New York City

East Coast Client Conference

June 12 - 13 | New York, NY

Event Highlights & Key Learnings

Business model transformation. Strategy alignment across a global enterprise. A high-performing sales culture. Cross-business unit collaboration. Exceptional customer satisfaction. Culture transformation. Facing these business challenges, how would you enable your company’s success?

Leaders from Fortune 500 companies joined BTS at its annual East Coast Client Conference in New York City on June 12 & 13 to explore the keys to exceptional strategy execution, the role of leadership in enabling success, and innovative approaches to actively engage and immerse employees in company strategy. Meanwhile, the Sales Track explored the strategies and tools that enable leading sales organizations to anticipate their customer’s priorities and create unique value.

The conference featured keynote presentations from senior executives at Citigroup, Cisco, Google, HP, Bechtel and more, an interactive executive line panel, and the latest insights from BTS senior leaders.

Strategy Execution Track

Strategy Execution Today & Tommorow

  • BTS's Rommin Adl, Executive Vice President, presented BTS’s Cracking the Code research, conducted in partnership with The Economist, sharing the key findings on how top performing companies are maximizing the full potential of strategic initiatives.
  • In addition to the key drivers of strategy execution — alignment, mindset and capability — the audience discussion raised the critical need for a feedback loop to identify gaps in communication or capabilities. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions” for individuals and organizations in any successful strategy execution initiative.
  • BTS's Jessica Parisi, Senior Vice President, discussed the importance of Designed Experiences™ in providing a safe environment where leaders can practice the skills necessary to execute strategy and develop the “muscle memory” to perform them on the job.
  • Making strategy “consumable”, identifying the roles most critical to execution, and recognizing the most important “moments” of leadership (and how to best take action) were identified as key to successfully building high-performance capabilities.

Transforming Culture Through Gamification

  • A Leading Cloud Computing Company focused on the use of gamification in executing strategy, and how it’s particularly effective with younger generations in the workforce in building mindset and capability.
  • Identifying the vital behaviors that were essential to executing the company strategy, and motivating and rewarding the workforce to perform them on a day-to-day basis, were execution challenges that a gamification strategy helped overcome.
  • Also discussed was the power of unleashing “discretionary performance” — making employees want to take on behaviors vs. feeling like they have to, and making it personal, relevant and fun for them.

Enabling Leaders to Drive Business Model Transformation

  • HP’s Renée Knee, VP, WW Field Strategy & Operations, explored the theme of feedback further.
  • The business simulation experience, co-created by HP and BTS to drive business model transformation on a company-wide basis, resulted in valuable feedback for HP’s senior leaders.
  • Feedback on strategies teams took and investments and trade-offs teams made resulted in insights for the steering committee that could be incorporated back into the company strategy.

Accelerating Strategy Execution with Top Teams

  • BTS's Dave Ackley, Head of BTS Digital Services, demonstrated new capabilities for digitally-enabled events that allow companies to accelerate strategy execution at scale.
  • Digital tools and activities are enabling large audiences of event attendees to become active participants in generating, sharing and rating content, including value statements, action plans and messaging on executing and communicating the strategy.
  • These collaborative exercises not only generate valuable content that can be used after the event, but also create alignment and ownership of the strategy among the event participants, who feel as though they are contributing to the playbook for executing the strategy down through the organization.
  • A Global Financial Services Company, who had leveraged BTS’s digital strategy execution platform for large off-site events, then spoke about the success of the technology solution in making “big feel small”.
  • Crowdsourcing and collaboration exercises, where content contributions were viewable by the entire audience and pushed back out to the group for evaluation and rating, allowed an audience of 1,000 senior leaders to feel as though they were engaged in a conversation, and created an experience that felt personal.
  • Also crucial in demonstrating that the organization’s senior team was aligned on the new strategy was having the program 100% facilitated by its senior executives. BTS was effective in preparing the senior executives to facilitate the event using the new digital technology, empowering them to feel like “rock stars” in front of the large audiences.

