It’s not just the tech, I’m going to Xerocon 2018 to learn about change

I had a conversation over dinner last night that made me really pause and reflect on why I’m attending Xerocon London this year. Emma and I were having dinner with Damien Astolfi from Fidbox – Switzerland’s only 100% Xero Accountants. We were fondly reminiscing about when we met at Xerocon London in 2015.

We were there for the same reasons. To find out about Xero’s solutions for the future of small businesses and to meet the people behind the technology. But we were there for another reason too. We believed that there is a better way to work and we knew that the people at Xero believed that too. Being able to choose where you work, the tools you use and who you work with is massively important.

Changing the way you work is not just about new technology

Xerocon2015The right technology can help with this but it’s a mindset change that is needed and for me, learning how to change was the opportunity that was on offer. And Xero wanted to share their thinking with us. And several hundred other people wanted to learn too. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to explore the future and there’s nothing quite like being on a journey with like minded people!

I found some of my notes from Xerocon 2015:

  • Rod Drury told us the “nature of work is fundamentally changing.” And online accounting gives us for the “1st time a real picture of what is happening in local economics, globally.”  – and this gives us the power to make meaningful change.
  • Karren Brady suggested business owners should “find out what is wrong about your business before your competitors do.” And we should “have everyone asking ‘How do we make this business better?’” – this only happens when you involve everyone and embrace change.
  • Gary Turner asked “How can we transform small business?” – What a question to start the day with – love it!
  • Andy Lark told us “The early adopter eats the late majority and the laggards for lunch” and “ it’s more efficient to outsource things to the algorithm.” So true – goodbye manual data entry and duplication of effort!
Karren Brady CBE at Xerocon 2015
Karren Brady CBE at Xerocon 2015


And we all spent a couple of jam-packed days learning about the tools of transformation. Fast forward 3 years and the growth of Xero has been phenomenal. But, is that a surprise for many people? Not for me and many people I know!

The reason I paused when reflecting was I realised more than ever that it’s not just about the technology. What Xero have done over the last 10+ years, is enable people to work the way they want to work. It may not be for everyone. But for those of us who want to be our true-selves at work, we now have an opportunity to work the way we want to.

When people connect with you because you believe in a way of working that they are looking for

We can now choose who we work with and how we work with them. It is a hugely liberating feeling when we say no to potential clients because they are not a good fit. When potential clients search for people like you because they know there must be someone out there that can really help and transform their businesses. And then they find you and connect with you, wow, it’s unbelievable!

And when you come to Xerocon and listen to other people’s stories of how they have changed the way they work along with their plans for the future, it’s truly inspiring!

Luck doesn’t get you a seat on a plane

And it’s not about pure luck. Damien told me last night that he’d said to me when we first met that he felt really lucky to be at Xerocon. He kindly reminded me that I’d replied to him that it wasn’t luck that put him on that plane from Switzerland.

I feel very privileged to be spending the next couple of days with people who are shaping the future of small businesses across the world. It’s an amazing community to be part of and I can’t wait to catch-up/meet you. And what makes me smile even more is thinking about how we might be reminiscing about this years event over dinner before Xerocon 2021 🙂