People first . . . tech second

the OscarBlog |

If you read the footnote of my last blog, then you will know that I wasn’t allowed to go to Xerocon – apparently Excel London have some weird rule about dogs not being allowed at tech conferences!  Pfftt!  My OscarBlog noted that I was ably deputising my twitter account to the very well-travelled Miss Sybil.  She shared her thoughts on attending Xerocon for the first time.

So it’s over to Miss Sybil . . 
(you’ll note that she writes in the third person, in the same style as her tweets)

Miss Sybil gets about

Miss Sybil is widely travelled; if you follow her exploits on twitter under #sybilontour, then you’ll see that she gets around all over the world.  However, visiting an accounting tech conference was a little daunting at first, she was a little apprehensive as she didn’t really know what to expect.  If stereotypes are to be believed, then they would suggest that 2000+ accountants in one place would not be the most fun gathering in the world!

She was thrilled to very quickly learn that for Xero, it is all about the people.  Starting with the Uni day, pre-conference, clearly Xero invest a lot in providing top quality education to its Partners to enable them to support their Clients using Xero on a day to day basis with the latest knowledge and trends.

Chief inspiration

But the person who really inspired Miss Sybil was the amazing Rachel Powell, Chief People Officer for Xero.  She spoke so passionately about people at Xero, using the EBITDA anacronym in a wholly new way (this is rather dry jargon in accounting speak – you can read about the anacronym in this parlance here).  However, Rachel gave it an entirely new perspective, which she shared with the avid listeners in her engaging style.

Rachel's EBITDA reference can be summarised thus:

  • Engagement: this is key to individual and team performance and there are a few key things that drive this, such as purpose, along with identifying and developing people strengths.
  • Diversity: with an unwavering focus on diversity and inclusion at Xero. And whilst we know diversity is important, inclusion is even more important. ‘Diversity is getting invited to the party. Inclusion is getting asked to dance.’
  • Innovation: in the current environment of change and complexity it’s only those organisations that innovate that will survive and more importantly compete.
  • Trust: this is one of the most important things in building high quality connections with your team and customers.
  • Dream: there’s no doubt that Xero would not be where it is today without Rod our Founder and CEO being an eternal optimist and being brave enough to dream.
  • Accomplishment: this is about achieving things that matter and the sense of satisfaction and mastery this gives us.

However, her full LinkedIn EBITDA post of her Xerocon speech is a really worthwhile read, no matter what people you are dealing with, but especially if you are developing a team in your own organisation.  Miss Sybil felt really honoured to hear Rachel share it in person: her passion for the people that she works with and her job really came across. 

Such Support

Even keynote speaker Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation was about the people, championing their business members with such passion.  She made special mention of the mental health of entrepreneurs and how important it is for them to feel supported by their network.  This is especially poignant as it was #WorldMentalHealthDay this month too.

So is it all about the people?

Heck, yes! You see Miss Sybil is all about people.  She is raising awareness for Huntington’s Disease as #houndsforhuntingtons are sent on adventures all over the world, using the #sybilontour hashtag on twitter & facebook.  A rare, hereditary neurodegenerative condition; Huntington's is a cruel master that affects both men and women, usually between the ages of 30 – 50, although it can affect any age (in the under 20’s it is known as Juvenile Huntington’s Disease).

Miss Sybil it is all about raising awareness, not just for the sufferers of the Disease, but also the carers of people with Huntington’s Disease and the people who live with the knowledge that they too may one day develop it.  Only by raising awareness can we take away the stigma and bring the effects of it out into the open, so that people with the disease, carriers, carers can get the support they need, along with funding for the professionals providing medical care and researching so that a cure may be found.  To find out more why not visit the main charities for Huntington's Disease:

Huntington's Disease Association  @HDA_tweeting
Scottish Huntington's Association  @ScottishHD
Huntington's Disease Association of Ireland  @HDAI_ie 

Miss Sybil was amazed by the lovely folk at Xerocon, from the Xero peeps themselves, to exhibitors, speakers, support staff and attendees who all took a couple of moments of their time to have their picture taken for a good cause, so a huge THANK YOU to them all.  If you would like to see them all, you can view the twitter moment from @LimeOscar's twitter account below, and maybe you will even spot yourself!

The moment includes some tweets from the maker of Miss Sybils everywhere, the incredible Jackie Harrison if you would like a Miss Sybil of your own to help raise awareness, then do contact her direct, Miss Sybil can vouch for her to say she's very friendly!

Miss Sybil could not finish this blog without one last shout out, as there was one person who was at Xerocon that she sadly did not get to meet.  Miss Sybil very much wished she had met the lovely Katie Byrne who works in the Xero PR & Social Media team, but it was not meant to be, as although Miss Sybil tried, turns out she was one busy woman behind the scenes!  Once she realised Miss Sybil was tweeting from Xerocon, she was unstinting in her support; re-tweeting and liking the tweets to help spread the word. Miss Sybil thought she was pretty special and, if you visit her tweet, you'll find another inspirational blog about how her #XeroFamily once again excelled in her time of need.

Oscar's footnote

Well, I think you'll agree, that Miss Sybil certainly found some amazing people at Xerocon.  I would like to thank her for looking after my LimeCloud team so well and my twitter account.  Oh and not forgetting this guest blog ~ maybe we'll persuade her to make another appearance one day.  The whole experience was nothing less than an exercise in understanding in technology, just how important people are.

And that my friends is why it is, and always will be, all about the people, well . . . and maybe furpals too!   🐾


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