Building Great Leaders

  • BTS’s Susan Burnett, VP, Leadership Development, spoke about building great leaders, and the importance of leadership in successful strategy execution.
  • Business leaders must own all drivers of shareholder value — and leadership is a critical driver.
  • The theme of recognizing the key moments of leadership was raised again, as well as defining what represents ‘great’ behavior in those moments and codifying it into a leadership model.

Accelerating Leader Capability to Inspire Cultural Transformation

  • Bechtel’s Rob Scott, Project Manager for the Pipeline Business Line, and Gad Nestel, the Dean at Bechtel Leadership Academy, explored how they are addressing shifting demographics and building leaders capabilities for the challenges ahead.
  • When a single project can require the equivalent investment and value as a Fortune 500 company, one leadership mistake can cost millions.
  • Bechtel partnered with BTS to assess and redefine its leadership model to focus on 4 high-impact leadership behaviors, and developed a 3-tiered curriculum for emerging leaders, supervisors and senior managers based on a learn it, do it and teach it approach that has led to compelling results.

Senior Line Executive Panel

  • Jeff McCreary, Independent Director for IDT Semiconductor and former SVP at Texas Instruments, Julie England, Board of Directors at Checkpoint Systems, Inc., and Paul Limbrey, Director of Media Platforms at Google, were featured in an interactive panel focused on leadership and strategy.
  • Conference attendees engaged in dialogue and gained valuable insights around the perspective of business executives, how to best partner with them, and how to drive the most value in organizations.
  • Especially insightful were discussions on avoiding unproductive “us vs. them” thinking between business and HR leaders, and the critical need for building a bridge using common business language and more effective and engaging talent development methods that deliver value.


Sales Track

Elevating the Sales Conversation to Drive Customer Satisfaction

  • Amy Hutchins, Education and Training Manager at Georgia Power, revealed the sales force skill gaps at her organization and led individuals through the BTS solution that proved a raging success in improving sales execution.
  • The presentation motivated deep discussion around how to sustain and reinforce sales skill development. Attendees explored best practices from executive buy-in to follow-up activities and tools that embed learning into daily rhythm. "Sales Accelerator is a culture. We’ve embedded it into all of our sales training," reflected Hutchins.

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Sales Leadership Execution — Getting Beyond the Off-Site

  • Cisco’s Kathy Ross, Sales Strategy and Planning Manager, shared how the company transitioned beyond the typical sales off-site to create a journey to shift mindset among the company’s General Managers.
  • The initiative began by immersing general managers in an experiential learning environment at a kick-off leadership event, and the momentum continued through a 60-day follow-up session. Results analysis illuminated the mindset shifts and behavior changes, while follow-up closed the existing gaps identified.

"Sales transformation does not happen with a switch. To get a different breed of salesperson, you need a different breed of leadership."

Finding Success in Cross-Business Sales Collaboration

  • HP’s Colin England, Sales Strategy & Operations for HP Enterprise Group Americas, shared how the company is driving CRM implementation to improve cross business-unit collaboration.
  • The innovative experiential solution—incorporating a business simulation, role play and competitive dynamics—engaged more than 500 sales managers and 5,000 sales representatives in 47 cities across 27 countries. England candidly shared the lessons learned, "If it is going to be a credible experience, it has to feel real, and it also couldn’t be more important to have good coaches and manager engagement."
  • The group concluded that to be successful, implementation efforts must:
    • Clearly communicate the value of the CRM 
    • Demonstrate how it directly impacts sales
    • May be incentivized initially through a reward system
    • Maintain executive buy-in and use by leaders 

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Getting the Most Out of Your Development Investment

  • Google’s Paul Limbrey, Vice President of Enterprise Sales, discussed his perspective and experience in maximizing sales investments and results. He emphasized ownership of the sales process commenting, “I’m huge on owning the sale process and never handing it back over to the customer.”
  • He also recognized that this is not easy to accomplish, requires specific capabilities, and demands a strong partner to accelerate skill development. He reflected, “You’re only as good as the help you can get from others.”

"As a leader, you have to be the embodiment of the culture. It has to start at the top—executive buy-in is key."


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