Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

Aishwarya Jain

I’m Aishwarya Jain from the peopleHum team. We have received an overwhelming, more than 1200 registrations for this event and it is my absolute pleasure to launch the peopleHum Dream Team Series on leadersHum. leadersHum has grown to be a channel of choice for leadership thought and has collected a library of material and interviews conducted over time from some of the most well-known names in the industry. 

Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion
Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

About John Baldoni

John Baldoni is an executive coach at Baldoni Consulting LLC. He is a globally recognized leadership coach who has been transforming workplaces and leaders for more than two decades. He is also the best-selling author of 14 books. 

Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

About Jason Averbook

Jason is the co-founder and CEO of Leapgen. Jason is a leading analyst, thought leader and a consultant for more than 25 years in Human Capital Management. 

Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

About Gordon Tredgold

Gordon is the founder and CEO of Leadership Principles Ltd. He is a leader who’s passionate to learn more and an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and a contributing author at leading websites like Forbes, Fortune and Business Insider. 

Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

About Mollie Lambordi

Mollie is the founder and principal analyst of mollylombardi.com. She’s a researcher, writer, speaker and consultant and looks at the entire life cycle of Human Capital Management processes.

Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

About William Tincup

William Tincup, who is definitely the first among equals, the president of the recruitingdaily.com. William has written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR and recruiting conferences and conducted over a thousand HR podcasts and has been recognized as one of the most influential HR leaders in the world by a lot of internationally renowned websites. 

Today, we have the opportunity of welcoming the top global minds to our panel, people who the industry and the world follow for their thoughts and knowledge. They represent some of the best in the industry for talks, consulting, and coaching assignments and each one has multiple accolades including books they’ve written or people and organizations they’ve worked with. 

We are here to discuss the theme of changes in work, the workplace, and the workforce in this pandemic time of uncertainty for which we have the Dream Team here with us today to share their thoughts and opinions. And now for introducing the Dream Team to you. 

Aishwarya

I am very excited to be associated with leadersHum and peopleHum in this event today. We’re expecting a spirited and engaging conversation with our panel and so without further ado, let me pass this on to Jess. Jess, over to you. 

Jess

Thank you so much for such a lovely introduction and for including all of these lively and spirited panelists. I have no doubt this is going to be a lively and spirited conversation. So just a few notes on how the discussion is organized this morning. There are five topics of discussion teed up for our five panelists. Each one of them will take a question. But we expect them to interact with each other, to comment on each other’s questions. 

So, we’re going to cover those questions in 45 minutes and leave ourselves 10 minutes to answer the questions we have no doubt will come in from the audience since there are again almost a thousand people listening to us live this morning. For those attending, if you want to ask a question, please use the chat channel to submit your questions for the panelists as we go.

We’ll be sure to take those questions on throughout the conversation. You also saw instructions in an email earlier if you need help or their reference. And we also will be conducting flash polls every 10 minutes to get real feedback as we go from the audience. So if you can help answer your questions to those flash polls as you see them pop up, that would be very helpful. Panelists, are we all set?

Mollie

Yes. 

Jason

All ready. Let’s go.

Jess

I’m going to start with Jason. I’m used to talking to this guy. So I’m going to give him our very first question. 

Jason

Great.

Jess

With this amount of personal experience Jason, we know that now our work changed everything when it comes to employee experience. We have found millions of employees now working from home who perhaps didn’t before, we have shelter-in-place policies still enforced to some degree and many parts of the world and so suddenly we’re seeing a remote workforce. 

More of a remote workforce than we’ve ever seen before and probably for the foreseeable future. So how does that change our focus on employee experience to accommodate the new Now of work, especially when you consider 60 percent of the workforce in the U.S, anyway, most other economies will all now also be involved in the gig economy?

Jason

Yeah, so Jess, first of all, thank you for having me on the panel, much appreciated, and thank you to the rest of the panelists as well, and thank you for moderating. When we think about the world we live in today, it’s a fascinating time. Sometimes it’s really sad to think about that, it takes a pandemic to trigger change.

