The ironies are many. Not the least of which is the irony I unwittingly participated in. I gave a talk about professionalism. And as a result of three images a handful of people found distasteful, the definition of "professional" has now been officially revised to include "appropriate imagery" and "lack of any kind of offense". If the latter caveat was in a rule book, Steve Jobs would have been held up as the antichrist of business.
Allow me to pose a hypothetical scenario. What if I had planned the whole thing? What if I had intended to offend and anticipated the backlash?
And at the very end of my talk said the following:
"I know there is at least one person in this room who is tweeting that I am unprofessional. I know that someone in this room has already sent Robert a text or an email expressing anger over a couple cartoons I used to illustrate my talk. I am aware that someone in this room is offended."
"Do you see how easy it is to affect the larger community? Do you see how easy it is to do harm to another individual or professional or organization by your actions?"
How powerful would that have been?
I didn't think of this before I took the stage. I didn't anticipate the reaction. I didn't intend to offend anyone. But I did.
Nonetheless, the lessons that resulted are valuable. So learn from them and apply them in your dealings with your clients and the EE community. Because the message I imparted in my presentation is still a very powerful one.
I unwittingly set the ball in motion, but my lack of foresight in dealing with the small percentage of people who would take offense in no way negates my larger message. Nor does it negate my culpability.
I simply didn't plan for it. I truly wish I had.