Three things someone who hadn’t slept for over 24 hours can tell you about our last Knowledge Share Group
When I arrived at Precision Sourcing’s most recent Knowledge Share Group on the 8th of February, I had practically just stepped off a flight from Singapore that left at 4:40AM in the morning and arrived at 3:40PM in Sydney. If I’m honest, I don’t think my attention span was at its best.
If I’m brutally honest, I know my attention span wasn’t at its best. This recap won’t have too much detail in the technology, nor even the topics. But I do remember some of the good stuff – as us recruiter put it – the ‘soft skills’ stuff.
So here are three someone who hadn’t slept for over 24 hours can tell you about our last Knowledge Share Group.
1. Satha Pillay has a wicked sense of humour.
My director Simon Hair put me in charge of greeting and ushering people down stairs in the lobby of the building and directing them up to the right floor – admittedly where someone who was barely awake could do the least damage. How hard could it be right?
The event was set to start at 6:00PM – so there I was from 5:30PM or so, greeting people that looked lost on the street outside, people who were wondering why the automatic screen doors wouldn’t open. I’d trot on over, swipe the card to Bambora’s offices (great offices by the way, thanks again Bambora for being a second time donator to the Precision Sourcing events committee) and let them up. By about 6:20PM or so, I thought surely everyone had arrived. Just as I was about to head up myself, one last man came to the doors and again, wondered why they wouldn’t open.
I walked up and let him in, asked if he was here for the Precision Sourcing event and told him jokingly “Don’t worry, you’re not late, everyone’s on Level 16, head on up.”
The man smiled and thanked me and just as the elevator doors were about to close said to me: “I don’t think they can start without me anyway.”
As I was someone who hadn’t slept in over 24 hours, it took a while to realise that was Satha Pillay – CIO of Veolia – the man of the hour and one of our panel presenters for the event, who I had just let upstairs. Who I had also asked whether he was here for the Precision Sourcing Knowledge Share Group.
I hadn’t recognised him at all.
I closed my eyes with embarrassment and hoped I hadn’t let our other two panel speakers – Sehida Frawley (Head of Digital Business Services) and Clive Ewin (Partner at IBM) upstairs without realising it was them.
2. Sehida, Clive and Satha operate like a well-oiled machine.
I don’t know if I told you, but I hadn’t slept for over 24 hours. Did I mention that? So when I settled in for an evening of SAP chat, I tried really hard to catch some of the technological jargon and keep up. But I’ll be honest, even if I had slept I think I would have struggled. As my manager Jay Wynter says, we’re recruiters. We deal in people. Not technology.
What I did catch during the presentation and round table discussion however is Sehida, Clive and Satha conducted the panel and questions like three people who had been put through all the trials and tribulations that come with an S/4HANA implementation and come out on the other side successful, in one piece and all on civil speaking terms with one another. I think that in and of itself is a feat for a product provider, system integrator and client.
They navigated what sounded like a minefield of questions even to a non-SAP literate recruiter like me with ease. And when they did step on a minefield, like one particularly question like “How did you balance the direction of the software vendor on implementation (usually black and white around best practice) with the programme need for a successful outcome within budget, high quality and on time delivery?” Questions often asked but rarely to such a panel and in front of a crowd no less.
Finishing each other’s sentences – even effortlessly deciding who would be best suited to answer certain questions. It was good to see a Client, SI and Product Provider getting along so well and I think it was a testament to the very topic of the night – how a Client, SI and Product Provider can Work Towards a Common Goal. That ‘Common Goal’ being a successful implementation.
3. Know when to leave early and thank your understanding superiors and team mates.
By 8:30PM, I’m pretty sure my brain and body just checked out. But I held out until the end of the panel discussion and open crowd questions. No matter how good an event is, when it’s coming up against sleep deprivation, even the mightiest fall.
So my third and final take out is work for a company that recognises when you’ve reached the end of your tether and they politely but firmly tell you to bugger off and sleep already.