“It takes a pandemic to trigger change”,

but the change that we’re experiencing, a lot of us, a lot of people have been pushing for that change. A lot of us didn’t know how it was going to happen. It took a pandemic for it to happen, which is unfortunate. Yet I truly believe, being optimistic that on the other side of this there’s a lot of positive to come. 

We all used to talk about the future of work and what happened very quickly is we hit this bump in the road that turned into the Now of work which created this moment that said, “Hey, wow, I’ve been planning for 20 years or workforce 2020”. Yeah, and now all of a sudden, here we got workforce 2020 but in a different way than we planned. So when we think about the Now of work, I almost don’t even like to call it remote. I like to think about our new model as distributed. We’re distributing how work is done and let’s not call it to work from home.

 “I like to think about our new model as distributed. We’re distributing how work is done and let’s not call it work from home. “

Let’s not call it virtual, then all of a sudden we’re a bunch of avatars, but really we think about work in a distributed model and when we think about work in a distributed model for those jobs that can work in a distributed model, it’s going to change everything.

It’s going to change how we lead, it’s going to change how we recruit. It’s going to change how we develop, it’s going to change how we as employees- what our expectations are, how we measure performance. So what it does is it really makes us rethink the value prop and how do we get the value prop across to the employee as leaders as to what it means to work now where I’m not seeing you every day. I’m not talking to you every day. My weekends may change. So this is the biggest change that’s ever happened to work. Period. End of story.

It’s not going to go back, not necessarily because of the coronavirus because people are realizing that they can work this way going forward and three, it’s going to require us to rethink every one of our HR processes. And for some people, they’re probably pulling their hair out saying, “oh my gosh, that’s a lot of work”. For me, I’m like, goodness! Because it actually allows us to reinvent ourselves as a function, in this new Now of work.

So if everything else changes, would we possibly say that HR shouldn’t change? That HR is not going to change? I think that would be a tragedy which is why I’m so excited about where we’re at now and besides the health part where we’re at now and where we’re going in the future. 

Jess

Either of the panelists agrees that changes in employee experience are for the better? Tincup?

William

Yeah. I think as you asked the original question about experience, employee experience, I think that we become a little bit more purpose-driven as it relates to candidate experience, employee experience, alumni experience, customer experience, partner experience. It’s essentially taking experience and looking at it 360° and saying how does one interact with or experience a company and how do we actually think about and orchestrate those things. So that’s the only thing I’d like to add. Jason covered most of everything else I would say. 

Jess

It looks like we have the first of our quick polls up. So audience please interact and let us know if you think this sheltered place and lockdown protocols we’ve all been experiencing impact your mental well-being, wellness and productivity. 

Jason

Hey Jess.

Jess

Yes.

Jason

Just really quickly while people are voting, I think there’s one more thing that’s probably important to keep in mind and that is that  the concept of a physical experience and the concept of a digital experience have now merged together

“The concept of a physical experience and the concept of a digital experience have now merged together”

…and they will merge together from this point forward, so we can’t think about, “Hey, what’s our physical experience? And then what’s our digital experience?”. We now have an experience and it’s for sure time for HR to stop thinking about, “Okay, well, here’s the technology experience. Here’s the experience if we go to an office.” 

There’s one experience and William said it really well, which is what prompted my thinking on it which is candidate experience. I don’t have a candidate experience of someone, I should have the same experience no matter what it is and it should be a digital-first experience and if we don’t start that way, the way we end is not going to be something that meets the work or where they are.

Mollie

And I would just build on that Jason to say that for a long time we talked about the fact that as employees, we have one experience. We don’t say I’m going to go HR now, right? We don’t say we’re going to go learn now. I’m going to go payroll now. We go to work and it should be one experience for employees in terms of all the different things they do and to your point, it should be that for everyone that interacts with their companies as well. 

Jess

But to that point Molly that one of the key terms in that quick poll is productivity. 

