As a member of the CDC graduate programme, you have the opportunity to undertake a three month rotation at Capgemini’s Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) and, for the past five weeks, that’s where I have been. Just like many others, I came into consulting looking for variety; whether that be the sectors that I worked in, the clients that I worked for or the roles that I would undertake. To say that this expectation has been fulfilled during my rotation at the ASE would be an understatement; at the time of writing, I have already run events for five different clients across the engineering, charity and public sectors. It has been a whirlwind of fun and learning!
So what is the ASE? The ASE is an accelerator, so I suppose the clue is in the name. The intention behind the ASE is to run events which allow clients to drive important programmes or resolve complex business issues in a matter of days rather than months. The key to this is facilitation or, in simple terms, making it easy. Whilst you might consider facilitation in the more typical sense as someone at the front of the room moving the conversation along; facilitation in the ASE covers a whole host of functions that make an event run smoothly and ensure the client achieves their intention. This might be designing the graphics for an event, setting the environment in a way that makes the clients feel at ease or researching best practices within the sector that the clients work. To find out more about it, click here.
What is the ASE?
In terms of my experience as a graduate, I really have learnt a lot. Running events in the ASE has exposed me to some of the most pressing issues that CEOs/CIOs are facing in each of their sectors today. More than that though, it has also given me an understanding of how companies are looking to tackle those challenges, which I think is a really valuable learning to take back to consulting once my rotation ends. Just two weeks ago, we had executives from one of the UK’s largest retailers come to the ASE and leave with a new vision for the future of their business. Watching how the leaders of huge FTSE100 companies interact with their colleagues is fascinating, and an opportunity that I would not have had until much later in my career elsewhere.
To be honest though, the people I have learnt most from during my time in the ASE are the team who work there fulltime. The team in the ASE constitutes facilitators, co-facilitators and members of the Core Design Team who are all creatively minded individuals that make our events bespoke to each of the clients that we work with. There is no such thing as a one-size fits all solution in the ASE!
The ASE space
By working with the core ASE team I have picked up a whole range of new skills. From designing event structures to designing event graphics, and much more, here are some of the nuggets of knowledge that I hope to leave the ASE with:
- How to get to the bottom of what an event is really about. For example, how do we ensure the event is answering the right question, not just the question the key sponsor thinks it should be answering?
- Which colours work well together when designing logos and graphics for an event
- How music can help facilitate movement and the importance of choosing the right songs for events
- How to design the right assignments for participants of an event to complete, and how do these assignments come together as an output for the clients to take away?
Overall, I cannot recommend the rotation enough. Although I am a long way off being an artistic mastermind, it has challenged me to think much more creatively and to come up with new ideas outside of my comfort zone of PowerPoint and Excel! And to think, I’m only halfway through...