By Giles Kesteloot
Chief Strategy Officer
Fostering Creativity and Engagement at ECS’ Pitch Day
In large organizations, it’s common for leadership to look to outside consultants for their next big idea. ECS wanted to do things a bit differently, so we looked inward, reaching out to all of our employees to submit their big ideas for ECS’ first Pitch Day. We wanted to hear from employees with ideas for a solution, service, or product that could have a significant impact on our customers and their missions.
We spoke with CSO Giles Kesteloot about launching Pitch Day, which gives our people a chance to voice their creativity and make a difference for our customers.
What spurred the idea for Pitch Day?
GK: ECS is a large company with hundreds of client-facing programs and projects, which are often geographically siloed at client sites across the country. Pitch Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to connect these teams back to ECS’ overall mission, fellow employees, and our leadership. By giving each employee a chance to share creative ideas with the leadership team, we sought to identify challenges and unique solutions in which to invest.
What I enjoyed most about Pitch Day was hearing the ideas from the other groups at ECS. Their pitches provided great insight into their businesses and the customers they serve. Through the event, I was able to connect with teams I hope to work with in the future.
Pitch Day was a great exercise in refining a business story, working to focus on what is important to convey the idea, and place it in the larger context of what ECS does and the value we bring to our customers.
What was the most inspiring aspect of Pitch Day?
GK: The connectivity and engagement between employees on Pitch Day was incredible. This event connected us with a number of big, bold ideas, as well as the impressive people behind them.
Before Pitch Day began, I got together with each participant, helping them make their pitches stronger and more effective. These meetings were not only beneficial to the participants to help them prepare for the event, but also allowed me to get to know them better while CISO Steve Hittle and COO John Heneghan provided feedback on the business case for each pitch.
How do events like Pitch Day build a stronger culture of engagement at ECS?
GK: Collaborative events like Pitch Day exemplify the spirit and culture of ECS. We plan to keep experimenting with culture-building events that connect ECSers to our core mission: meeting the challenge and making a difference. When it comes down to it, we want to keep investing in our people and their ideas. We are excited to move forward with four of the employee ideas we heard at Pitch Day. Events like these show ECSers that they can build each other up and that leadership will be right there next to them, supporting and investing in them each step of the way.