The Stories that Make Successful Conferences, with Allison Hunt Eubanks
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Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Allison Hunt Eubanks about the LexisNexis CAM conference. How and why does a company host an event of this magnitude? How do they bring it all together, train their speakers, and generate a cohesive gathering? And what role does storytelling play in an event where attendees are meant to walk away with a message? Find out on today’s episode!
More About Allison:
Allison Hunt Eubanks is Director, Content Marketing and Events for the insurance business at LexisNexis Risk Solutions where she leads the content marketing team, and is responsible for the overarching messaging strategy, which includes driving messaging alignment for four business lines. In her role, she oversees content for four blogs, and for more than 110 annual events, including a national customer meeting for approximately 500 attendees. Allison joined LexisNexis in 2014 and has more than 15 years of insurance marketing experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism – Advertising from the University of Georgia.
What exactly is CAM and how does it relate to Lexis Nexis? If not lead gen, what is its purpose? How do you measure its success?
What is the process behind choosing the theme and the topics discussed at CAM for the breakout sessions? How do make it look like it all goes together?
LexisNexis itself is huge. What is the purpose of bringing everyone together? What value to attendees of CAM receive? What sort of customer feedback do you get from customers in reference to CAM?
Are there other actionable measures of success? And, on the topic of success, is there a formula, whether that be the venue, the topics, entertainment value?
What challenges do you have with assembling many technical experts? How do you help train and prepare your speakers to ensure the event goes smoothly? What are the benefits of bringing in an outsider instead of staying internally focused?
What are good and easy ways to facilitate connections? Can storytelling play a role? What story does Allison have to share? How does she use stories to show the value of CAM to customers?
CHANGE: An Advantage or Disruption to Early Career Employees?
We’ve all heard the catch phrases: “Change is the New Normal” or “The Only Thing Constant Is Change.” And, certainly in the workplace, they’ve proven to be true. But we hear much less about the impact of that change on employees. Especially those who are newer to the workforce and trying to establish a foundation for a career path.
Companies are focused on the mid-tier group, the new leaders. The pace of change is creating more opportunity than it ever has for those who are close to leadership. Opportunities are coming faster, the landscape is bigger and it’s why leadership development teams have focused on this group. And we’ve partnered with companies to expand the skills of these new leaders.
But most recently, we’ve paid
attention to the impact of change on a different group….the early career
The first decade of a career builds the foundational skills that define a career path. Leaders who started careers 20+ years ago didn’t navigate their careers at the same pace. They had more time, more direction and more support. Now that they’ve become the group competing for the opportunities, they have less time and less focus to mentor the newest generation in the workforce.
But the bigger challenge is that the model for establishing a career foundation has changed significantly. Most early career employees don’t have the right guidelines. This employee group is trying to navigate a path that hasn’t been traveled by anyone else.
So, we’ve taken an interest in helping early career employees navigate their career. And we’ve focused on our three “V’s” that best support career advancement in today’s shifting environments: Visibility, Value and Velocity.
The number of managers most employees have in the first decade of their career has continued to climb. On average, most have had seven different managers at the end of ten years, which means having a new boss every 18 months.
Some of that change is their own doing by moving to different companies, but the pattern of a single manager promoting you within a company and creating the next opportunity for you is no longer the model. Very early on, employees need to learn how to build relationships and create visibility for themselves. To gain visibility, you have to build your unique network within a company early so that your success is lined up to multiple people and not a single (often revolving) track.
Access to leaders is easier today than ever before. Leaders want to hear all ideas, but you have to know how to position ideas with them. You need to know how to add value to the conversation. For years, we’ve helped seasoned managers get a seat at the table by building conversations with measurable outcomes. And today, we’re helping a younger employee understand the leader’s perspective.
There are confusing messages about how to work in corporate America. To attract employees, employers have offered many incentives: unlimited vacation, flexible schedules and every sort of amenity from onsite childcare to ping-pong. But for a generation that hasn’t fully developed a work ethic, it can be a little misleading. It could suggest “do things when you want” and “get things to me when you can.”
That’s incongruent with the pace of work. The typical front-line job requires upwards of 50 hours a week and can reach much longer during heavy “sprint” periods. And with an early career employee expected to work nine to ten hours a day amongst unlimited choices, a few poor choices are likely to be made.
visibility and adding value to a conversation only matters if you’re willing to
work hard to deliver on a result. You
have to put in the hours to achieve the results. That part of the career
journey hasn’t changed.
An early career employee always asks: How long does it take to add value? And the answer is much longer than they think.
