In 2020, the leaders of the business world adapted with agility and creativity to survive one of the most challenging years on record. In 2021, as we finally come up for air, we are presented with one of the most important questions yet: What’s next?
Do we go back to our in-person, pre-pandemic methods? Do we commit to an all-remote, work-from-home strategy? The only answer we can be sure is wrong is to pretend nothing has changed.
“It’s more important that our employees are meeting their milestones than where they work from,” says Matthias Schirmag, the head of global IT network and communication at German liquor company Mast-Jägermeister SE. “Since we rolled Slack out across all devices, we’re not bound to one place anymore.”
The next few years will look different for everyone, but this is a pivotal point to pause, step back and take stock of what worked best for your business, both before and during the pandemic. In most cases, the evidence of a new, better way is too strong to ignore, positively affecting everything from KPIs to culture.
“Having the ability to message an external vendor via Slack provides next-level support,” says Marisa Guarino, senior IT systems engineer at cloud data platform Snowflake.
Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School shares how one company he talked with held virtual tours of their home offices. “It was a great moment for personal connection in a way that never would have happened if everyone was in the office,” he says.
Now is the time to rethink what’s possible and reconsider what really matters. How can you keep your employees, customers and partners aligned and engaged, whether they’re across the room or across the world? Amy Farrow, the chief information officer for ridesharing company Lyft, says, “with asynchronous work, the work shines. That’s what I’m most excited about, because I can’t imagine a more interesting or challenging time to lead through this change.”
The exciting part is, we can all seize this unique opportunity and learn from each other to ensure we lead our business down the best possible path. One where we let go of old assumptions and legacy processes, and enable our teams to emerge stronger and more sustainable than ever.
A better way.
We wrote Reinventing Work: New Imperatives for the Future of Working after talking with business leaders from all industries, company sizes and disciplines about the obstacles they faced over the last year, and how they’re moving forward even more confidently than before. “Having a way to communicate freely and to openly share our vision, our goals and long-term objectives is the fundamental way we’re successfully scaling the company worldwide,” says Jack Zhang, the CEO of financial services platform Airwallex.
Along with Zhang, we spoke with leaders from companies like Hearst Magazines, Up, Twitter, Stax and Versent to see what we might be able to learn.
We found that, regardless of size or industry, there were five recurring themes. In this e-book, we’ll dig into each one in detail, and share what we need more of, and what we could do without.
A few highlights including learning how to:
- Encourage transparency and foster an open, productive culture in which everyone has a stake in your company’s success
- Free your sales, marketing and service teams from email and enable them to deliver the best possible experience to customers
- Adopt a new partner playbook to optimize partnerships and create consistent value in the ecosystem
- Attract the best candidates from around the world to build a diverse, distributed workforce
These aren’t about simple answers that apply to every company. We’re here to share the emerging themes and innovative methods needed to meet these unique opportunities. It’s up to you to iterate on the ideas you find most relevant for your teams, and take action.