Does this impact productivity? For those of us who are used to working virtually, perhaps for a number of years, maybe we already figured this stuff out. Do we have to learn how to be productive and to continue to form a new environment? 

Mollie

Yeah. Well, I would say yes because this is different than when I worked from home five years ago or five months ago even, right? Because everyone else is. So I used to be able to hide, right? And now everyone expects me to be available 24/7. So I think all of us are finding new ways to experience and interact for sure even though we’ve been working from home or working remotely for a while.

Gordon

I think the point about productivity is real interesting. I think the actual, the real challenge in and around that is that the more engaged people are, the more productive we can get them and the real challenge is going to be how do you engage people when you’re in a virtual environment

“The real challenge is going to be how do you engage people when you’re in a virtual environment “

…and I’ve been fortunate in that. I’ve just led a multi-million-pound project for Fujitsu. And for me that was a 100% virtual project. I didn’t meet a single person on the project and I found it actually required me to change my leadership style to get the people engaged and we did get the good productivity levels, but it did cause me to go and change the way I did things. 

One of my physical leadership tools was managing by walking around, going, and seeing people, you can’t do that in a virtual environment. So you’ve got to find ways for some of these things which come from a physical experience to be able to either recreate them or substitute for them in order to drive that same level of engagement and it can be done. It just requires this to be creative.

Sekar

Okay. Hi, this is Shekar. My second question is for William. It’s interesting that we did talk about the workforce of 2020. I also wanted to get your perspective particularly on the graduating class of 2020 and probably 2021 too. They are probably going to face one of the toughest job markets in our memories. In addition, of course, there is also the 33 million or so in the U.S. who have filed for unemployment. 

Do you think the talent crunch is over with so many people in the job market coming together, looking for jobs? And with such an economic downturn accelerating, what advice do you have for first time or even experienced job seekers to prepare for this kind of a job market? 

William 

Sure, I think first, a bit of advice. The future of work is me wearing more blazers. Not sure if anybody noticed that or not. 

Mollie

Oh, we did. 

Wiliam

Anyhow, to the question. I think, the first thing I would do to everyone that’s graduating both high school and college is I would go read Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn posted on LinkedIn an article and advice to graduates. And I’d also watch President Obama’s commencement on Saturday, both of which kind of have similar themes and that it’s your time. It’s your time to innovate. It’s your time and yes it’s going to be challenging, especially as Reid graduated in 1990 and he tells a story about all the adversity that he faced and actually how it made him better. Not made him worse. Made him better.

So the first thing I would say is to go do those things, the second thing is to look at your skills. Look at who you are and try to build either a career, a young career around the things that you like because you’ll be better at the things that you like. As a job seeker, oh boy, the best advice I can give you there is to be patient because on one level, let’s say in December, we might have had two thousand people who applied to a particular job. Now we’re going to have 20,000 people that apply to that same job. That’s going to take the patience of both the candidate and it’s also going to take a lot of patience internally with recruiters and hiring managers and sources, etc. 

So just know that things are going to take a little bit longer than they normally do and to the last part of your question. Are we in, excuse me, let me use air quotes. “Are we in a war for talent in certain industries for certain jobs?” Yes.

Let’s take Healthcare in the United States. In November, there was a job opening at every hospital or a major Hospital in the United States. Today, there’s still a job opening in every hospital in the United States. And guess what, after this pandemic is over a lot of folks are going to burn out and get out of the industry for whatever reason and we don’t make enough nurses and doctors just to fulfill on the requirements.

So we need right now, much fewer boomers and ex retiring potentially getting more sick. So will there be, again, “A war for talent” for healthcare workers? Absolutely. A hundred percent. There’s a war for talent right now for healthcare workers. So I think you have to look in certain industries and let’s start looking in little bubbles. Yes. There’s absolutely a war for talent. But in most, no, there’s still going to be a little bit more supply for a while. 

