Seven Things I Learnt from Product G&T Retreat 2018

Over the course of 3 days, close to forty product practitioners, founders and coaches met at Ubud, Bali to meet, learn and feast together, all for the purpose of deepening our understanding of how to build great product experiences.

These are seven things I learnt from Product G&T 2018.

1. Being outside, leads to out-there ideas!

Most of us are are trapped 5-days a week, 52 weeks a year in a building with four, usually white, walls with the same people.

Being in a familiar environments breeds familiar ideas.

So what happens when we remove the walls?

That’s what happened at Product G&T, where we literally got of the building for the sun and green that Ubud, Bali had to offer.

Being outside, in a strange environment with a mix of different people leads to new, creative and sometimes crazy ideas that can and does lead to real world value.

2. Diversity leads to interesting and engaging discussions.

Diversity is not just a buzzword or something to do to be politically correct. Being surrounded by people of vastly different backgrounds, provided perspectives I would have never considered, leading to avenues of conversation and talk that I could not arrive at myself, or with the people I know.

Diversity is beyond skin colour and gender, rather it’s our life experiences, knowledge, beliefs and thinking.

Diversity of thoughts and beliefs leads to significantly engaging interactions.

3. Open space leads to magical moments.

I’ve been a long-term fan of open-space technology (OST), a very lightweight facilitation method heavily informed by the science of how people behave. OST believes that if we give people space, they will create inspired meetings and events.

This was certainly true at Product G&T.

Not only did we have fascinating discussions, an exchange of ideas and experiences, but strengthen old relationship and formed new ones.

Humans are inherently social creators, and OST gave us the space to be so.

4. Ubud has surprisingly great food!

Who doesn’t love food? Ubud was surprising that a simple rice dish to ribs at a warung (stall) to a fancy restaurant had great food. There’s definitely something for everyone.

The groups that formed based on dietary and foodie preferences demonstrated the diversity amongst us.

5. The best conversations happen over food and drink.

Great food and drink leads to great conversation. Nuff said. 🙂

6. Michael Ong makes facilitation look easy.

A great facilitator makes facilitation look easy. Michael Ong certainly made it look easy.

Making it look easy is definitely not easy as there was a lot of work that went in to the event, from logistics, accommodation, venue, and lastly managing the participants!

Special thanks to Michael and the Product G&T team!

7. There is so much potential in South East Asia!

I left the event filled with hope and excitement that South East Asia is definitely the best place to be in the world to build great products, solve world-changing problems and better the life of our fellow men and women. .

Looking forward to Product G&T 2019!

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