IBM AR manager extraordinaire John Simonds (Twitter handle) posted Managing the Executive’s Ego’s; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly last week on his Delusions of Adequacy blog. It is a very useful post as it discusses the types of executives that AR teams often encounter. I am sure that many of the AR professionals reading John’s post can only shake their head in agreement as they think about their own experiences.
However, it is possible to change some executives from “The Bad” into “The Good” and make “The Good” even better (we are not sure there is much one can do with “The Ugly”). What it takes is education. So how does AR educate executives about the impact of the analysts and analyst interaction best practices?
First, you don’t call it education or training. We all know that the typical executive is beyond training. Rather, AR needs to position the education as “strategic briefings” or “strategic updates” because those are something executives will agree to do.
Second, AR has to engage in retail not wholesale sessions. You cannot expect execs to show up in a classroom, so AR needs to invest a little time in meeting one-on-one with execs in their offices.
Third, AR has to keep the sessions short,sweet, and very focused. Hone your content to around 15 minutes to give plenty of time for discussion and still finish a little early.
Fourth, bring real-world examples of analyst impact on your company’s deals that each executive would find relevant.
- Add executive education to your training plan (see this on training plans), which is part of your AR Strategic and Tactical Plan
- Generate a portfolio of analyst impact examples to use when briefing executives
- Develop content that is short and easily modifiable to make each session as relevant as possible to the individual executive
- Incorporate mini-bites of education into executive preparation, briefings, and emails that are used when planning analyst interactions
- Diplomatically provide critiques of executive performance during analyst interactions with suggestions for improvement
To learn how to incorporate training into your AR Strategic & Tactical Plan, sign up for SageCircle’s STRATGIC ISSUES: Challenges for the AR Team seminar. This advanced AR seminar is designed for experienced AR staff and managers who need to raise the bar above the fundamentals of analyst relations. The seminar includes a 200+ page book and there is ample time for questions and answers to complement the presentation. At only $995, SageCircle Seminars are a prudent investment to raise the effectiveness and efficiency of AR programs. Click here for more information, the agenda and to register for the March 24-25 session in Cupertino in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Bottom Line: Most executives want to be effective in their interactions with the analysts and welcome appropriate assistance. Misconceptions about analysts and lack of AR specific skills are the significant barriers to performance. AR professionals can help their executives improve through education. The best executive education is done in such a way that the executives do not realize they are getting trained, which can only be done with planning and best practices.
Question: AR managers – do you have a formal program for educating executives? Analysts – what are the items you wish AR would include in an executive training curriculum?
SageCircle has a full portfolio of intellectual property on how to setup a training program for all your constituencies: best practices (how to’s), sample training content, instruction services (live in-person, live distance and recorded), AR Plan builder workshops, advisory and tools (eliminates re-invention of the wheel). Click here for more information or call us at 503-636-1500 to learn how SageCircle can help you launch an AR training program quickly and efficiently.