Finding Success with Trusted Partners | Featuring: Kathleen Vadenais, Fidelity Investments

EPISODE 3 | PODCAST

You can also find this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

Show Notes:

Kathleen Vadenais, VP of Meetings and Client Events at Fidelity joins us on this episode of Pivot Points.

Fidelity Investments and Cramer have been trusted partners for nearly 20 years. Kathleen, Tripp, and Elise discuss the importance of partnership during times of uncertainty, and how making mistakes can lead you to find the best results.

After finding success hosting virtual events in 2020 and into 2021, Kathleen discusses how Fidelity is adapting in order to meet their audience where they are, and moving forward into a hybrid world.

Transcript:

Elise Orlowski (00:08):

I’m Elise Orlowski, a senior video director here at Cramer.

Tripp Underwood (00:10):

And I’m Tripp Underwood, a creative director at Cramer.

Elise Orlowski (00:13):

And at Cramer, we work with so many incredibly fascinating people from all over multiple industries.

Tripp Underwood (00:18):

We have so many great conversations, many that are just too good to keep to ourselves. So now, we’re sharing them with the world.

Elise Orlowski (00:23):

Right here from Cramer Studios.

Tripp Underwood (00:25):

This is Pivot Point.

Elisa Orlowski (00:38):

Well, hello, Tripp.

Tripp Underwood (00:39):

Good to see you again.

Elise Orlowski (00:40):

What’s going on? Surprise. Surprise. We’re going to talk about events today.

Tripp Underwood (00:44):

Fascinating.

Elise Orlowski (00:45):

And especially virtual events. For those of you who don’t know, I mean, Tripp, our creative directors here at Cramer and are doing events all the time. So it’s, I’m really excited for our next guest. Our next guest is Kathleen Vadenais. I’m so excited. I work with Kathleen a lot. She is the VP of meeting and client events at Fidelity Investments. She has over 30 years of experience in the events industry. Before working at Fidelity, she was director of global events at AspenTech for about five years, and the director of client experience and events at Investee for 11 years. Above all, I mean, you haven’t worked with Kathleen, so I’m excited for you to have a conversation with her, but her and her team have really been in the trenches with us this year about during virtual events, they’ve helped us progress things, really work out like what virtual events look like in this ever-changing landscape, if I’ll be super cliche.

Tripp Underwood (01:41):

Because I think those conversations started on March 22nd.

Elise Orlowski (01:45):

Correct.

Tripp Underwood (01:45):

They were one of the first people that called us and said, what do we do now?

Elise Orlowski (01:49):

Exactly.

Tripp Underwood (01:49):

Or more accurately, how are we going to make this work now? Because not doing it, was never an option.

Elise Orlowski (01:55):

Yeah. So I’m super, super excited to welcome Kathleen today and say hi, just have a great conversation. So hello, Kathleen. How’s it going?

Kathleen Vadenais (02:04):

Hi. Good. Hi Elisa. Hi Tripp. Nice to see you.

Tripp Underwood (02:07):

Thanks for joining us.

Elise Orlowski (02:08):

Yeah.

Kathleen Vadenais (02:08):

Thank you.

Elise Orlowski (02:09):

Super excited to talk to you today. And I feel like, we recently wrapped a bunch of events as well over these past few weeks. I think we’re going to have a great conversation. But to start off, I mean, you have so much experience, 30 years of experience, and I think you’ve seen the events industry progress and evolve over these years, even through some pretty big global things. Obviously 2020 has probably been the craziest thing to affect the events industry, but I’m curious, what helped you really see the opportunity in these crazy changes during this time?

Kathleen Vadenais (02:49):

Yeah. Well, first I want to acknowledge Cramer and your support and partnership during this journey, right?

Tripp Underwood (02:55):

Thank you.

