I had the distinct pleasure of attending an executive conference of about 40 people last week in Phoenix, AZ. I met Sean Geehan over 2 years ago at the Summit on Customer Engagement during a roundtable discussion Bill Lee hosted. We reconnected through ITSMA events and I have been impressed with his insights into how marketing and business executives can connect directly to strategic customer groups and use them to build/uncover market opportunities. He also has an upcoming book called “The B2B Executive Playbook” pending.
So I was doubly honored when he asked me to speak about the multiple transformations that Xerox has been through — and will continue to experience since acquiring ACS in Feburary of 2010. Here is the link to Slideshare with the few slides I shared. Not surprisingly, the value of the conference came in the interaction and discussion, not as much in the material presented. I learned more from the CEOs, executive marketers, authors, and other top-notch business executives who attended than I feel I gave them in return. Quite a new experience for a former analyst!
Of all the useful and strategic information shared, David Thomson inspired me the most. David is the author of the book “Blueprint to a Billion: 7 Essentials to Achieve Exponential Growth (John Wiley & Sons) and is the founder and Chairman of The Blueprint Growth Institute, a specialized management-consulting firm focused on helping companies execute business development and growth strategies that achieve exceptional or exponential growth.
He has enormous passion — and energy — around the topics of innovation, business development strategies, and growth leadership. His research and expertise identifies the success patterns of America’s highest growth companies. Two of the most interesting patterns he shared were 1) how much the composition of a firm’s board of directors matters (and that it needs to be fairly diverse, including those with deep community and philanthropic ties) and 2) how important Marquee Customers are to securing key Big Brother Alliances with important partners.
This was a rare opportunity for me to step outside of day-to-day marketing activities and think strategically about what it takes to grow or transform a company. I encourage all B2B marketers to take one day out of the quarter to focus on strategy and outline the top 10 tasks you could take on to dramatically change your business