This week I had the privilege of speaking at the annual senior management off-site meeting for Oriflame – a large cosmetics company. These occasions should be a prime internal influencing opportunity for CIOs and other IT leaders. If you can see how the future of the company might benefit from technology change – this is the time to get your point across. Sadly, in my experience, too few IT management teams plan ahead and fully exploit the opportunity.
But Oriflame online marketing and IT managers worked together and scored a big hit this year. They gave iPads to the top 450 international managers at the meeting. If you want to fire up conversations about how technology is changing consumer facing business methods in 2010, this works! Sure, it’s expensive in some ways – but the education and engagement was almost certainly worth the budget. A couple of company apps were written in advance – a conference agenda and a product catalogue – to demonstrate the power and relevance of this next step in personal computing.
Here’s a picture of the queue of people going to the help desk to ask all sorts of questions about the devices and the apps.