Kathleen Vadenais (02:55):

It really has been the strong and trusted partnership that has allowed us to be successful during these unprecedented times. So I want to start off by thanking you guys. To your question about the virtual sort of thing, similar to all disruptive events that happened in the past, the hurricanes that shut down the Gulf coast, 911, the pandemic brought substantial changes for us, but more importantly, substantial opportunities. One of them, the first one, it really allowed us to be more agile. As Tripp had mentioned earlier, the team pivoted several in-person events to virtual within 48 hours and we were kind of the upfront in virtual and we feel like now we’re the upfront and hybrid.

Tripp Underwood (03:48):

And what was it like, Kathleen, those first 48 hours, can you give us a little bit insight to some of the conversations that you were fielding some of the emails you were getting, some of the calls that you were receiving from higher ups or people on your team?

Kathleen Vadenais (04:03):

Sure. I will have to say that I’m honored to work for a company and a CEO who is committed to technology and supporting its employees. And digital had always been a priority for fidelity. It was just accelerated in March. The commitment really allowed 50,000 employees to work from home overnight.

Elise Orlowski (04:28):

Wow.

Kathleen Vadenais (04:30):

And not miss a beat. So we already had some of the technology in place. And I think we were with you guys, with your partnership. We didn’t even, it wasn’t even a question, we were going to transition to virtual. We were going to make it happen. We weren’t sure how, but we definitely, we made it happen. So I think the conversations continued to be, “That was great. How do we make it better?”

Tripp Underwood (04:59):

Yep.

Elise Orlowski (05:00):

Yeah, No, that’s great. I think partnership is such a good word because I think when we were in it, there’s very few things, again that affect everyone. It’s like we’re all level set here and we all need to really transform how we think about this. And even, we’re not sure what it looks like.

Tripp Underwood (05:16):

And any time, you’re doing something new. The risk of failures is increased and the risk of failure is very real and very scary. And doing that with someone that you trust, that you’re willing to explore new ideas with is super important.

Elise Orlowski (05:29):

Oh, 100%.

Tripp Underwood (05:30):

If you’re doing, if you’re trying to start out a relationship in a pandemic that has all these unknowns and all these limitations, you’re not usually used to working with, it’s going to really take some of the shine and some of the sparkle off that initial working with. Unlike working with a team, like you all that we’ve known for 20 years now, I believe the Cramer relationship goes back possibly even further.

Elise Orlowski (05:30):

It’s been a long time.

Kathleen Vadenais (05:49):

Long time.

Tripp Underwood (05:51):

Predates to me at least I can say.

Elise Orlowski (05:53):

Yeah, I’m new to it but I’m very grateful for it.

Tripp Underwood (05:55):

But it’s great to have that level of understanding and trust where you can say, this is what I believe we should do. Let’s try and see what happens. And to your point, that was great. How can we make it better next time, not thinking about this as this is something we need to do and get over with as much as this is something we need to do and continually get better at because it’s not going away anytime soon.

Kathleen Vadenais (06:20):

I totally agree. And I think there’s emphasis on partnership and also that trusted, right? We really went to the trusted partners. We all knew we were taking a risk, so it’s easy to be a partner when things are easy and good. It’s hard to be a good trusted partner when a lot is on the line. So that really, it really brought the cream to the top of who we partnered with.

Elise Orlowski (06:48):

Definitely. I’m curious, Kathleen, so going into virtual events and not to literally use our podcast title, but was there ever a pivot point where you had to be really just change your perspective of virtual events? They’re not live events any more, we can’t think about them the same way. I know I’ve heard that you use the Super Bowl analogy, but I’m curious, just kind of like if you had that moment where you really had to change your vision for that?

Kathleen Vadenais (07:15):

I think we instantly knew in March after we accomplished our first couple events that our reality had changed. Virtual events were here to stay, it wasn’t going away. We were able to do more events and expand our reach. We did close to a thousand virtual events, which was an increase of 200%. And we reached, our audience reach increased by 300%. And of course it was at a lower cost and it makes sense that many of the events will continue virtually, some will remain in-person only and the rest will fall into our new reality hybrid. And that’s kind of where my Super Bowl analogy comes into play. It is really evident more now than ever that we need to meet clients where they are.

