It's hard to believe it's only been six months since we created the Executive Sponsor role on accounts. In my October 2021 note, I described the role like this: "[Executive Sponsors] are a designated Barrel representative to periodically facilitate one-on-one conversations with the client's key stakeholder, typically C-Suite. In some ways, the Executive Sponsor can act as a third-party participant, offering a unique perspective without being caught in the details of the day-to-day. They are there to listen and offer up ideas on how to strengthen collaboration."
Establishing Executive Sponsors took some time, but at this point, it's hard to imagine our work without them. There are plenty of opportunities to evolve the role; however, I've been happy to hear positive feedback from the team and clients alike. Both sides share the same sentiment: it is helpful for someone to take the time to pull out of the work and look at the collaboration as a whole.
As an Executive Sponsor myself, one of the aspects I've valued most is getting real-time feedback from an array of clients. Rather than guessing what we can do to improve, I've enjoyed jumping into conversations head-first and asking the tough questions. From there, I've been to identify themes across clients and work with the team to make changes that can create a real impact. Many of these are currently in motion.
After weeks like last week, I'm especially grateful that we recognized the need for this new channel with clients. Unfortunately, one of our clients has been unhappy with a piece of our work, but luckily, they reached out to me, and we now have the chance to work through it. In another case, a client shared some of the challenges they're facing and ideas on how we can help them succeed.