Opinion

Corporate event: from moment to movement

Zezo Carvalho, Founder of Trendz®

At a late afternoon meeting, an administrator asked me for help in finding a concept and format for a large internal event. According to him, something that could motivate his employees and (I quote) "change some negative behaviours and improve the relationship between the business units." The company's new cycle demanded it and the inner anxiety seemed huge. My spoon moved around the cup, entrapping the question: "As a leader, what do you want to happen next?". He leaned back in his chair and replied back to me in a worried tone: "What do you mean, Zezo?". It was precisely this way that a briefing for a tactical one day event became a strategic context that few leaders consider. The coffee had not yet come to an end and it was clear to him that just settling a date on the calendar would not be enough for the necessary evolution dynamics for that culture (the Movement, as I call it). Not in this leader's Leadership Cycle.

The internal corporate event comes mostly associated with professional data and knowledge sharing and skills development, or what we call dynamic or adaptive empowerment. In between, it is expected the natural conviviality & coolness, in environments that range from a simple commercial Kick-Off to a one-day regular training, a happy hour or a flash-talk, an afternoon of outdoor activity or the famous Christmas and Company Day gatherings. Isolated, independently of the high quality and creativity in implementation, these moments are pure "corporate aspirin."

On the other hand, through internal events organized on an integrated platform, with a planned and well communicated (online and offline) frequency, employees will surely realize what we call alignment or "unity", where each event feeds a series of steps, all of which are focused on a clear, fair and measurable goal.

How to best start an internal movement is one of the key issues in this process. Answer: by example. It seems consensual that motivation can be promoted around the vision, mission and values of the institution, be it a Company, a Group or a Brand, but the truth is that a corporate culture lies under a specific, historical cycle, unique in its leadership. For six months, three years or a decade, Leadership sets a visible organizational pattern, establishing the rules of that culture. And it is as sure as ego that the current leadership (good or bad, regardless of your style) needs channels to communicate its acts, celebrate its achievements, share its ambitions. And this is not something you do once in a while or on the day that best fits the company calendar.

In the last four years, the low impact of internal events in the business results may be one of the reduction of investment factors by companies. I do not think it was just a matter of "frugality" in face of the economic context. It is obvious that we cut where there is no demonstrated impact and, from my perspective, there should be no party for those who do not make an effort or are satisfied with little.

Of course there are companies with good performance, but whose Leadership Pool is not popular, relational, communicative. It's a shame, but it happens. On the other hand, these same years I have observed and worked with great companies that look for and continue to invest in integrated programs of internal dynamics in a context of reward by execution. A clear proof that a high-performance team (its extraordinary results) generates the necessary motivation to continue moving forward with creativity and innovation, "addicting" a whole culture in the development cycle that is visible. In such a context, the event, meeting or coffee conversation are part of a movement, every action is an opportunity to remember that "the goal is right there."

This fantastic corporate dynamics is full of possibilities. I think that event professionals should define their purpose, choosing with whom and in what way they wish to prove their relevance. You may continue to set a calendar date or decide to become a part of a movement whose dynamics is able to brand a cycle that is worth it for you and your customers.

 

Tags: Internal events

26-01-2015