The importance of creating a physical and digital experience, so much of what fans experience when they go to the game in person, or they decide to sit on their couch at home and watch it. Each journey needs to be different and unique, and the approach needs to be different. So, that was kind of a pivotal, virtual isn’t going away, neither is in person, and neither is hybrid. So thinking of them as journeys and experiences has helped us in that sort of Super Bowl experience.

Tripp Underwood (08:48):

Right. I think some interesting to point out too, is that idea of not going away, it’s a good thing, because the virtual offers so many, we had to try some things out that we weren’t necessarily sure of, or we were pressure testing a couple of new ideas, but then, like you said, things like digital reach all the added metrics you get, it’s not going away like, oh, this is a problem we have to continue to deal with. As somebody that much, usually much more focused on live, I’ve really come around to the digital side of it, because it does offer all these extra benefits for both attendees and the companies putting them on, that I think to your point is now how can we have these two connected events that are very important, but each a unique experience because they each offer different benefits for the attendees.

Elise Orlowski (09:35):

Yeah.

Kathleen Vadenais (09:36):

Absolutely.

Elise Orlowski (09:36):

And I love that analogy because I think, know that there’s benefits to going to the game live. Right? But then there’s also benefits to watching the game. Both audiences still are there and they’re still super engaged. So I think that’s such a good way to put it. I’m curious. So now looking back, we’ve had a year of virtual events, right? We’ve had all these learnings, what has been the major learning from 2020 and audience engagement?

Kathleen Vadenais (10:06):

I think in audience engagement, I would say the biggest learning is that the feedback from attendees is they want more interaction. They want more engagement. They want us to replicate the networking, and the exhibits, and the casual collisions. However, when we created them, it was very poorly attended. So some experiences we learned that you just do not translate to virtual or the technology’s not there yet. So that’s kind of what we heard. We also experienced, I mean, there was a zoom fatigue going on, but there wasn’t a virtual fatigue, our attendance increases. People wanted that connection and that communication on a regular basis.

Tripp Underwood (10:59):

So Kathleen, to that point, based on what you kind of started to understand about people’s desire for networking versus their willingness to virtually network and that desire to attend, but maybe have shorter attention spans or you’re competing with other things in their home. How did that approach your content creation or your agenda creation process? What kind of things were you thinking about as you started to lay out virtual agendas and how did they differ from the old in-person ways?

Kathleen Vadenais (11:28):

Yeah, that’s a really good point. I think it was a learning, right? Because we had in person content down to a science and as a team there was some tests and fails. The attention span is much shorter. So a four day event probably is going to be a 90 minute event, there has to be interaction, there has to be a variety of formats and speakers. You’re buying for attention between children at home and their work. And so it has to be, content will always drive attendance, but it has to be again, meeting the clients where they are, right? So not too long, the right time of day, long enough to get the content, but not too long that you see a drop at an hour and you see a drop at 90 minutes. So you have to look at what you’re trying to achieve. And maybe it’s over three days that you’re doing a 60 minutes. So it’s really throwing out the blueprint for an in-person meeting and creating a virtual content format.

Elise Orlowski (12:45):

Yeah. It’s funny because it’s almost the opposite of live events where the audience caters to the event, you’re going there in person, you’re leaving everything to travel to Miami for four days. And now it’s like we, as the event people, have to cater to our audience, which is such an opposite way of thinking.

Tripp Underwood (13:04):

Is definitely surrendering a lot of the power.

Elise Orlowski (13:06):

Yes.

Kathleen Vadenais (13:06):

Yeah. It is, right? And I do think, we’ve set the expectation high. So as we all talk about this virtual physical event or the hybrid, it’s no longer acceptable to put a camera in the back of the ballroom. And it’s going to have to be a compelling experience for the people who attend virtually different from the compelling experience the people who choose to come in person.

