It’s been some time since I’ve been to an event that I’ve enjoyed as much as the P³ Executive Summit in Washington, D.C. One of the reasons this summit is so excellent is that you are really treated by Platts as an executive and favored partner. It didn’t hurt that I was there with Zak(our president), Salwa, and Manal. The meeting initiated last Monday in a very social and welcome manner with a trip to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. followed by an exclusive lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s, The Source. We later enjoyed a great rooftop dinner at the historic W hotel, overlooking the White House, Capitol Building and the Washington Monument.

Fun aside, the main summit was an eye-opening event. Platts brought some remarkable speakers to share with us their insights into marketing and the world in general. The team there provided a unique spin on how psychology and human relations have such a dramatic impact on corporate success and national image.

Bill Taylor edit

Bill Taylor talking about strategy and how companies need to embrace differentiation to have success

The Summit featured two incredible keynote speakers. Bill Taylor, Founding Editor, Fast Company and Best-selling Author, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself, discussed how companies need to innovate and make a pointed effort to stand apart from other companies in order to move ahead. He used Apple and Lexus as examples of companies that really have no parallel and implement exceptional customer centric approaches; not just with product design but in their service delivery. This unique way of thinking, of imagining the customer experience in totality, was eye-opening; almost as eye-opening as the first-hand observations of Award-winning reporter and author of The Price of Politics, Bob Woodward.

Manal Arif Bob Woodward edit

Arif Razvi from Platts and Manal talking to Bob Woodward after a fascinating discussion on world affairs and presidential insights

Woodward shared details of some of his frank discussions with US presidents. It is amazing how little differentiation there is between the need to nurture relationships between those in business, and the very same need at the top of the national scale whereby the president of the US must also nurture relationships with the Senate, Congress, his constituents, and other nation leaders. Strategy building and implementation starts at the top and must be fully sponsored to be effective in the real world.

I also had the pleasure of participating in an open panel discussion alongside other participants in the field of data management. The Panel was moderated by Randy Majors, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Care at Platts. The same points, such as the need to succeed, to collaborate, to be focused on delivering value in an open and honest manner, were highlighted by the panelists. The common theme is no-one has the luxury of standing still when the markets around us are moving at such a fast pace. For us in energy and commodities, there is no solid ground or time to pause. Global events, such as those in Syria, China, Latin America and the Middle East, have national and corporate impacts. We need to be ready to react and have a responsibility to educate and shelter our clients as the landscape shifts.

The bottom line message, whether Platts intended it or not, was success is inherent in the ability to be nimble and react to the market. It’s important to aspire to maximize our human relationships one-on-one. It’s not enough to be the market-leader —you must be the relationship leader. You have to be the most human in the room. People should not want to just buy from you; they should want to be with you.

Signed copy of Bob Woodward's book, The Price of Politics

Signed copy of Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics

Thank you so much to Platts for delivering such an exceptional experience. Thanks for taking us to the grand, opulent and historic Anderson House for the summit closing; it was a wonderful way to end a fantastic event.