Panels Performing Perfectly

As I mentioned in my last post, we were given troves of great advice during the last week, and a lot of that came from two panel sessions that we had on the penultimate day.

We were treated to a panel session with three very experienced and talented IBMers – Ann Rubin, Ed Abrahams, and Lisa Gilbert – who were joined by the IBM account director at Ogilvy – Lou Aversano.  All of the panel emphasised how important relationships are  – in fact they had all been colleagues and friends for years. Lou spoke about how the challenges you face at work are important, but it’s the people you will learn the most from. As well as your career being a marathon, not a sprint, neither is it a straight upwards trajectory -sometimes it’s more like a zizag – with sideways moves before you can move up!

Ann continued this theme, and gave the opinion that relationships make things happen & help you get ahead. It’s important that we help each other – as we all have and need different experiences. Ann explained when you do have the inevitable failures, it’s important to fix it, adjust and move on – just don’t do it again!

Lisa told us the importance of the need to build two muscles during your career with the jobs you selcet- the strategy muscle and the execution muscle – and go back and forth on this as it helps develop a rounded perspective. She also said it’s imperative to seek and listen to advice.

Ed gave very good advice I thought about if you “bomb” in a meeting – rather than waste everyone’s time trying to guess at answers you don’t know, tell people you will have to rearrange to meet, so that you can go back and re-evaluate what you need to do. He also said to always start with facts, and remain passionate. And he too emphasised that nothing new came without failures first.

My two biggest take home messages from this panel session were 1) YOU HAVE THE POWER TO SAY NO!!! and 2) DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!!!

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Another panel was an alumni session, with three people that had been on the MLDP course in previous years. They all had some great ideas, but here are my top ten that I thought were most important:

  • Make sure you assign a leader in your group
  • Assign a drill sergeant (which is apparently me in team two!! I do like to be super organised – it’s not OCD it’s just good sense!)
  • Having regular check point calls with all your key stakeholders for your project – you need to keep in lock step with them
  • Always respect each other – you will have many differing opinions
  • Learn from your team members – don’t just keep in your lane
  • Don’t be shy in using and expanding your network
  • Make sure your project solves a problem & others haven’t… the answer will be buried deep and not easy to find
  • Your story will be strengthened if you aim towards a tangible objective
  • Start each call with each team member telling everyone what’s been happening in their life – it shouldn’t just start and end with work
  • In the Q&A make sure you assign questions – rather than all try to jump on at once!

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Remember, you can always follow me at @RSwindell, to hear the latest!!

In other news…. here’s a picture from this week of me and Hilary Swank… otherwise known as fellow LDPer Caitlin!



About beckyowen

I am a European Social Media Strategist at IBM. I love everything about Social Media, and like testing out new tools and techniques. I am also an on going Weight Watcher, but sadly LOVE all types of cheese and chocolate!
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