The Power Of Change
Corporate Events Management and Production
Eric Foss, President and CEO of Aramark, knows about leadership. He’s built numerous successful companies, and is a superb motivator. But through his eyes, the word “leadership” means something a little different… much more than a top down organizational flow. His vision of growing a great company means an “all in”, “all-inclusive” approach, and it’s a message he fervently spreads throughout Aramark. Enabling the leadership potential of everyone in the organization is goal number one, and with his experiential agency Executive Visions, he utilizes a broad communications toolkit to reach it.
Prime example…West Palm Beach, Florida, where two hundred and fifty of the company’s top management are gathered at the Breakers Resort for a year-end leadership conference. Foss, along with Tod MacKenzie, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, and the Executive Visions Producing team are in full swing. Every detail… from the meeting environment and staging… to the array of custom media… to the gathering of influential guest speakers, are laser focused on the mission…to embrace the power of change as an essential leadership attribute, while inspiring and enabling this elite team to grow and develop to their fullest.
Foss views change as power, a way of staying on the leading edge by adapting to social and cultural influences and the ever shifting technological, economic and political conditions. It’s a big-picture awareness, and on this week, the program has been crafted to shift the viewpoint outside of the organization…to consider all of the external influences that shape the Aramark business environment. By learning to position the company in a broader context, the strategic thinking and everyday actions of every manager will evolve, helping push Aramark to the forefront of its industry and the business community at large.
Meeting day arrives, and attendees flow-in to a contemporary, high-powered executive setting. With its enveloping theatrical set, a widescreen LED backdrop dripping with gorgeous media, and a sweeping arrangement of plush leather chairs, it feels like a place reserved for heads of state. The vibe is highly symbolic of the importance of these managers and the crucial role each of them plays.
The general session covers two full days, and features a heavy hitting list of guest speakers with some of the most interesting and relevant viewpoints on the global scene…Karl Rove of the Bush Administration, Donna Brazile, Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Jared Cohen of Google, Daryl Conner of the Leadership firm Conner Partners, Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Hospitality, Mike Abrashoff, Commander, United States Navy and Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who courageously sheltered Tutsi refugees during the horrific Rwandan genocide.
Each guest delivers a personal lecture and participates in a moderated discussion with other speakers and Aramark executives. Filled with point and counterpoint, the sessions produce a highly thought provoking look at the realities, challenges and responsibilities of being a leader in contemporary life and business. Inspired by the powerful gathering…the audience engages, absorbing the insights and experiences of this diverse group.
At day’s end, attendees break off into teambuilding activities…time to enjoy the environs of south Florida and let the ideas soak in and incubate. Discussions abound…plans formulate amongst colleagues and friends. As they go their separate ways…there is an overwhelming sense that the mission has been accomplished. The foundations of a deeper, more inspired leadership have been built…a desire to carry forth with greater purpose and intention.
The finely tuned components of top-level event production have paid dividends. The results of the intensive strategic, planning, creative and technical efforts leave Foss and MacKenzie smiling…an investment well made.
The Power of Change Leadership Conference…one of many important moments in the year-round matrix of events produced together by Aramark and Executive Visions.