Last week my daughter asked me who I talked to at work today. When I recalled my day, I had spoken to people in Australia, Thailand, Boston and London, says Barry Bresnahan. Looking at her map of the world, she was fascinated about how I can work with people who are so far away. It was a basic question from a child, but it’s important to appreciate the number of countries we work with at Liberty IT and the many time zones we deliver our services to and not take this for granted.
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to connect remotely and begin building relationships both locally and globally. As a senior delivery lead, this is a major part of my role. Working with different cultures allows us to all learn from each other, to appreciate the differences and to produce great results together.
I build, support and empower teams of high-performing engineers to develop products for customers and partners in various parts of the world. I set the strategic direction for teams and work with global partners through Liberty Mutual to add a welcome dimension to the role.
To develop new products, we introduce a “Discovery & Framing” (D&F) exercise to start the process of production. D&F is a highly engaging, collaborative and interactive session that can last up to 2 weeks to collect findings on the needs of the customer to produce the product. This helps us gain a deep understanding of what’s important to our customer and then we apply those learnings to provide rapid, viable solutions that make a difference to their work.
To add value to the product, we often travel to the customer to do this in-person wherever this might be in the world. Meeting in person allows us to start the initiative, clarify the foundations for everyone involved and help build those important relationships that are fundamental for allowing open and honest discussions that are vital for product success. My most recent D&F was a trip to Thailand and it looks like South America is lining up as the next one.
As I travel to various countries, I am more and more cognisant that we not only have to understand the business needs, but we need to understand and appreciate the different cultures and ways of working with global countries. When I travel, I often bring local Irish whiskey as a gift, which never fails to help breakdown language barriers, no matter what part of the planet you are on. The subtle power of liquid sunshine and a smile goes a long way.