Industry Experts Share Insights on the Future of Work
Over the past year, the top decision-makers from some of the largest enterprises have learned important lessons that have been critical to their success. At this year’s Enterprise Connect Virtual 2021’s concluding session, The View from the Enterprise, Ira M. Weinstein, leading analyst at Recon Research, was joined by experts from ExxonMobil, Harvard Business School, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Zoom to shed some light on these critical lessons they have learned and their view on what the future of collaboration might look like.
Here are some key takeaways from the session:
Have a plan, but be flexible & bold
Harvard Business School transformed the way it delivers its world-renowned curriculum during the pandemic. The organization rapidly transitioned from in-person education to virtual learning in 10 days, turning classrooms across the campus into Zoom Rooms to host virtual classes and successfully training over 280 facility staff to teach online.
In this session, Harvard Business School CIO, Ron Chandler, stressed the importance of having a plan to support both in-person and remote stakeholders, but also remaining flexible enough to make effective changes. “You need to test excessively, and be decisive, but don’t be hasty. Also, feel empowered. It may seem like you have a lot of decisions to make, and you need to have a plan, but in that plan, ask for forgiveness, not for permission.”
Strong partnerships with your vendors are crucial
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ExxonMobil needed a solution to keep its global workforce connected while many of its employees worked from home. The company needed to continue serving its customers, by providing fuel and other essential products across the globe, and Miriam Murad, ExxonMobil’s IT fellow and solutions architect for unified communications, was a key part of that effort. She led the push to bring over 85,000 users onto Zoom in a matter of days and helped employees leverage video communications to maintain ExxonMobil’s operations.
Murad offered a key piece of advice during this session, stating, “You need to work very closely with your partners and vendors. You can only make changes to the tools that you use to serve your customers if you have strong partnerships between the IT department, the service provider, the vendor, and the brand you chose. Coordinate with them constantly to ensure they can help you in this journey.”
Technology has become an essential part of what we do in the office, especially in light of the pandemic. Succeeding in the next phase of work will require organizations to work closely with their solutions providers to ensure their needs are met and that the provider is helping the organization meet these challenges head-on.
Maintain constant communication with stakeholders
JPMorgan Chase & Co needed to quickly develop a plan to continue providing critical investment and banking services to its clients during the pandemic, even as the global economy faced an uncertain future.
Eugene Pitts, executive director of JPMorgan, shared the lessons he learned from bringing over 180,000 employees onto Zoom in just 10 days and shifting to a remote workforce, including this: “Keep communicating with everyone. You really need to listen to your customers, your clients, your vendors, your partners, your management — hear their pain points, listen to their problems, and see how you can solve them.”
To maintain operational efficiency in the new world of work, managers and leaders will need to closely communicate with various stakeholders to discover pain points in workflows and why certain processes aren’t working as intended. By reducing friction and roadblocks in their day-to-day operations, business leaders can ensure employees and other stakeholders have the best processes, equipment, and resources available to boost productivity across the organization.
Don’t try to deliver everything at once
The pandemic has paved the way for transformation for companies around the world. Shawn Rolin, head of technology and global solution engineering at Zoom, has seen firsthand how companies have successfully transitioned into this next phase of work with Zoom’s unified communications platform.
Based on his extensive experience working with a wide variety of organizations from across the world, Shawn had a valuable piece of advice: “Be iterative. If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority, so you want to work on the projects that will move the needle the most and have the greatest impact on your stakeholders first. If you try to waterfall deliver all of your projects and implementations at once, there’s a greater chance of failure.”
Organizations are already implementing new technology and solutions to support hybrid workforces and learning models. While these implementations will undoubtedly improve communication, collaboration, and cohesiveness at any company or school, leaders at these organizations will need to ensure they are carefully prioritizing the projects that will have the greatest impact and carry them out with intention.
Join Zoom at Enterprise Connect Virtual 2021
Be sure to join us virtually for our May 12th event, Implementing Zoom Across Your Enterprise, or watch recordings of our March 24 event, Building Forward with Confidence, to hear from other industry leaders on the future of work and the ‘everywhere’ workforce.