Archive for June, 2020

Start-Ups Changing the World

June 15, 2020

June12Panel

FountainBlue’s June 12 When She Speaks program was on the topic of Start-ups Changing the World’. Our panelists represented a wide range of industries, backgrounds and roles, but also had much in common.

  • They are clear and passionate communicators with a track record for doing things big and small to change the world for the better.
  • They have a breadth and depth of experience which they leverage to solve the strategic and tactical problems facing them today.
  • They think about the big picture, engage the larger network, and focus on making things happen, delivering toward specific outcomes.

Below is advice they provided to the audience, regardless of whether you decide to be an entrepreneur.

  • Be collaborative and inclusive. Develop networks and allies who are passionate about the cause.
  • Be respectful of everyone. Be mindful of your purpose.
  • Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures as they are great growth opportunities.
  • Choose to be consistently excellent. Make this your brand.
  • Keep your mind open, your network positive and broad, your outlook curious.
  • Be strategic, engaging an ecosystem of partners to drive results.
  • Make a plan, pivot that plan if you need to.
  • Pay it forward, help others to also succeed.
  • Be gentle with yourself.

Below is advice for entrepreneurs.

  • Be all-in, but don’t let it be all-consuming.
  • Whatever you do, do with purpose and with passion. Focus on making a difference that matters.
  • Respect the down-sides of being all-in – you may be sacrificing your own health or the needs of your loved ones. Timing is everything, so maybe the entrepreneurial path is not right for you at this time, if you have other obligations.
  • Look for a big idea that will make a difference, one that will inspire you, one that will help make the lives of many people better, leveraging technology which helps you customize and scale the solution.
  • Dare to create something from nothing.
  • Turn a challenge, a failure into an opportunity.

As we face these very real, very traumatic challenges brought on by the pandemic, the resultant recession and the civil unrest, our panel tells us to:

  • Have faith, following each winter there’s a spring.
  • Accept the data. And then link arms and do something to make a difference, engaging others.

Please join me in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s June 12 When She Speaks program on the topic of Start-ups Changing the World’ and our hosts at Cisco.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Heather Callender-Potters, Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman and Chief Business Officer, PharmaJet
  • Panelist Karthi Gopalan, Product Line Director, Mobile Power BU, Maxim
  • Panelist Lata Hariharan, President and Founder, SVAST
  • Panelist Gayathri Radhakrishnan, Director Venture Capital, Micron
  • Panelist Julia Zhu, Sr Manager, Analytics and Quality, Cisco

The Future of Work

June 12, 2020

FutureOfWork

FountainBlue’s June 12 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘The Future of Work’.

We were fortunate to have a diverse range of executives in attendance who shared a wide range of perspectives around the Future of Work.

We have all been impacted by the worldwide pandemic, and more recent by the re-boarding pressures and more recently the civil unrest across the nation. Our thoughts turned to how these game-shifting events will be changing the way we work in the new normal.  

The Future of Work will be digital, leveraging the technology and tools to ensure that people can work productively and securely from anywhere, with full access to tools and information, and in full compliance with regulatory and privacy standards.

Difficult as the technology, process, compliance, security, privacy and other hurdles are to solve, technology leaders and innovators will work together to indeed resolve these issues and provide more versatile, more scalable, more customized solutions for a very demanding and growing customer base. 

Some of the challenging questions are highlighted below:

  • How do we help our people manage work-life integration when work can be done 24×7 from home?
  • How do we facilitate collaboration between staff, partners, customers and executives when we are all working remotely?
  • How do we continue to build current relationships and make new connections when we are not meeting face to face?
  • How will you deliver tradeshow-like experiences for the masses?
  • How do you replace the relationships of trust online which have historically been built in-person?
  • How do we conduct immersive training for our workforce while still sheltering in place?
  • How will schools and universities again survive and thrive while still sheltering in place? and when we re-board?
  • How do we help a remote worker become a fully autonomous worker, with full access to standard operating procedures, roles and responsibilities and priorities?

Below are some suggested best practices in a new normal at work.

  • Ensure that staff has self-service access to HR and IT related support so that they have the infrastructure they need to work seamlessly from remote locations.
  • Embrace digital solutions to optimize both working from home, and also re-boarding.
  • Plan to have sufficient emergency equipment so that those who need to report to work are protected in a future scenario similar to COVID.
  • Provide the equipment and resources so that staff can make productive use of their time.
  • Focus on the result, rather than on when staff can turn in work or how it is done.
  • Think, speak and act like your people are your greatest resource, bringing positive employee experiences to all.
  • Be data-driven so that you can plan-fully address issues and measure and report on outcomes.
  • Generate actionable reports based on specific data.
  • Provide access to contact-less support so that field engineers can access remote experts.
  • Allow customers to personalize their offerings so that they can also efficiently support their staff.
  • Further enable video and audio communications to do everything from telehealth to video conferencing.

Below are some thoughts on the future of work.

  • Look for machine-to-machine communications.
  • Grow the network and infrastructure like 5G/6G to support telecommunications and cell phone usage – there will increasingly be more data to integrate and manage.
  • Design Robotically-based telepresence solutions.
  • Adapt past learnings to new situations/real-world problems.
  • Automate workflow by providing access to self-service applications, incorporating standard modules.
  • Design digital solutions which will replace in-person participation in large conferences.

We concluded that the Future of Work is upon us – with the timeline accelerated through the pandemic. These changes are here to stay. The flexible, the collaborative, the tech-philic leader will be best prepared for this new way of working.