Kawasaki Presents the “Practitioner’s Road”

Photo of Mark Kawasaki

Mark Kawasaki: ITSM Practitioner

On June 18, 2013, Mark Kawasaki (Integration-ITSMO) was one of the presenters in a global online conference called Tomorrow’s Future Today (TFT).

TFT features 24 speakers, with a goal of creating a 24-hour virtual global conference, with each presentation following the sun, live on YouTube. The speakers were selected by popular vote online.

This conference, entitled “TFT13” was the second TFT ever attempted. Farah Remtulla (formerly of OIT) and Mark spoke at the original TFT in December of 2012. Eight speakers were selected from each region: Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and Asia), the Americas, and Europe.

The conference was coordinated by the Service Desk Institute (SDI) out of the UK and founded by Chris Dancy. All 24 presentations can be seen at www.brighttalk.com/summit/tft13. The presentations were done using Google Hangouts.

Mark’s speech, entitled “The Practitioner’s Road”, talks about his career progression as a practitioner of IT and ITSM, how he got started, transitioned to Emory, making the jump from corporate IT to Higher Ed, and delving further into a broader social community online. “Transitioning from corporate isolation into community engagement was a significant change for me,” says Mark.


The main point of the presentation was to explain how we need to find “social and personal value beyond just business value.” Mark believes that a practitioner should attempt to take that leap into deeper connection with value through community, transparency, and authenticity.

A practitioner is someone who is doing the IT work everyday, living with the good and bad consequences of what they are trying achieve. This is more of a direct relationship to the value an organization provides than that of a consultant or vendor. Practitioners have a personal connection to the business value they are creating.

“I went out on a limb and said that you should look for the value that your business provides and if it is not enough to sustain you personally then you need to leave,” says Mark. “Especially in industries where you are disconnected and only promote value for stockholders. The ‘true consumer’ doesn’t matter as much.”

According to Mark, “At Emory, we have hundreds of good social and personal reasons to feel good about what we’re doing.” One example is the development of a mobile app for people with epilepsy, being promoted by the School of Public Health working with the OIT Architecture and the Web Management teams. Potentially millions of people could be helped through this project as well as also providing valuable collection of research data.

Photo of Chris Dancy

Chris Dancy, the creator of TFT.

Mark worked on his presentation for a long time but never rehearsed it and purposefully didn’t use slides. He wanted it to be a genuine, free-flowing expression of his feelings on the topic.

The presentation was so authentic that Mark was even interrupted by the doorbell. “Someone came to the door in the middle of my presentation, viewers could hear the knocking, and saw me react. I regretted I didn’t take the live camera to answer the door,” Mark laughs.

Mark’s presentation received tremendous feedback on Twitter. One professional wrote an entire blog talking about how Mark’s presentation made a huge impact on the way he views himself as an ITSM practitioner. Mark even received an email from the Netherlands regarding a seminar at the Hague in which they played a couple minutes from his presentation.

“It seemed to have impacted people and that was very exciting.”

You can read Mark’s blog at www.windupbird.org.

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