Take software engineers as my last example, we don’t make enough software engineers in the world to sustain the amount of demand that we want for software engineers. So we’re still going to be in a war for talent for software engineers. That’s not going to change. The pandemic didn’t change that, recessions didn’t change that. Nothing changed that. It’s just two examples. 

Sekar

Okay.

Mollie

And William, I would build, I’m sorry, go ahead Gordan.

William 

You’ve gotta raise your hand. 

Mollie

I’m sorry. I raised my hands. Yeah, I was just building that to say, I would also be open to geography if you’re looking for jobs because I think there’s going to be a lot of localized need. It doesn’t mean necessarily out of the country. It could just mean a state over but thinking about that, which is going to be difficult given the pandemic conditions, but also I just would be open to geography because I think that’s going to be a big factor in a lot of decisions going forward.

Gordon

I think there are a couple of challenges. I think one of the challenges is that it’s going to be a tight job market, but I think when you’ve gone from what John was saying from two thousand to twenty thousand people, the challenge is really going to be how are you going to stand out? How are you going to differentiate yourself from the other people? And I think anybody who’s just like, ‘I’ll send the resume’ is probably going to find it very difficult to get a job. You’re gonna have to get online and retain, create a network, build your authority, show your capability in other ways because if you just rely on sending resumes, good luck with that. 

Sekar 

Jason, did you want to add anything? 

Jason

Yes.If I could. So it goes along very nicely with what was just mentioned. So organizations are not going to look at past performance. Organizations are going to look at future potential and oftentimes, we talk about past performance. So really important to think about that because I need to show off my adaptability, going forward which means  I actually have to prove that I can unlearn going forward in order to relearn what this new Now of work looks like. 

“I actually have to prove that I can unlearn going forward in order to relearn what this new Now of work looks like.” 

So, I’m gonna go along with what William said but probably take it out exponentially. I always think there’s a war for talent. I think it’s a goofy war, I think it’s a goofy phrase but I think there’s a constant war. 

I guess it’s a question of who’s got the advantage, I guess there’s sometimes that the candidates have the advantage. There’s sometimes that the employers have the advantage and it varies by region, it varies by job, but there’s always a war. And if you’re not at war you’re not trying to win the talent game, you should be trying. 

William 

What’s good about that Jason is that it assumes that talent is a competitive advantage and then we all kind of agreed on some level that talent, if done well can be a competitive advantage. A note that Molly brought up which I thought was really nice about localization. One of the things that the pandemic has taught us is that we can also work from home, which we mentioned a second ago, which also opens up your job search. 

So maybe before when you were looking for that VP of marketing job at Minneapolis MSP to people that know, now you don’t have to necessarily look at just MSP. Maybe now you look at all of America and you look at VPs of marketing jobs or the world, VPs of marketing jobs.

So you both look at what Molly said is say, ‘hey, there’s going to be some hyper localization that’s going to happen in the job market. You should definitely leverage that but also because of this remote work, distance work etc, I think it also opens up as a job seeker. I think it opens up your aperture to then be able to say indeed, click all jobs in this category and then start looking through all jobs rather than what we used to do is we used to kind of just sit around the areas that we cared about living because we knew we had to go into the office, etc. 

Mollie

I think Gordon talked about managing and leading differently. I think you have to have a candidacy that’s different. I mean network, talk to people if you’re not going to be able to run into people in an office, find new ways to network and reach out to people. 

Gordon

Absolutely. So I think there’s one positive that came out for me. Not only can we get candidates from other places, It also came to me that I can work from the beach now. I think that opens up a lot of flexibility and options from where I actually want to work. I don’t need to be close to the office, if I want to be in the mountains or, yeah, absolutely. So I think there’s some other positives as well. 

William 

I agree.

Jason

Yeah, and if I could just add I mean, you guys I think to me the thing that’s most important and this is the most exciting time in our career to truly rethink how we do things and I think what’s most important is that candidates shouldn’t approach things the way they did before.

I think what’s most important is that candidates shouldn’t approach things the way they did before.