Elise Orlowski (13:36):

No, I totally agree. I’m curious, Kathleen, what are your opinions of, now we’re talking about kind of live and virtual, what are your opinions of the hybrid experience and what even that looks like for your events and the future of events? I’m curious as to what you think that will look like in terms of production?

Kathleen Vadenais (13:55):

Yeah. Again, we said hybrid is here to stay and what we’ve learned over this past year is you need to use the matrix and data to evaluate how you’re going to create an event.

Elise Orlowski (14:12):

Strategy.

Kathleen Vadenais (14:13):

Strategy, strategy. Right? We’ve had a lot of in-person events happened historically for 20 years, that will stay virtual, completely virtual. We have events that have been in person, which will continue to be in person, only in person, because you can’t duplicate that experience and part of the experiences is being in person. And then the rest of them will fall into that hybrid, like I said, hybrid approach. And that does two things, right? It caters to the people who want the interaction, the networking with peers who want that camaraderie and experience. I think we found that there’s, the introverts have shined during the pandemic in Zoom. I think people learn, people are very happy learning virtually and getting the message virtually. So this will allow us, as we’ve always talked about how do we extend the reach. So we’re really excited about those three approaches.

Tripp Underwood (15:19):

Which I think is also, it takes some of the pressure off from the in-person event. The idea of we’re going to give you this, all this information, and we just pray to goodness that you remember it and take it home with you. We often would advocate for extending content and making sure things that recorded that people could watch on demand if they wanted to, but I’m not sure how often that was actually utilized, whereas in the hybrid world, I think with more focus on video production and education production as a consistent digital component, I think you’re going to see that’s going to live on for a lot longer. And I think it’s going to give people the opportunity to go back and revisit things or learn continuously as opposed to that drinking from the fire hose mentality that can happen sometimes in a one and done event.

Elise Orlowski (16:02):

Yeah, I think it all…

Kathleen Vadenais (16:02):

I totally agree.

Elise Orlowski (16:04):

Yeah. And I think also just like, I think the live events that like you said, that need to be live. People are so excited to go to those events because it’s about the experience, right? It’s more about those bigger learnings where the nitty gritty kind of events where you, it’s really educational or whatnot, they’re actually really excited that they get to take a break and don’t have to travel to this place and get to learn, even at their own pace, like having content on demand as well.

Tripp Underwood (16:29):

Yeah. To your point, I just think it adds that other element of, I mean, we’ve always thought of audience segmentation, who’s your audience? What are they coming? What do they need to know? That’s always been really important. I think the stakes are just so much higher now when you’re actually making those decisions of just because this has been a live event for the past 20 years, does it need to continue to be? And I think this has been an opportunity to rethink maybe some sacred cows within your organization and just the industry at large of, well, maybe this can change just because it couldn’t change before, it doesn’t mean it has to be this way forever, which I think is kind of a breath of fresh air.

Elise Orlowski (17:02):

Yeah.

Kathleen Vadenais (17:03):

I think that’s an excellent point, right? Because we have a long legacy of really good meeting and events in Fidelity, right? And there has been some issues like why fix it if it’s not broken? So as you said, Tripp, this has allowed an opportunity to rethink things and permission to rethink and change. So I think it’s going to benefit everyone.

Tripp Underwood (17:33):

And as someone who loves, if it ain’t broken don’t fix it, cliche, just as something doesn’t broke doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better. It’s kind of an opportunity to pause and think about it that way.

Elise Orlowski (17:43):

Yeah, yeah.

Kathleen Vadenais (17:45):

Definitely agree.

Elise Orlowski (17:46):

So Kathleen, I mean, I know we have a pretty new relationship, but I, from what I’ve seen from this past year, I think Cramer and Fidelity, I think has fallen into this really good rhythm with virtual events. I’m curious, we just wrapped Fidelity summit, circle of excellence, I’m curious as to what learnings you even had from those past two events and how to really level up the experience in that way?

