May 19, 2020

3 tips for successful business meetings

Business
Canada
Quebec
Marketing
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3 min
3 tips for successful business meetings

Let’s face facts: Business meetings, though important and often times necessary, can routinely be boring and hard for employees to enjoy. After all, if you want your team to learn something and ultimately be better at their jobs, then you need to grasp their attention and educate them in a memorable way.

RELATED TOPIC: Energize your workforce: 10 ways leaders can take employees “beyond engagement”

If you’re looking for different methods to spice up those monotonous business meetings, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a few tips that can ultimately assist you in making those company conferences more successful.

RELATED TOPIC: 3 tips for choosing the best location for your business

Have an objective

No one likes having their time wasted — period. Therefore, if you’re going to have any type of business meeting, make sure there is a purpose for the meeting.

Before you even schedule the meeting, you should have a clear, drawn out agenda of what you want to achieve during the gathering. Remember: Your employees are busy. Taking time out of the work day to have a meeting ultimately means your employees will be pulled away from their daily tasks.

Therefore, if you want to have a meeting, then have a purpose for the meeting and only invite those that the information pertains to — you’re most likely trying to get more out of your employees, not distract them.  

Think about the location

Sure, it’s not realistic or feasible for every meeting to be held outside of a boardroom or conference room. However, when you get a chance to do so, don’t be afraid to change up the location of the gathering.

You don’t even need to spend money renting out a room or hall — get creative! Simply taking the business meeting outside on a sunny day can be quite effective and give your tired and overworked employees a chance to step away from their desks and get out of the office for a little bit.

If changing the location of the meeting isn’t possible, then try to provide perks or treats to those who have to attend the meeting. Coffee, breakfast bagels or sandwiches are all great ways to not only show your appreciation, but also motivate your team.

Creative a positive atmosphere

If you’re the one planning and setting up the business meeting, then it’s also your responsibility to set the overall tone of the meeting. And if you want the gathering to go well, then it will be very important to creative a positive vibe.

Even if your agenda is too critique the team’s performance, you should do so in a constructive manner. Offer ways and ideas on how employees can better themselves and their work — don’t focus on the negative.

Furthermore, you should promote feedback. During the meeting, each employee (if he or she wishes to do so) should be given the opportunity to speak and discuss his or her opinion. Creating a dialogue is important. After all, at the end of the day, you’re all a team.

These are just a handful of ways in which you could go about beefing up those mundane business meetings. Do you have different ideas of your own? Share them with us!

RELATED TOPIC: 4 tips to help you start your own company   

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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