WorkDifferent: Three things we learned about moving forward in 2021
At WorkDifferent 2021, we heard from seven-time Superbowl winner Tom Brady, Peloton instructor Ally Love, and leaders at iconic brands like Volkswagen, Pinterest, Uber Eats, and more about how they’re moving forward.
Check out the key lessons learned to help you find new ways of working and to move forward with confidence, bravery, and conviction as we begin to come out the other side into an entirely new world.
1. ‘The playbook isn’t set — write your own’
“If 2020 was the year everything stopped, then 2021 is the year we rewrite the playbook,” said Qualtrics co-founder and executive chairman Ryan Smith as he opened WorkDifferent 2021.
After a year in which customer and employee needs changed forever, organizations everywhere are looking ahead to what comes next.
The innovation that came from necessity in 2020 taught us that agility is business-critical. Those businesses that were able to pivot, design new experiences, and update existing ones as customer and employee expectations changed at a frightening pace were the ones that thrived.
And going forward, you need to continue to be just as agile to respond to entirely new demands.
“So much of what needs to happen next is to just listen, learn and meet your customers where they are,” said Katie Soo, SVP, Head of Growth Marketing, HBO Max. “Because all of what you knew before most likely has changed. I would encourage everyone to think differently and start again.”
2. Disruption in the workplace isn’t done yet
Nobody will ever forget the moment almost the entire global workforce switched to remote working overnight in spring 2020.
It reshaped our relationships with just about every facet of life. And it’s changed the face of work forever.
But what happens next will have just as big an impact, said Brad Anderson, President of Products and Services at Qualtrics.
“As large segments of remote and hybrid workers merge, there will be a greater need for digital workspaces to enable collaboration, innovation, and productivity,” he said.
Brad highlighted the need for technology leaders to take the lead in designing the future of work. He showed how operational and experience data will come together to help technology and people experience leaders understand what’s happening in real-time and take the right actions to keep people thriving as we shift to a hybrid work environment.
3. ‘Care about people, and lead from the front’
With 7 Superbowl wins to his name, Tom Brady has led some of the greatest sports teams on the planet. At WorkDifferent, he shared how success is never guaranteed, but with the right people, leadership and culture, organizations give themselves the best chance of winning.
“A great leader, whether it’s in business or in sports, cares about their people,” he said. “People want to do their best, and you’ve got to give them the tools to do their best.
“Take care of their physical, mental, and emotional needs,” said Tom. “You can’t have one part that’s mediocre, the culture has to support every individual that’s helping the business succeed.”
Tom shared his advice for how leaders can set an example for their people, lead with empathy, and work differently to rally their teams and their organizations as a whole to achieve their goals.
Check out all the sessions from WorkDifferent 2021