#FocusFriday: It Takes A Village…

Celeste Simmons
Xerox industry analyst relations program manager

After waiting to exhale comes the sigh of relief, which is ultimately followed by moments of reflection.  After working feverishly on two successful industry analyst briefings, I am in my period of reflection.  I’ve realized it takes a village…a small army…perhaps even a herd of elephants to deliver two consecutive best-in-class events that effectively deliver Xerox’s messages, showcase our brand and satisfy all stakeholders involved.

Although, at times, we thought we’d need the assistance of a few giants to tackle the herculean task before us, elephants may be a stretch.  What we did need was a team with a razor-sharp focus on execution that never lost sight of the big picture.  Lucky for us, that’s just what we have.

How do you focus on effecting positive post-event coverage and solidifying business relationships amidst cries for printouts, travel change requests and umbrellas to dodge unanticipated rain drops? I’ve learned the keys are: delegation, accountability and preparation.

  • A bit of self-awareness helps with all these things.  You’re not going to sprout an extra set of hands or feet. Likewise, you won’t be able to will another 8 hours into the day.  Therefore, it’s important to delegate to your team members’ strengths and experiences.
  • With delegation comes accountability.  In spite of all the pre-event and onsite requests that can take you into the weeds, it’s important to know who has ultimate responsibility for each area of execution.
  • And none of the above is possible without preparation, but not preparation in the traditional “to do list” sense.  Event preparation means planning to be flexible and perhaps even throwing that “to-do list” out the window (gasp!) to react to on-the-spot demands.

For me, the very best part of post-event reflection is marveling at how the village came together around a shared goal and took a personal stake in seeing it through to fruition.

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