During the session I ran at Marketing Week Live as part of my session I asked for a Volunteer. The person who volunteered it turns out worked for Hewlett Packard. After my presentation we spoke and she asked me if it was possible for me to come into their offices to run a session about The Beans Group, the story behind studentbeans.com, enterprise, making the most of opportunities and being entrepreneurial within organisations. A few days later she called to arrange the date. She asked if I was free on the 18th July at 10.30 – I had a look in my diary and I was free then but needed to be in Bracknell for my mentoring session with Emma Beale from Waitrose. I asked where they were based and she responded Bracknell around 10 minutes from the station. I couldn’t believe it out of over 100 people in my presentation, the person to volunteer, the company she works for being based in Bracknell, the date of the year all combined – I just couldn’t believe the serendipity of it all. So thats how my day started running a presentation for about 60 of the team from Hewlett Packard, I had lunch at their offices and worked there for an hour or so and then made my way over to Waitrose Head office.
Meeting Emma was an amazing experience as it helped provide an understanding of the different types of work environment from two very contrasting experiences. From being the Marketing Director at Pepsi Co to the Instore Communications Manager at Waitrose.
PepsiCo being a fast paced environment with constant change. By contrast Waitrose having a partnership structure creates an elevated level of ownership invoking passion and commitment to the brand that is quite unique to the organisation. With this also comes loyalty and whilst there may be less risk taken as people in the organisation feel more ownership – there is increased loyalty and many of the team at Waitrose are there for a signifiant amount of time with 5 – 6 people in the team having been there over 25 years.
3 Key Learnings and Take aways from Emma included:
1. Be proud of what do. Further than that a good way to look at this is do you think your children will be proud of what you do?
2. The importance of Talent Management – develop the team and build their capability.
3. Realise what you are good at. What do you bring to the table? When you know… you should bring it! Take every stretch opportunity and build on the things you are good at.
Emma clearly cares a huge amount about the work she does and it was inspiring to understand more about how Waitrose values it’s people and the work it does. It certainly makes me think differently every time am in my local Waitrose store.