I have a new-found respect for our employees in all aspects of their job when they are on optimization projects. I had the pleasure of joining our Phillips 66 Selmer team in Tennessee for 2 weeks of Business Engagement and I was amazed at everything I learned from our methodology to what our employees go through with their travel schedule and meeting daily with our clients.
My first week involved my flight on Sunday afternoon being canceled (along with all other Southwest flights) and I planned to just start the following week instead. Plans change daily…right? I went to the office as normal on Monday and it was suggested I find another way down that same week, so I drove home to pick up my suitcase and started the 7-hour drive to Selmer. Believe it or not, my commute was the shortest of the entire team.
My first day at the client involved us meeting in the hotel lobby, grabbing a quick snack and heading to the office 25 minutes away to ensure we start at 7:00 am. I met the Phillips team during our first workshop in their conference room that is set aside for us and it’s about 90 degrees with a chandelier hanging in the middle of the room. With over 20 people in this room, it gets cramped and hot quickly. Our first workshop each day goes from 10 am to 11:30, then we return to our office that has been assigned to the team for our lunch break. However, since there is a daily 12 pm call with the entire Phillips team, I was chosen to pick up lunch for David Carroll, Jeff Devine, Sammy Ngum and myself. We then return to the “Chandelier” room at 1 pm for the second workshop. By the end of the week, I was jumping in and helping the planners, purchasing agents, and scheduler’s (etc.) with their own system. Personally, I have never touched SAP before but felt that I was there to learn, so I just followed what our “guys” were presenting and helped people keep up.
By the second week, my flight was delayed again, and it forced Sammy and Finus Rascoe to wait for me at the car rental since our hotel was 2 hours away from the airport and we were sharing a car. We arrived at the client again the next day and started our 3rd week of Business Engagement and I was amazed at the professionalism and knowledge that Sammy, Finus, and Jeff portrayed to the client and I was having a blast. That is until Jeff Devine dropped the bomb on me! I was to present to the client a workshop on Action Tracker and had to create the slide decks myself. What? I’ve heard of action tracker, and know the logic behind using it, but present it to a client? All I could do (besides look at Jeff like a deer in headlights) was to jump into it and learn all I could by the Wednesday afternoon session. I completed the workshop, received a round of applause (I had to ask for that) and realized that I only had to do this once, not several times per week, so I was happy.
What that I learned about this experience is that the BMA’s, IA’s and Thought Leaders spend a lot of time traveling, missing their families, speaking in front of strangers and sharing their knowledge with our clients. I also learned that Sammy does NOT like snakes, David Carroll needs to call his family at 6 pm daily, Jeff Devine likes to eat at “Smokey Joes’ and Finus is seriously laid back and goes with the flow. But most of all, I learned how our Optimization Process helps clients become successful and how critical everyone’s skill set is on the team. We sure do have a great group of people that work for Reveal!