Upcoming XLNC Autumn Conference | Venice 2019

There’s no doubt about it. We are excited about going to Venice; even more so because it’s for our third XLNC Conference! Seems like only yesterday that we were at the first one in Madrid, but in reality that was already more than a year ago. This year’s Conference will be held at the San Clemente Palace Kempinski, located on the private island of San Clemente, only minutes away by boat from the hustle and bustle of the Piazza San Marco. Our Conference coincides with the 58th Biennale in Venice, which transforms the city into a vibrant cultural metropolis. Make sure to see if you can spot any masterpieces on display throughout the city.

The keynote speaker William Johnson has been advising professional services firms on aligning behaviours with strategy for over 25 years. His interest in learning theories and applications began when he was commissioned in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, where after front line service he became involved in aircrew training. On leaving the Royal Navy he trained as an organisational psychologist and completed an MBA before joining a boutique strategy firm specialising in aligning strategy, structure and behaviours. In 1990 William began training consultants in IBM in basic consultancy skills and behaviours and his clients now include some of the world’s leading consulting and professional services firms and also global organisations (including telecoms, FMCG, technology and pharmaceutical companies) looking to adopt the best practices and behaviours from the world of professional services. William is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, with an MA in Psychology from The Queen’s College Oxford, an MBA from Warwick Business School, and he is a graduate of Harvard’s ‘Leading Professional Service Firms’ programme. William will deliver the keynote speech on “Representing the Firm, Differentiation & Storytelling”. The session is intended to enable the leaders of XLNC’s member firms to define the core behaviours that differentiate their own firms and to develop and refine these behaviours, so they can model them in every interaction with the client.

The session will begin by exploring the many issues prospective clients consider when determining whether to buy or not to buy from a particular firm and identify the critical – but often hidden – factors that motivate their final purchasing decision. Having gained a deeper understanding of the psychology behind the client’s buying decision, participants will then examine the implications on their own behaviour during ‘critical client conversations’ and ‘moments of truth’ and determine the behavioural changes that could significantly improve their new client acquisition. Participants will learn and practise the behaviours that will enable them to communicate more effectively, form relevant, challenging points of view, offer insight, create impact, generate status and above all, illustrate significant value in every single contact with the firm’s prospective and current clients. In short, participants will define how to ‘live the firm’s brand’ in every interaction with prospective clients. The session will also provide an introduction to storytelling and outline the key role that it can play to uniquely position each XLNC member firm in the mind of their clients. In the professional services sector, in which every firm can look very similar, and in which technical competence is now a prerequisite not a differentiator, being able to tell your firm’s story effectively is more critical than ever. Based on the unique ‘DNA’ of XLNC – the alliance’s shared values, heritage and culture – participants will have the opportunity to develop, refine and practise the stories they will tell to validate and reinforce their own firm’s position in the minds of their prospective clients. After the plenary session on Saturday morning, six Focus Groups offer interactive meetings. You can read what to expect from page 12 onwards.

As usual, we have organised a sightseeing programme to explore this charming city – so you may visit the Piazza San Marco, including an exclusive secret itineraries tour of the Doge’s Palace – a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic style and one of the main landmarks of the city – and/ or explore the area around Rialto Bridge (one of the most famous bridges crossing the Grand Canal) and Le Scuole. Accompanying Persons will have the added benefit of a gastronomy cooking class, including a visit to the Rialto market. This event is already fully booked but we might be able to fit one or two more in. If you would like to join us, please contact Aleksandra Jagiello (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at your earliest convenience to double-check availability.

XLNC MAGAZINE | No. 04 | November 2019


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