Help! Need a new name for EBRs

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Patricia Awan
Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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edited October 2023 in CS Org Conversations
Hi all, 

I've been rethinking the way we do EBRs and I do not want to call it a review. The experience I envisage is one of a journey where this "EBR moment" works like a reflexion, a pause where we (CSM and client) look at how far we've come, where we are and the road ahead. In my mind, calling it a review somewhat limits our client's perception and expectation. This is where I need some help please: we have been trying to come up with names for the past couple of weeks and there isn't anything that fits the brief so far- it feels like a new-born that you just call "baby" because you haven't decided on a name yet. Have you faced this problem before and what do you call it?

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  • Sylvia Yin
    Sylvia Yin Member Posts: 11 Contributor
    edited June 2021
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    Hi Patricia! I am a believer that semantics influence perception and mindset so I find this topic interesting. May I understand -- what is it with "review" that you have observed limits your client's perception and expectation?
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Hi Sylvia! I am of the same opinion and think that is why I am finding this so hard. When I mentioned "review" I observed some clients associating it with a technical review, where you talk mostly about things that already happened. I also get the impression that calling it a "business review" makes them think of a more formal engagement, where we spend more time talking about the the past and present but not putting enough emphasis on the future. I should say, 90% of my reviews do not happen with leadership members, more HoD who report to them. I think that, in order to keep clients coming back every 3/6 months, I need to focus more on future planning and building momentum there- just think how excited you get when you book a holiday and start planning all the wonderful things you will eat/ buy/ see/ try! This is what I think the word "review" removes from this engagement. What are your thoughts?
  • Tanya Strauss
    Tanya Strauss Member Posts: 14 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Patricia,

    Great topic! I see where you're coming from as well and I'm not sure I have an answer for you. Review suggests a look-back rather than a present moment or future "roadmap."

    We chose "Quarterly Success Review" to emphasize that we're not so much talking about business (aka selling!) but success: what value is the customer enjoying and what can we do together to enhance it further.

    What about "summit" or "engagement"? Not sure those pack the punch you're after but some ideas. Please keep us posted on what you decide!

    Warmly,
    Tanya

  • Sylvia Yin
    Sylvia Yin Member Posts: 11 Contributor
    edited June 2021
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    Hi @Patricia Awan Building off your analogy on getting excited for a holiday and throwing some thoughts out there to spark thinking, how about
    • success planning 
    • success designing
    • success orchestration
    • impact planning 
    • impact designing
    • impact orchestration
    I think planning comes with an implicit pre-requisite to look back for areas of improvement or to double down. I'd imagine if I am attending a "Quarterly Impact Design" meeting I'd be okay with the first +/-10 minutes dedicated to a retrospective because that will help inform actions to take for future success.

    Hope this helps to spark some ideas. I'll add on if I think of any other ways to name it!
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Thank you for sharing Sylvia, I really like your thinking around planning and that is definitely the way I want the engagement to go.
  • Saad Khan
    Saad Khan Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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    edited June 2021
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    just throwing this in, how about Mutual Success Plan?

    It shows your commitment to making the relation work and  pulls in the customer to work together to be successful. It  presents it as a dialogue rather than va monologue.
  • Lisa Reager
    Lisa Reager Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited June 2021
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    I love this topic - I think the connotations of words are so often taken for granted, especially when it comes to nomenclature!  Have you considered any project management  / continuous improvement inspired names?  The EBR approach you are describing is very much like a Retrospective.
  • Kate Nicholson Jones
    Kate Nicholson Jones Member Posts: 3 Seeker
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    edited June 2021
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    Hello Patricia, I have been involved in CS for almost 10 years, and not only has the content changed many, many times, but also the name.  Like most people, I started by calling them Quarterly Business Reviews, until I released that for most of my clients, ( FTSE 100 ) a meeting quarterly was an impossible ask, so they were renamed to Executive Business Reviews.  Along with this change, I tried really really hard to ensure that C-Suite representatives attended, at least part of the meeting. 

    Now, I call the meetings simply  "Planning for Success"  l set up the calendar invite, so it reads "Planning for Success - Kate|Objective Manager and <insert name of exec sponsor>/,insert company name"  The meeting is balanced 80/20 and only the minority of the time is spent reflecting on past behaviours activities.

    I like the current format, and I like how the meeting appears in my client's exec sponsor's calendar - a bit of promotion for our company :)
  • Andrew Shoaff
    Andrew Shoaff Member Posts: 25 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    l love Kate's Success Meeting title.  I've also struggled getting executive buy in for these meetings.  Two things that have really helped:

    1.  Make sure the client decision maker is on the first kickoff call.   Bring up the EBR (or whatever you end up calling it) in that meeting and get the DM's verbal agreement to participate.  Then schedule the meeting, even if it's 6-9 months away, as a follow up from that initial meeting.  DMs generally feel more invested early on and are more likely to agree to participate and accept the meeting invite at the start of the engagement  
    2.  I've always explained these meetings as opportunities to discuss ROI to date.  That also helps pique their interest.  

    Andrew
  • Jeremy Donaldson
    Jeremy Donaldson Member Posts: 71 Expert
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    edited June 2021
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    @Patricia Awan

    Great question and excellent discussion!

    We have moved away from QBR as well. We'd recommend removing quarterly, semi-annual, or even annual from the title. It sets an unnecessary expectation that we will meet every 3 months when it should be a continuous conversation.

    Titles i've used in the past:
    • Program Review
    • Strategic Imperatives Meeting
    • Executive Briefings
    Hope this helps!
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Hi Kate, I really like this idea and this is definitely where I want this interaction to go- we (client and I) decide the cadence and focus on present and future, more than looking at unnecessary past actions. We need to use any data to predict and replay value but not get too stuck in presenting it for the sake of it.
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Hi Lisa,

    That is one of the main reasons we are looking to change it - it is always useful to look back but I want most of the interaction to be used for present and future planning, so that in time a success plan and any action are just a result of that engagement.
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Thank you Jeremy, appreciate you sharing and that is also something I am seeing as a trend- adjusting titles/ names to better reflect the actual engagement.
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    Thank you Andrew and I agree with you, getting engagements mapped out and in everyone's diaries ahead of time not only shows strategic thinking but also guarantees meetings are happening when they are supposed to instead of being an "afterthought". Replaying ROI is always a winner!
  • Patricia Awan
    Patricia Awan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2021
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    @John O'Connell tagging you here as we have been having a very similar discussion!