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5 lessons learned from FARFETCH global roadshow

By Eve Brill
Eve Brill
Passionate about product and fashion. Dreaming of Ganni dresses.
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5 lessons learned from FARFETCH global roadshow
At the end of last year, a cross functional team of Farfetchers joined forces to run the Platform Roadshow - a global learning initiative to develop a shared company understanding of our mission as a platform business.

The Roadshow reached 78% of the company. I’m proud of the great results we achieved but the road to success was full of potholes, endless problem solving and painstaking attention to detail. After running one of the largest global learning initiatives in Farfetch history, here are the most important lessons I learned about communicating a company message within a burgeoning business.

Lesson 1: A "brick by brick” approach works

We devised a team-by-team strategy, splitting the company by functions and targeting senior people within each team to give feedback on the draft presentation, add content specific to their team requirements, present at their own team session and encourage their team to attend. This approach helped in two ways. Firstly, it broke down the company from a 3000 people mass into smaller manageable groups. Secondly, it meant more people across the company were engaged and invested in the Roadshow’s success. I witnessed first hand the positive impact team leadership had on staff engagement with the content and messaging. Anecdotally, the team leads who had taken the most time with us to engage and develop the content for their team were rewarded with the richer and more fruitful sessions.

Lesson 2: Money makes the world go round

It didn’t really take the Roadshow to teach me this but it did highlight that having money to execute a plan makes it easier and more professional. We were running at such a fast pace that little consideration was given to budget and what could realistically be achieved. In hindsight, if we had looked at budget vs expectations at the beginning we would probably have given up! Our limited budget did impact the presentation materials, our equipment, the venue choice and the number of global stops on the trip. However, this pushed us to be resourceful and lead to creativity like the production of low-fi, reusable interactive jigsaws which all participants had to complete.

Some of our people putting together the pieces of our platform.
Lesson 3: #todosjuntos all the way

This Roadshow would not have been possible without the mammoth team effort involved. This project proves that Farfetchers will go beyond their roles and responsibilities to deliver whatever is required and live our core value of Todos Juntos (this is Portuguese for ‘All together’ and encourages us to act for the greater good of all teams, even when it’s beyond your area of expertise). From writing video scripts for the CEO, to working out how to ship brochures to Brazil, to planning logistics for global travel, there were lots of ‘unusual’ requirements outside the team’s everyday scope of work and everyone rolled their sleeves up to do.

Lesson 4: Snacks matter

At the end of each session we had a short survey to gage our messaging and hear any feedback. The final question was "If we were to do this roadshow session again, how do you think we could do this better?”. The most common answer was "provide snacks”. As I said, our budget was limited, but if you really want people to engage in your own global learning initiative make sure you invest in catering.

Lesson 5: Done is better than perfect

Using all our available resources and a team effort we were able to pull off the company's biggest learning initiative to date. The execution wasn’t perfect. But we achieved our goal. And I think that’s a good result.
So, if you’re part of a growing company and want to share key messaging with fellow employees, consider how the task can be broken down, get clear on your budget and align it with expectations and work as a team to achieve your goal. And don’t forget the snacks.
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