 I was able to give an event to the 2020 class here in town on Saturday. The candidate shouldn’t approach things the way their parents approached things, which is cool. I mean like I don’t think that’s bad, it’s cool. Recruiters shouldn’t think about recruiting the same way that they’ve recruited in the past. Managers and leaders shouldn’t be afraid to use video instead of flying people in to interview, which is a huge waste of time and a huge waste of dollars.

So there’s a bunch of things but I think, just to sum all of those things up and then I’ll turn it back to Molly, to sum all of those things up is that we have to think about the world today, not the world 20 years ago. 

Mollie

Yeah, I should say actually, I was watching 60 minutes here in the U.S. last night and there’s someone who said something about the greatest times of innovation have happened after the pandemic and that actually made me excited not scared because I think you’re absolutely right ,Jason. There are so many things that are right for transformation, not change and not intermittent change or incremental. It’s really, it’s going to be a single world transformation, which is exciting. 

Sekar

Thank you Molly. Over to you Jess for the next question. 

Jess

Yeah, we talked about the next question a little bit. So I might modify it slightly. I’ll start with you Gordon.

We saw this word ‘productivity’ pop up in the first quick poll. Now that we trust more people into working from home, working from anywhere, this whole remote workforce more people have been experiencing. I think two things played out.

There was still this trust factor. A lot of managers, line-managers, supervisors of work didn’t know if they could trust people to be effective and productive at home. But I think more people, I hope more people actually learned for the first time that people could be more productive when they work from home, when you eliminate commutes into the office, when you eliminate the water cooler chat, when you eliminate all of the stuff and so they were pleasantly surprised perhaps that human beings could be even more productive and work from home. 

Now, we’ve seen a trend start, Twitter started it, we knew somebody was going to. Some companies are saying they’re working from home forever. Your job is able to be done anywhere. You can work from home forever. You never have to come back into an office if you don’t want to. Has this built a new work from home, sort of policy as perhaps the norm?

Gordon

Yeah, I think so. I think there’s some jobs that you can do, you have to do in person as you can see, I’ve got lockdown hair and I don’t think that’s ever going to be cut virtually. All those avatars might help a little bit. But yeah, for a lot of jobs we can actually do them remotely and I think we should look to move because there’s massive benefits on all sides, the cost of going to work. And all of the getting your suit dry- cleaned and the travel, the expense that we cause on the environment with the pollution if you take the train also. 

So I think there’s a lot of benefits there, it’s going to be lower cost to the employees because we don’t have to go, it can be lower costs for the companies because they can reduce their footprint. So there are a lot of positive benefits to it. And I don’t think we should go back. And I do think this is going to be the impetus for a lot of companies to say, “Okay we can do this” because I just want to come back to the point of trust because that for me that’s an interesting topic because one of the things that people keep saying to me, “Oh, I don’t trust my team to work if I can’t see them.” 

And what I hear when people tell me that is, “I don’t trust myself to be able to lead if I can’t see my people” and I think it’s two different types of trust. Not trusting in your own ability to lead and get people to do the work that you want them to do. And I think we’ve got to trust in our abilities of leaders to be able to inspire people, to be able to engage them and get them moving forward.

And on the productivity side, there are some things that are absolutely mandatory that we have to do. We had to do when we were in the same physical location and I still saw a lot of managers who didn’t do that and that is we’ve got to set our teams open for success. Give them clarity of what it is you’re looking for and then give them the tools to do it.

And if you do that with people and you put them in a position where they will be successful, my experience is most people will take it. So we just have to do the same when we’re working in a remote environment and we can definitely drive productivity.

Mollie

Yeah and I would just add to that, I mean trust is so important. Jason, I talked about this on his podcast the other day about how do you build trust and one of the ways is by being trustworthy. Employees are not going to run through walls for you if you don’t run through walls for them and that includes flying cover and making them successful and giving them credit, right? And it has to be in a new way that it’s been done before. I couldn’t agree more. If you aren’t trusting people, it often is because you don’t trust yourself

“If you aren’t trusting people, it often is because you don’t trust yourself”

…and I always, I’ve been lucky enough to have virtual teams for a long time. I always say if I have to care where you are, what you’re doing, we have a problem. 