Kathleen Vadenais (18:12):

Yeah. I agree with you. We’ve had, it’s been a challenging year, but it’s been a great year, right? I think we’ve had, there was a lot of hard work done, late nights, but a lot of fun too. I think some of the biggest learnings is, failure is no longer a bad word around here. The best innovations have come through testing new things, missing the mark, and improving the process, to be honest. We also identified that additional support is needed for virtual events, right? There’s more rigor testing needing, there’s more analytics, there’s more need to have some sort of rapid response plan. When you’re in Nepal, or something goes wrong, you can kind of work around it. When something goes wrong virtually, you have to have a plan to recover, for us.

And as the team learned, that you guys have been great, is the team has learned, we have really strong meeting and events skills. In this new reality, the project management needs to be tighter with more oversight. Also putting more tools in their toolbox, understanding of production, and digital, and technology are going to be key for them to be successful in the future.

Tripp Underwood (19:41):

Totally. Yeah. As someone that worked in live and tends to work more on the content side, so helping come up with ideas activations, writing speeches, that kind of stuff. When things went to virtual, I suddenly had to take a crash course in understanding just camera for me, like something that’s very natural to a least. I was like, just put someone’s big head in the middle and let them say all my big, beautiful words and everything will be fine and not the case. So it has been a, I think it’s been a crash course for everyone at every stage in the industry, which it’s been fun. You mentioned a little bit about analytics. This is an area that I’m super excited about, but I still not a hundred percent sure of what I’m looking for. So just curious if any insight of what are some of the early metrics you’re seeing in the virtual and hybrid space. And how they maybe are informing future work for you?

Kathleen Vadenais (20:29):

Yeah. I’m excited about it too. Because I’m kind of a data matrix person to begin with and data doesn’t lie. Right? I think in the past everyone’s, we’d come back and say, oh, that was fabulous. Well, what do you mean it was fabulous? Right?

Tripp Underwood (20:44):

Nobody fell off stage, it was a success.

Elise Orlowski (20:47):

Everybody’s saying it’s great.

Kathleen Vadenais (20:49):

Okay. Now we have matrix, right? So, as we talked about some failures in starts and learnings, one of our initial client events was for four hours, virtually. It was very easy to see the drop off at the drop-off points. Right? Like an hour, more than 90 minutes, even with a great speaker, you had huge drop-off, it wasn’t working.

Tripp Underwood (21:18):

But that’s incredibly valuable information, I mean, almost worth the time put in, you know that, just to know that and have that working point.

Elisa Lasky (21:26):

Yeah.

Kathleen Vadenais (21:27):

As well as it’s helped us with attrition too. Right. So we’re sending out so many invites, what percentage is attending and then, or RSVPing. And then what percentage is actually attending? You really have to invite way more people now, you get about a 60% drop off of people. So you really, you need to think of that, we’ve looked at the times of day, certain times of days are better, certain time a day are better for different people, being sensitive to all the time zones.

Elise Orlowski (21:27):

Which is tough.

Kathleen Vadenais (22:05):

Which is really tough.

Elise Orlowski (22:06):

Yes, that’s not easy, yeah.

Kathleen Vadenais (22:08):

Right. So we have really embraced those analytics and data, and it’s really helped us help the business partners plan better events.

Tripp Underwood (22:22):

That’s great. I love that idea of using traditionally analytics and metrics in every industry. But I agree, especially in the events world have been very focused on like, what are the ones that make everyone look good and feel good? And those are the ones that we present. And I understand why that is done. However, if you really think about it, it should be used in a way that’s going to inform future events to make it better. So having those things of this is where the drop-off is, this is where the engagement dies. It’s super value, much more important than saying everybody gets an A+, and we’ll just do it again in the same way next year. So it’s a great way to think about it.

