The reason corporate meeting planners are never comfortable
By Tracy Judge, CMP
Director of Business Development, Cadence Meetings & Incentives
“I’m still a bit of a rebel, always saying that we cannot sit still. Every morning you’ve got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing, and a conviction that, to win, you have to change faster and be more agile than anyone else,” said Indra Nooyi, Pepsi CEO, in a recent Harvard Business Journal Article.
As someone who relates to a woman striving for growth in the business (I am in sales, after all), I couldn't agree more with this female leader's perspective on healthy fear. In fact, I've seen it drive success first hand. Our CEO & Founder, Wendy Burk, has kept her travel business relevant and thriving for the past 20 years by never letting herself get comfortable.
The harsh reality is that being satisfied with your current way of doing things makes it easy to be left behind by industry changes. For starters, technology has changed the speed in which we do business. It continuously narrows the window of relevancy for any product, service, or idea. I am sure you have experienced roll-outs of huge investments in technology or processes. Implementation alone can require dedicated internal resources, focus groups, consultants, and hefty financial contributions. How many of you have seen these roll-outs flop by the time they made it through the organization because the process or technology was already outdated?
The same happens with consumer facing products and services. Companies can get bogged down for years in product development and testing due to financial restraints, internal politics, and so on. Often times, products and services are developed based on the traditional assumptions of internal stakeholders instead of in favor of the end user.
Our main filter at Cadence is the customer’s point of view. We design our services and solutions to fulfill the needs and wants of our customers, and we understand that timing equals relevancy. As a result, our Meetings & Incentives team is constantly pushed past comfort levels. We do not force our customers into our mold. Instead, we develop processes tailored to their needs. We choose the technology that is best for them and challenge ourselves to become experts in it, even if it means quick deadlines and new processes. It may sound crazy, but we thrive on it, and the resulting community of happy and loyal customers makes every bit of discomfort worth it.
Back to Indra Nooyi's point, I wake up every morning with that same fear and discomfort... And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
In what ways has embracing change impacted your business positively? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.