Gordon

The thing about building trust is I don’t, I never look to build trust. I never do that. I just trust people right out of the gate and hope it works out and if I trust them, people tend to respond to the fact that you’ve trusted them, so few people actually betray a trust.

“If I trust them, people tend to respond to the fact that you’ve trusted them, so few people actually betray a trust.”

Does that mean they don’t make mistakes? Of course, they make mistakes, but nobody deliberately goes out and breaks a trust. So I think if you really want to have trust, start by as you said, be trustworthy, that’s critical, but just trust people and that will get it built right out of the gate. 

Jess

Jason, what are your thoughts on this?

Jason

So, you guys I really respect everything that everyone says. I completely agree with it. I think that there are two questions. 

There’s a question of ‘can we’ and ‘should we’. I mean, I’m kind of a little bit frustrated with the ‘can’ because of course we can. But there are jobs that can’t be done that way and of course, they shouldn’t be done that way because they require working on heavy pieces of machines or actually require like working with a patient hand-in-hand and of course, there’s Teladoc from a medical standpoint and there are things that are really important to think about. 

There’s the ‘should we’ discussion which is really important as well. And I don’t want to forget the mental health part of that other polling question that was up earlier. For those of us that have kids running around or for those of us that have elderly parents or for those of us that have whatever it is. I mean, you can name thousands of things, not at office, in your home. You don’t have the space to do it, whatever it is. The way this is going to play out is it’s going to be a balance. We’re going to look at balancing.

I personally believe I don’t think there’s an all-in or an all-out type mentality because should we? Yeah we should. Yes, it’s reducing an hour and a half-hour commute every day, so we could spend more time with our family would be great but should I have an office with a door right here that kids could come running in every second, does that add mental health strain to my mental well-being? Probably as well. So I hate to answer with dependence but I don’t think there’s going to be one or the other. I think it’s going to be blind. I do think what we’ve done is we’ve opened the door to ‘can we?’ Yes.

And we’ve gotten rid of a bunch of haters. Excuse me, who would say we can’t. Because our people don’t know how to do this. But I do think that we need to very intentionally think about the other consequences that go along with it, from a child care standpoint, from a parental care standpoint, from a mental health standpoint and really ask not ‘can we’ but ‘should we’ and what should it look like, which is why I think we’re writing the book together here.

Gordon

I completely agree. I think we might see a lot of this thing where people can’t work from home because they don’t have an office. We might start to see some more of these collaborative workspaces being used, where people just go to. There is one in the UK that I’ve just forgotten the name of but if I could share a work environment you use, can go in, there’s a workstation, they can sit down, they’ve got coffee, they’ve snacks and you can do that and it might not be that you work from home, but that you don’t have that commute. 

You work somewhere that’s very local to you. And I think if working from home where you’re having to do it, if you’re living in a bedsit and you’ve got to do it with the laptop on the knee whilst you trying to take care of that, that is going to be limiting.

And we’ve got to set people up for success. So as you say ‘can we’? Absolutely. ‘Should we?’ Yeah, it depends, and then how do we do it. 

Jess

The thing about tinkering the laptop on the knee has caused Tincup to consider the world that you have. 

Sekar

I do want to acknowledge John here. John is on video here. Hi John, welcome. So we are taking turns when people want to pipe in for the last question so I know William is continuing and after that we would like to hear your thoughts John on the same question. 

John

Absolutely. 

William 

The only thing I’d like for us as Jason and Molly have both eloquently talked about how we can use this as a moment of great change is also think about the equities and inequities that are already in work and not everyone and in fact Gordon, you just kind of hit it for me, not everyone has a place, not everyone has a webcam. 

