lim Square

    As usual, when they’ve got time to spare on a Sunday afternoon in Singapore - where else would a couple of geeks find themselves but in Sim Lim Square. The Tech Mall to top all Tech Malls. Somewhere on the 3rd or 4th (or was it the 5th or 6th) floor, George Spalding and I found a little store with every possible size of portable disk drive. Check out the video and see for yourself.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 12/06 at 03:11 AM
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    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Pick A Cliche: Is It “I’m Only Human After All” Or “No Rest For The Wicked”?

    After a couple of weeks being under the weather (no H1N1 - thank goodness!) I’m back in the office today. Looking at my diary for the next few months it looks like I’ll be bouncing around quite a bit, so I’d better get my immune system firing on all cylinders.

    December 2: Tagging along with George Spalding as he speaks at the HDI Orange County Chapter.

    December 3: Carrying George’s bags again at the itSMF LA LIG before we fly off to Singapore together.

    December 7: “Pink Perspective Singapore”.

    December 8: “Pink Perspective Kuala Lumpur

    December 9: Socializing with our customers at the Regional Education Symposium in Kuala Lumpur.

    December 10: itSMF Singapore evening meeting.

    January 19-20: “Pink Elephant IT Management Expert Briefing” in Kuala Lumpur with George, Troy & Gary (details to be posted soon)

    January 21-22: “Pink Elephant IT Management Expert Briefing” in Singapore with George, Troy & Gary (details to be posted soon).

    January 26-28: On to Dubai for our “1st Annual IT Management Conference” in the middle-east; in collaboration with our partner - Trillium Information Security Systems (details to be posted soon).

    February 20-26: Pink’s 14th Annual ITSM Conference at the Bellagio, Las Vegas.

    March 10-12: “Pink Elephant 6th Annual ITSM Conference in Mexico City”

    Hope to see you at one of these events, or at least in an airport somewhere. Say “hello”!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 11/02 at 06:39 PM
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    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Whirlwind Tour of Pakistan Wraps-Up

    Three major cities - Islamabad, Lahore & Karachi - in just 3 days. But now it’s all over.

    Gary Case and I had a very interesting, enjoyable and illuminating time in Pakistan. We visited 2 major customer prospects with our prospective new partner - Trillium Information Security Systems - and then spoke at a special event on Saturday evening produced and hosted by CIO Pakistan,  a CIO Executive Dinner Discussion titled “IT Governance Through IT Service Management”.

    This CIO Pakistan event deserves a special mention. For a number of reasons I was unable to confirm my travel plans until Tuesday mid-morning, Toronto time. Then, what must have been a small army of people immediately sprung into action to actually produce & promote the CIO Pakistan event for the Saturday evening, barely 4 days later! It’s a huge testament to the organizational skills of the Trillium and CIO Pakistan teams that this event was pulled off so successfully (I certainly enjoyed it!) It was put together so quickly that it’s still not mentioned yet in the events section of the CIO Pakistan website! I’m sure we’ll see it there soon as there was a lot of video recording and photography going on all evening (that’s one of my photos - below. Gary being interviewed by CNBC).

    I am very grateful to Mr. Mohsin Sheikh and his team at Trillium for organizing such a productive program for us. Also to Ms. Rabia Garib and her team at CIO Pakistan for their special efforts too. I promised her more advance notice next time - if they’ll have us back.

    I wish I could have stayed on a little longer, for two reasons one professional, and one personal:

    1. Clearly there are a great deal of opportunities for Pink to serve and support the IT market in Pakistan. I just wish I could have met with even more organizations.

    2. I really enjoyed interacting with the many Pakistani people we were introduced to on our trip. Not only did they come across as both highly competent and professional, but the hospitality extended to us was quite humbling.

    We’re already working on next steps for “Pink in Pakistan” - so watch this space!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/14 at 04:47 AM
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    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Islamabad to Lahore in 4 Hours - By Car

    The countryside was spectacular, so I tried really hard to get some decent pictures out of the car window today. But we were traveling so fast on the highway that they are all too blurry to post. I suspected that might be the case so I started shooting video. But I didn’t get anything too exciting there either because Gary Case was prattling on non-stop about work the whole time.

    Once we’d finished giggling about playing cat & mouse with the Highway Police, just listen to Gary go on and on about training IT consultants. Take a break Gary, we’re in Pakistan for heaven’s sake - look out the window!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/11 at 02:23 PM
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    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Budding ITIL Experts in Pakistan

    Earlier today Gary Case and I arrived here in Islamabad and almost immediately went into a meeting with one of the country’s largest telcos. The talk was more about “IT Governance” than “ITSM/ITIL”. Interesting.

    We then headed off to the office of our prospective new partner here in Pakistan. We were impressed to discover the high degree of professionalism and commitment shown by the consultants.

    At the end of our meeting I just couldn’t resist a group photo (me and Gary in the middle).

    After looking at the back wall it’s no wonder I can’t get the phrases “new ITSM tools”, “employee compliance” and “demand management” out of my head!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/10 at 01:26 PM
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    Monday, May 25, 2009

    Pink Perspective 2009 Hits The Road!

    George Spalding and I will be heading off at the end of this week to visit with our most valuable customers in Singapore & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Sign-ups for our full day Perspective seminars next Tuesday & Wednesday have already exceeded last year’s levels. Clearly there’s a great thirst for Pink knowledge in South East Asia these days!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/25 at 02:05 PM
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