3 Key Takeaways From The Women In Strategy Summit

By Michele Weisman Last week I attended the Women in Strategy Summit. Strategy leaders, executives, and innovators from American Express, Lego, Pepsi, Dell, and other large brands explored the role of women in  strategy, planning decisions, and the underlying global effects on businesses. Despite being relatively new, the Women In Strategy Summit was filled with great content. In case you missed it, here are 3 key takeaways from the event.

1. If something doesn't go as quite as you hoped, fail fast and pivot. Be honest, be transparent, and use failure as an opportunity to show your customers you care. Kristin Vincent, Vice President of Product at Marvel, highlighted the best response to mistakes: say sorry immediately, correct your misstep, and move forward. It's important to balance user requests with bold new ideas and experiment, but remember to walk before you run. Being open is more difficult than being close, but transparency is the best competitive advantage a brand could ever adopt.

2. Innovation is like shampoo--lather, rinse, repeat. If the organization does not win, no one wins. Johnna Marcus, Director, Mobile & Digital Store Marketing at Sephora, addressed the importance of tapping into your community. On Facebook, Sephora reaches 75 million of the 77 million target market females that are in the 18-49 age demographic. Its mobile app allows Sephora's best customers  to learn what’s new, research products, and shop while at home, on the go, or in a Sephora store. Additionally, Sephora customers share daily, writing nearly 2 million product reviews to date. In fact, women are majority of tech users in their 40s, 50s, and 60s and use the Internet 17% more than men. Your fans are looking to converse with you-- innovation is at your fingertips.

3. You are not learning if you are not a little bit scared every day. We must all be entrepreneurs and champions of our ideas. In order to do this, your must be true to yourself. Your success has to come from you, but it's important to remember that you're only as good as the people who work for you. Jenna Goudreau, a reporter at Forbes, reminded us to not just speak in words, but to speak in truths. To have a big impact you need to take big risks; once you decide to go for it you have to see it through. Surround yourself with the best: hire people smarter than you, give them the tools to do their jobs, and listen carefully.

BONUS: 4It takes a village to ensure a successful social media strategy. Carrie Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media, spoke at the Women In Strategy Summit, where she discussed how to create a Social Media Forum that staffs for success. It's common to see your social media team falling short -- and it's not their fault. Take time to reevaluate your business objectives to ensure that you SPARK across departments.

What are key attributes for an innovative strategy? Share in the comments section below!