So let’s start with some basic stuff. Not everyone has a place where they can work from home. And so these collaborative environments that might work out for those that can pay for a collaborative environment. So let’s just, as we’re thinking about this transformation and we want to broaden the specter of who we want to include and how we want to include more people, we’re also going to have to be creative and think about that as well. So just have a sticky note as we think about transformation. We want to be more inclusive obviously and in doing that we’re just going to think about how does this create either inequities or equities for folks. 

Jess

Yeah. Absolutely. John, weigh in on this one. 

John

I thought you do, you did talk a lot about that and I think, I was just thinking and first of all and listening to everybody, I sense a lot of optimism but also trepidation so and I think if we jump, I’m doing a new LinkedIn live show, which I recall what’s next and it’s called, ‘Previews, predictions and prognostications’ and I’m talking to a lot of experts from science and economics and some business and people like that to get an idea of what post covid, if there is such term as post covid, what it’s going to be like and I’m trying to think of a year ahead. And so if we took this conversation and look back a year from now, I think we’d probably chuckle at what we’re saying now because I love the scene from William Goldman, he was a famous Hollywood screenwriter.

He said, ‘Nobody knows anything’ and that’s kind of where I’m at right now. And I think all of us panelists have had some interesting insights, but we really don’t know anything. And so we do the best we can with what we have, we bring our people with us and let’s act with a sense of humility because we really don’t know what’s coming next.

Sekar

Thank you John. So let’s move on to the next question. It’s actually a continuation to the employee experience that we talked about earlier. I know one of the earlier questions we did talk about how the digital experience and the physical experience are all becoming one for the employee. I know the term employee experience itself was touted about by multiple companies, much before the covid situation on how we need to improve the employee experience and so on. My question is to Molly here. 

Molly, do you believe that the current situation is actually forcing organizations to start emphasizing more on the employee experience and how they engage with the employees and how they have to be more employee-centric and so on? What role does HR play in that? 

Go ahead Molly. 

Mollie

Yeah. I mean, I think there’s a lot of work to do and I love what John said. I’m a big fan of the West Wing like everyone else is. ‘What’s next’ is kind of what their catchphrase is. I always loved that because we never quite know but at least we’re all moving forward, right? So to single that, let’s move forward. And so, you’re right. We don’t know anything. What we do know is that it’s going to change, it’s going to be unusual. It’s probably going to feel weird.

So I think within that, what we need to do is do everything we can from an HR perspective to try and eliminate the fear and uncertainty that is going to come with that, right? By making sure that we’re being human, by making sure that we are providing people the opportunities with tools. I think that’s the best we can hope to do because you’re right, we don’t know what the future will bring but we do know that we have tools and we have connections that we can use to sort of face that so I would say that’s the role of HR.

The good news is I’m not seeing the layoffs in HR that we saw in 2008, right? So the people are acknowledging that might be important, might not know exactly what they’re going to do. But we do know that HR is going to be important to make sure that we’re learning skills, we’re providing tools for communicating.

I think that’s going to be the biggest role that organizations have to make sure that the employee experience includes all those things. Someone said something to me the other day, “don’t worry about employee experience right now, worry about being human.”

“Don’t worry about employee experience right now, worry about being human.”

Because if you’re human and people feel that connection, engagement wil come.

Jess

Oh. This has prompted some reactions. Tincup, what about it?

William 

Sure. I think as Molly was thinking, I was thinking about the Nostradamus and those who have studied Nostradamus. I think he made about a 11,000 predictions of which maybe seven or eight were about accurate.

So, I think your point is really very spot on, is that we’re going to look a year from this, maybe even two or three years from this and just kind of scoff and laugh at some of the things we’ve said and some of the predictions that other people have made as well. Just that’s a part of kind of predicting is that you’re going to be wrong 99% of the time. 

Jason

And Jess, if I could, I want to go back to something John said and I’m going to tie back to something that Molly said which ties back into something William said sounds like a game.

So, first of all, I love what John said about we don’t know but the second thing that I really want to make sure that we don’t do is wait. Okay, I just have to say it because we don’t know stuff in our lives ever and I don’t want us to sit and wait for someone like Tincup or Lombardi or Averbook or whomever to say, “Hey, this is the way it’s supposed to be” and then we do it because it’s not going to get us anywhere.

