Advising the Ericsson Executive Team - the first assignment
Seven people, five continents, three months and a whirlwind of activity as we find ourselves at the end of our first assignment.
The Executive Team Advisory Board (or ETAB) is a select group of individuals from across Ericsson geographies and functions that is called upon to work directly with the CEO and his Executive Team on assignments and topics that are top of mind for Ericsson. Spanning a year, the program encourages diversity and talent by providing them a platform to challenge the status quo while having some serious fun along the way!
We left the Global Leadership Summit with a mission and a plan. We had a topic to analyze, which took all of us out of our comfort zone and into the realm of solutions and markets we weren't used to. To add to the excitement, we were going to be working together as a team for the very first time!
Making long distance work
The weeks turned into sprints and sprints turned into months. Video chat was our new best friend. Time was flying by and we realized that being on the Executive Team Advisory Board (or ETAB) was hard work as much as it was fun. What got us through the busier days was the thought that the Ericsson Executive Team was going to be listening to what we had to say! The privilege came with a responsibility and we were keen to make an impact to the company we so love.
To make the best use of our limited time, we had decided to work in two-week sprints with a rotating "chair" to keep things on track and a team charter to help build consensus. We had review sessions with Asa Tamsons, Erik Josefsson and Nicole Dinion, our mentors for the project. These sessions were our source of feedback and insights that we tried to incorporate in the next sprint. We had a "Storyboard" that we made in the early stages of the assignment and it served as the glue for our presentation.
Hop, "Sprint", jump and the week of the presentation was already upon us! Snowy Stockholm was the venue of our final presentation for the assignment (and numerous run throughs leading up to it). The nervous energy turned into excitement as we shared our ideas in a workshop to the Executive Team. Our endeavor through the last few months had been to capture the customer's viewpoint and we tried to put ourselves and the ET in their shoes before we made our recommendations. The enthusiastic participation and positive feedback were the icing on the cake. The nods of agreement in the room served as validation, the points of disagreement served as grounds for some very interesting discussions. We felt (hoped) that we "nailed it".
ETAB that plays together stays together
We treated ourselves to a happy dinner and some much-needed time to relax together. We also realized that the ETAB had a promising alternate career in mountaineering!
Bring on the second assignment!
We saved the best for last – Our reflections as a team! We could already sense that what we had was special. Which isn't to say that we didn't disagree, but we were good and getting better at reaching consensus and meeting deadlines. We got some time from Asa, our ET sponsor for the first assignment, and a chance to thank her, Erik, and Nicole for all the help we got along the way. We cannot wait for what the second assignment has in store!