It’s hard to believe. We’re in the final stretch. The conference committee I am on is putting the final touches on content and wrapping up last minute programming details for NIRI-Chicago’s annual investor relations workshop (see link below). Hurray!
Right now, it’s all about the process – what needs to be done to ensure a successful event. This got me to reflecting on an essay by Dan Wang of Gavekal on the importance of process knowledge. Process knowledge is the hard-won know-how gained from experience and the foundation for future innovation. I’m oversimplifying here but if you don’t have practical knowledge of how things are made, materials used and what works and why, how can you identify ways to improve or imagine new uses?
While Wang’s essay is about manufacturing and engineering, his essential message is very relevant to the execution of our upcoming conference. Yes, there’s content development and speaker recruitment – all very important – but there’s also promotion, registration, F&B service, facilities management and security. Different people handle different aspects and each process must be managed according to its own timeline. But everything must be integrated and understanding each part, how it works and its role is key to successful execution. Every year, we build on this know-how in executing the workshop.
Process knowledge is important in the investor relations world. For example, when coordinating an investor day, a site visit or even an earnings release and webcast your credibility hinges on the basic blocking and tackling activities that ensure seamless execution. Largely this means having the proper systems and processes in place, understanding their value and how they interact.
In the IR world, creating and improving upon these systems and processes – which generally revolve around content development and logistics – requires some concentrated reflection. For example, the content development process should include an internal vetting and review process as well as a process to execute on format decisions (i.e., slides, video, product sampling, operation tours, etc.). As for logistics, location may dictate processes surrounding the invite/RSVP process, transportation, security and the technologies to be used (i.e., video streaming, webcasting).
Once you’ve thought all this through, build out a template with the all the processes involved. The template can then serve as a platform for execution, enable speedy adaption as conditions change and help identify opportunities to streamline or improve the next time around.
Lead-IR Advisors, Inc.
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