This is the generation that
is more prepared and capable than other generations have been. But they are
restless. They are constantly thinking
about the next step and they are easily distracted by moving their skills to a
different place that offers a different perk, a unique project or a better
culture setting. That impatience can
lead to careers that move more sideways than forward.
Velocity is a balance of speed
and direction. And moving just to move doesn’t fit the formula. Moves should
advance a career. Many early career employees get frustrated and move because
they’re bored or restless, and in the end, that impatience and quick change ultimately
leads them to continued frustration.
We’re working on a simple formula to help an early employee understand when their skills are considered advanceable and when their experience shows enough repetition that someone would put them in a bigger role or expanded responsibility. We hope it instills a little patience and a reason to stay in a role a little longer.
Change doesn’t have to be disruptive. And, in fact, with a little coaching it can be an asset.
Companies know they’re either headed toward change, they’re in the middle of change or they’re coming out of change, and someone who has been through it has great value to them. The key is to build a career story that reflects that experience rather than one that shows a limited skill set.
excited by this new dimension to our conversations in companies and we are digging
deeper for insights and experiences that can teach others how to navigate
change. If change has disrupted your career path, we’d like to capture your
insights. If you’d like to share your
story, please take a few minutes and complete
if you see the challenges of change in your employee group, we’d love to host a
program for you. We’ve rolled out the concepts above in short seminars and custom
workshops. And, we expect that could be a sign of a more general program in the
Call us when you need us.
The Power of Mentoring Among Women with TD Bank
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Today, we have the opportunity to discuss women in leadership and the value of sisterhood and structured mentor programs on the success of modern business women with four female leaders from TD Bank. These ladies will also share how stories impact authenticity, growth, and inspiration within an organization when operating as leaders.
More about Molly Abair:
Molly Abair is the Executive Credit Officer for TD Bank’s New England Metro. In this role, she is responsible for the adjudication of commercial loan requests, ensuring the portfolio grows within the banks’ risk appetite. She’s honed the ability to bring together stakeholders with differing views, understand their perspectives, and facilitate a collaborative approach to success. Molly’s instinctive approach to leadership and talent development aligns TD Bank’s vision and framework. Her intent focus on customer and employee experiences has contributed greatly to consistently strong business results.
More about Rachel Wilner
Rachel Wilner is a respected leader and senior executive for the commercial banking team managing the Delaware and Chester County regions for TD Bank. She has demonstrated the ability to produce strong results in multiple regions of the bank and within other financial institutions during her career. Rachel is a recognized coach and mentor, has successfully developed high caliber teams, has cultivated deep relationships with clients who view her as a trusted advisor, and is also deeply committed to the communities she serves.
More about Emily Stoddard
Emily Stoddard is the Middle Market Team Lead for New York City. Emily is responsible for leading a commercial banking team to grow TD Bank’s loan portfolio through deposits, products and services offered to middle-market businesses throughout the five boroughs of New York City. She is recognized as a strong client professional and a strategic leader who consistently motivates her team to deliver results while being passionate and disciplined.
More about Cindy Stover
Cindy S. Stover is the North Florida Market President for TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. As Market President, she has leadership responsibilities over the Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona Beach and Ocala areas of Florida. Cindy is responsible for the successful operational management of Commercial banking while providing leadership and guidance for TD Bank’s North Florida overall strategic and market performance.
On women in leadership… 1 in 5 leaders are women in the finance industry. How has TD Bank improved this statistic for themselves? How does diversity play a role? What about confidence?
What are the top skills needed to help leaders develop? Are any of the necessary skills particular to women? How do relationship building, listening, and communication skills play a role in reaching collaborative solutions?
Where did these ladies find feedback early in their careers? What difference did it make? How important is having a mentor?
How did the team begin to think about mentoring, and how did the program come together and evolve at TD Bank? In what way did “paying it forward” help develop the program? What does the group do when they meet and how do these group sessions assist the women involved? How did they structure it?
Sisterhood plays a role, but the right leaders need to be in the room and be able to mentor. How did Cindy get involved in the program? And what does she get out of her mentee relationships? Have the men within the organization been supportive?
How has structure benefited mentors and mentees alike? What would women leaders who believe they are already good mentors gain from being part of a structured group of mentors?
How does a woman’s image impact her career? How can a woman’s image detract from her ability to bring focus to herself and her words? In what way can mentors give visual feedback from a good place to help women further their careers?
How do stories help leaders instill authenticity and inspiration within their organization? Which stories do these ladies use to guide their mentees?