This is another article that would have been in the October INSIDER– part of the coverage of Emerson Exchange 2017. If you like this kind of reporting and analysis, subscribe to the INSIDER at www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider.
The recent Emerson Exchange did an excellent job of showing the range of how women and female insight can add to the automation industry. The two women who starred, Robyn Benincasa, the founder of WorldClass Teams as the keynote speaker and Janeen Judah, the President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Women in Innovation speaker, gave listeners much to learn from and use in their careers.
Emerson started their recent meeting with one of the most exciting and challenging keynote speakers I have seen in a long time. Benincasa is a firefighter and adventure racer with nothing to do with automation, except that she had some of the best advice to members of the industry. Yes, we’ve all endured keynote speeches given by well-meaning but apparently automation-clueless speakers trying very hard to reach their audience. This speaker not only reached her audience but gave it marvelous advice and direction. Her message was one of cooperation, not competition. Too often we have been fed the message that life is about competition but not from this speaker. Through wonderful examples of her experiences adventure racing around the globe in some of the most challenging environments on earth, Benincasa showed how working together is a much stronger strategy than all-out competition. She also exhorted the crowd to work to win, not just NOT lose. This requires a different way of thinking and is a good lesson in today’s accounting-driven world.
Then Emerson continued the good words from the women’s side with a luncheon speech by Janeen Judah, the president of SPE, and a working petroleum engineer. While her message was not as physically exuberant, it was still both challenging and in the same vein — cooperation is the way for everyone to progress. She gave some sterling advice on how thinking of colleagues and doing well for them can come back to do well for everyone.
In summation, both women brought the same message to the Emerson crowd. Cooperation and what sociologist would consider traditionally female forms of interaction are healthier and ultimately more productive for individuals and companies. Is it possible that we are getting this type of message now because enough women are in the workplace and feel comfortable interacting and managing as women, not just women in steel boots? Whatever the reason, it is a healthy movement. Kudos for Emerson for hosting these two wise women and their messages!
Joy Ward has over thirty years’ experience in consumer psychology research and is Director of Qualitative Research for Spitzer and Boyes LLC. Her MIND OF THE CUSTOMER® research methodology has been used in areas from politics to the automotive industry to satellite manufacturing. Contact Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-283-5259 for information on how Joy can bring the Mind of the Customer® to your enterprise.