Kathleen Vadenais (23:00):

Totally agree. And I think for any client creating a client and external client experience, we know the message and the people we want to get out there. They want to know, not only see what our messages, but they want to see from each other. Right? And it was very obvious and the ratings and the feedbacks, what was important to them, it may have different a little bit that we thought was important to them. So it’s almost like you’re giving them a voice to tell us how to better design the events for them.

Elise Orlowski (23:38):

Yeah. No, I love that too. And I love how analytics can also play into the creative concept thing.

Tripp Underwood (23:43):

Yeah, it should.

Elise Orlowski (23:44):

Yeah. I think Tripp and I kind of even deal with that all the time where we’re trying to figure out creative, but we also want that to be strategic creative, not just these big wild ideas, but things that really enhancely experience and fit in with the virtual experience. And it’s hard because before with virtual beds there was a, sorry, with live events, there was an audience. And if the creative worked, you could tell right away.

Kathleen Vadenais (24:08):

Right.

Elise Orlowski (24:08):

Yeah. And now we need analytics to be like, is this crazy thing we did, was that received well? Especially when you can’t see the audience on video and it’s just like a streaming.

Tripp Underwood (24:19):

But that also goes back to some of Kathleen’s earlier point of having a trusted partner to try that with. So we’re talking a little earlier as the production company in charge of these events sometimes, but not always, we might be “in charge of the matrix”. So we’re almost reporting out our own report card to our clients, which, there’s a desire there to say everything was great, it went well. But I think working with someone like Kathleen and her team, that we have a relationship with where we can very honestly say, “Yeah, we saw a huge drop off here at this hour. Do you think it was the content? Do you think it was this, do you think it was at nine out of 10 times it becomes kind of a perfect storm of factors?” But it’s important for us to acknowledge what’s happening with the audience behavior so we can course correct. And having partners that we’re not scared to show our analytics do, I think [crosstalk 00:25:07].

Kathleen Vadenais (25:06):

I think that’s a good point. Right? I think transparency has become more important now. Right?

Elise Orlowski (25:15):

Show me the numbers.

Kathleen Vadenais (25:16):

Show me the numbers. And they’re more valued now and people have embraced it because they see it’s helping making it better, as opposed to what you were saying Tripp before it was just like, everything was great. Well, that doesn’t really help us get better.

Tripp Underwood (25:33):

Yeah.

Elise Orlowski (25:33):

Definitely.

Kathleen Vadenais (25:35):

So, and having those trusted partners and a team that’s willing to have those honest candid conversations that are not always easy, is what makes it more successful.

Tripp Underwood (25:48):

Just brings everybody up.

Elise Orlowski (25:49):

Yeah, definitely. I think strategy, strategic creative, strategic content, that’s just always going to help everyone, feel excited about going to these events, whether it’s virtual or live, it won’t matter to them as long as the content. So fantastic.

Tripp Underwood (26:02):

And I think hybrid is helping connect the dots better. Because you still have everything you want from the live engagement, but now you have these extended metrics, you have larger audiences to bounce things off. And I think it just, it’s creating a little bit more, there’s more to do, which has its own group of headaches. But…

Elise Orlowski (26:20):

Constantly evolving.

Tripp Underwood (26:22):

In my mind, there’s a more visible line from strategic thinking, production shops, broadcast. I feel like finding the red thread of what’s working and what’s connecting all audience has for whatever reason is, has been easier in hybrid. And I think will continue to evolve. As Kathleen said, as we all start to pay more attention and be a little bit more transparent because we’re working in this new space where it’s okay not to be an expert all the time. And I think in those things where people are a little less worried about being vulnerable and not knowing exactly what they’re talking about at that time, that’s where you see real innovation comes. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most is this kind of keeps going forward.

Elise Orlowski (26:58):

Yeah. And it’s fun from a creative perspective. I know like Kathleen, we worked on circle of excellence and that’s the first time I had a celebrity talent interacting with a virtual audience. And I think in my head, I was like, is this going to be the same as like, if he was just pulling up people live on the stage. And honestly it was great. It was so engaging and so fun.

