My alarm rings… but I can’t manage to get up yet. I press snooze and doze back off, trying to catch a few more minutes of shut-eye before the day begins.
That dreaded tune again… okay, I tell myself, now I really have to get up. Before I do, I think about the order I’m going to do my morning routine in. Will I shower before or after I read my book? And should I work out today? Obviously, I start with a coffee.
After sipping on a nice hot coffee, I decide that I’ll skip the workout, read for half an hour and then get ready for work.
I pick out a few of the articles which I’ve been meaning to read over the past few weeks and sit down and dive into them: Deloitte review – Framing the Future of Mobility and Mobility in a Flat World. Hopefully, these will add value to my perspective today!
Time to get ready for work. I stand in front of my wardrobe, pondering what to wear. I consider today’s planned activities and meetings; they will largely determine the footwear I need. I start from the bottom up. Today will involve a bit of walking so I opt for a relatively comfortable pair of shoes, and style the rest accordingly.
I’ve got to leave soon… but I should double-check my first meeting of the day so that I know when it is and exactly where to go. I open my work laptop and go into my calendar in Outlook. I check the meeting time and location and close the laptop again feeling prepared.
I second-guess what I just read…did I check the right meeting? Was it really in that meeting room? I’ll have to check again. I open my laptop again and verify what I actually already knew. Okay, great, all set!
I decide I’ll leave early today because traffic was really bad yesterday and I don’t want to have the stress of congestion.
Murphy’s law, of course, there’s no traffic today!
I arrive at the office, early! Great, I can catch up and get some emails before anyone else arrives. I have a few emails and four meeting requests for later in the week about an innovation project we’re working on. Our team needs to decide on our public position, draft a partnership agreement, work on a risk matrix and run a brand workshop. Meetings about our innovation projects often involve people from all different areas of the business. Since I started here, I’ve been lucky enough to have regular exposure to most areas of the business, largely due to the nature of getting innovation initiatives up and running. Some of the meeting requests conflict with some other appointments I have planned so I propose a new time. This sounds like a very simple task, but with everyone so busy, finding a time and a room that suits everyone can be a real challenge!
I finish off the reply to the last email and check that the support material for the 9 AM meeting is ready to go. It’s a slide deck I prepared with the key elements of a pilot we’re rolling out soon and some open questions and points for discussion for the brand team. Oops, I realise that some measurements the team asked for are missing! I quickly measure them up, save and email the deck through to all parties and make my way to the meeting room.
After the briefing, working through the questions for discussion with the brand team, and brainstorming potential branding ideas, we determined that the next steps will be to work directly with the partner and get their opinions on our approach. All that in just 30 minutes! What a productive meeting to start the day.
My next meeting is a conference call with my managers and a Sydney-based firm who are delivering a partnership proposal pitch. This call is a follow-up after an introduction we facilitated about three weeks ago. The partner has spoken to the executive team and developed an exciting proposition for us. I find conference calls are an interesting way of interacting. They often involve a few tech glitches, and sometimes establishing solid relationships with other parties and identifying their reactions can be a little bit more challenging than in person. We’ve been lucky with this partner as they’re very proactive and easy to work with.
I’m energised after the exciting conference call – the partner seems very committed and excited to work with us. I use my energy from the call to quickly prepare a poster for a communication event tomorrow morning promoting a staff carpooling initiative that came from the innovation team. I love that my work here also involves hands-on, creative work too.
Time for a change of scenery! My next meeting will take place off-site at an external stakeholder’s headquarters. It is a weekly catch-up to prepare for the launch of a novel co-branded new mobility service with their firm. I decided to leave a little early to grab some caffeine and do a bit of work from another location. I’m lucky to have the trust of my manager and the freedom to work remotely.
Working from a café is really great! You have unlimited access to quality coffee, a great atmosphere and the peace to do some deep work.
I make my way from the quaint cafe to my next meeting place. Along the way, my manager joins me and we discuss the key points we need to address today with the partner to stay on track with the project.
A tour of the start-up’s space! They show us how things work for them from start to finish. A great way to get a feeling for the way they work and what their business involves.
Time for our weekly meeting. Today we will be following up on actions that all parties were to perform last week, whether there are any blockers, and discussing the next steps to move forward. I’ve noticed that working with a small start-up can be challenging. They only have limited resources so it’s not always possible to progress as far as we would like to. After identifying that delayed information exchange is a bit of a blocker for us, we decide to stay at their workspace to work with them throughout the day and have any questions answered in real-time.
I’ve been working on ideating for the launch of the partnership. Through my observations in this space, I slowly feel like I’m beginning to understand the dynamic of their business. The people we are working with are performing a range of roles all at the same time, from accountant to marketer to CEO to mechanic. Without this immersion, I wouldn’t have been able to fully understand it. I feel like now that I have this insight into their day-to-day, I will be able to empathise and work with them more effectively.
Time for lunch! I’ve packed a yummy salad to eat today. I try to take a real break from work to focus on eating. Sometimes when I have a lot on my to-do list, I don’t take the time away from my computer, but I’ve noticed that I feel a lot better if I do.
After some sustenance and a bit of a stroll in the sun, I’m ready to have a second crack at my to-do list. I start with an attempt to prepare one of the business innovation team’s internal processes in a visual format. The processes will be useful in the future for new team members (like me) to understand the structure and requirements to follow when performing certain tasks. My manager has given me a great template (in French) as a basis, but I try and put my own personal spin on it (and translate it to English, of course – which is not a regular request, but luckily we share a foreign language!).
After cracking the template and altering elements to suit the process I’m working on, I send it through for checking and approval by my manager. She has a few tips and sends me some feedback on my first iteration.
I make the adjustments and save the file to our processes folder. Wow, if I had a graphic like that to follow when I started, it would have made it so much easier to start my work! With an hour to spare I look at my to-do list and plan the best way, I can use the last hour of the day. I decide I’ll do a summary of the outcomes from the meetings today and send them through to all relevant parties.
With the summary done, I send it through in an email to bring all parties up to speed on the status of the project, and I add the notes to the bible document that we’ve collated from all our meetings and work so far. Working on this project has really emphasised the importance of keeping an accurate record of all decisions, work and stakeholders involved, so that if anything is ever questioned, there is up-to-date supporting evidence.
On a whim, my manager and I decide to take an e-scooter to our cars. It is my first time riding one of these things and she’s a pro, so she shows me how to do it. What a great way to end the day!
Geena was employed as an Innovation Coordinator at the conclusion of RAA’s Summer Internship Program.