Kathleen Vadenais (27:20):

And again, you talked about taking risks, right? The data from the past year said that people want to interaction, they want to be seen, they want it to be feel like it’s live. So, with your guys’ support, we took a big risk, bringing people into the studio, having them kind of that broadcast look where they were up on screen and interaction. I know all of us were holding our breath, but it far exceeded the expectations of myself, the leadership, and certainly the employees are the winners. And being able to engage, see their families be excited, their kids and their spouses has really been so impactful.

Tripp Underwood (28:13):

Especially for something like that, that’s recognition, employee recognition.

Elise Orlowski (28:17):

Well, it’s about them, the audience. It’s not about watching.

Tripp Underwood (28:20):

They can share that with their fam. Now I’m sure there’s those that would say I’d love to share it with my family and still be able to go to Palm Springs, the way we hold that, but we’ll get there.

Elise Orlowski (28:29):

Well, Kathleen, it’s been such a great conversation. It’s so exciting. I think just to have you as a partner, but also to really plan the future of hybrid and what that means for the reader, because it’s again exciting to have a partner that we can just really go down that journey together and be creative and explore that. So thank you so much for your time. We’re really grateful to have you on today.

Tripp Underwood (28:48):

Appreciate your thinking and your flexibility on all counts.

Kathleen Vadenais (28:52):

Absolutely. And I appreciate you guys inviting me to participate in this wonderful podcast series. I’m looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to seeing you all guys all back in the ballroom someday.

Elise Orlowski (29:01):

Oh yeah. That will definitely will happen.

Tripp Underwood (29:03):

We’ll be there. With or without our family.

Kathleen Vadenais (29:04):

That’s great.

Elise Orlowski (29:05):

Exactly. Awesome.

Kathleen Vadenais (29:07):

Well, thank you so much again, thank you for your partnership.

Elise Orlowski (29:09):

Thank you.

Tripp Underwood (29:09):

Thanks, Kathleen.

Elise Orlowski (29:12):

Thank you, Kathleen. Awesome. That was great. I feel like I’ve learned so much.

Tripp Underwood (29:15):

It’s just, it’s so refreshing to talk to people at that level of their career. She’s an executive, she’s a VP, I believe, she’s been doing this for so long and then kind of like I said that, what I’m always impressed by is the willingness to say, I’m so used to being in charge and now I’m suddenly in a position where I’m not in charge, but I’m willing to partner with other people and listen to people. That to me is very refreshing. And I think is what is going to separate the winners from the losers when all this kind of shakes out or the people that were like, this is crazy, I don’t know what to do, I’m going to surround myself with people I trust, I’m going to think I’m going to try things and I’m going to see what works and then get better. I think that really is the key takeaway from this conversation.

Elise Orlowski(29:55):

I think having a good partnership and being able to not make mistakes. I think that’s so important because especially in this new landscape, we had to make mistakes.

Tripp Underwood (30:03):

Be able to make mistakes.

Elise Orlowski (30:04):

Sorry, be able to makes mistakes. Did I say, not?

Tripp Underwood (30:06):

You just made a mistake, but I’m your trusted partner and I corrected it for you.

Elise Orlowski (30:10):

Thank you so much. But yeah, be able to make mistakes and being able to really explore that, and then learn, and be better. I think that’s so, so important. Especially, like having that partnership again, it’s just essential.

Tripp Underwood (30:22):

Yeah, yeah. Just personally, my entire life been someone that does not adapt to all the change and I have tried more things in the past eight months than I have any other point in my career. And while difficult at first, it’s open new pathways to creativity, there’s some fire in that vulnerability that I haven’t felt in a while, but it’s been interesting. It’s been fun. I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing all the time, but I found that I’m better at figuring out where my holes are and filling them as quick as I can.

Elise Orlowski (30:51):

Right, right. Well, Tripp like always, it was great to have you guys on Pivot Points and we’ll see you next time.

 

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