We need to create it together. And guess what? We’re going to make mistakes. Guess what, it’s going to be wrong. But if we don’t actually do something, it’s not going to change and people are going to go back to the way it was. So I really want the fail fast mentality to be something that we practice and adaptability to be something we practice. 

The other thing I think that’s so important about experience, it’s going to become more important. I mean anyone that, I’m not saying it’s not a good question, if the question is like, Oh my God, do you realize that everyone in the world stopped working at the same time?

And do you realize that everyone in the world’s lives got basically tipped over one way or another at the same time including their families and putting their friends, everything that they, there’s not one person that walked into 2020 thinking that this is what we were going to be talking about on May 18th, 2020. So if for anyone to say that experience doesn’t matter right now is insane.Of course it matters more and it has to be humanized.

It has to be humanized. Now, is it going to be, ‘Oh, that payroll transaction has to be better.’ No, let’s focus on what really matters now when it comes to experience versus what we thought mattered coming into the year

“Let’s focus on what really matters now when it comes to experience versus what we thought mattered coming into the year”

and I’m sorry to tie up multiple things together here that were said, but I just think that it’s really important that we keep pushing forward, keep trying and remember the now that we live in and not what we think it’s going to be but also not go back to what it was.

Mollie

One quick thing to add there, one is, I always talk about putting paint on the wall. Whether it’s your career or the world at large, right? Don’t be afraid to put paint on the wall. I’ve never even in my young career got in trouble for trying something. I got trouble for not doing anything, but I never got in trouble, even if it was totally wrong, If  someone could say, well not that, right? That was at least moving forward. And so I think you’re absolutely right, we have to keep asking, have to keep acting and the other thing I’ll say is I always used to say even in 2019, ‘hey, remember all those 2020 reports we wrote, I bet they’re all going to be wrong”, now they’re really wrong, right?

None of us wrote this HR 2020 paper. 

Jason

Some of us are old enough to remember when we wrote reports about Y2K.

Mollie

Oh, yeah. 

Jason 

We got up and I said the world was going to end. How good was I there? 

Jess

Alright. I’m gonna give our fifth question to John before we jump into Q&A from the audience and sort of like Jason said, we experienced true collective trauma, global collective trauma and a complete dysregulation of everything we knew about how to live and work. All at the same time. Globally. Like there’s never been anything like this and if few people, percentage of the people who are also experiencing this, our leaders who are called upon to lead us all forward and through. 

So how in the world can they be expected to know what to do when they’re experiencing this for the first time too? So John, when you think about the next normal, the next after this as we move forward and through, what do leaders need to be thinking about? What are they considering as they think about how to operate in whatever is next, the new normal, whatever you like to call it?

John 

Well thank you. It’s a good question. And I like what Jason said and I agree with him about while I’m being skeptical about what’s next, not skeptical about it but being skeptical about predictions. We must move forward with the best information we have and that’s very important. Stasis is not going to get us anywhere. 

Throughout my career, I’ve always been asked at keynotes or whatever, what’s changed in leadership and I always love that question because I can be a little bit flippant and say, ‘nothing’ because in truth, the values and leadership are time immemorial. What’s changed is the context. So what I say is going forward while we’re living in unsettled times certainly, let’s remember our values, our values have held us in good stead as we move forward. So hold our values, that will shape us forward. That’s what leaders in my opinion need to be thinking about. 

Jess

I’d actually love to hear from more on this question before we take Q&A. It’s such a great question. How do leaders move forward, Tincup? 

William

The values that work for me is again kind of one of the pillars, I believe of the future of work and it’s how we hire. First of all, you have to live your values. So there’s that part. B, you’ve got to kind of know and stay, kind of revisit your values, but you do everything through your values. So you hire, you promote, you do everything. So you even react to a global pandemic based on your values.

And so everything is values-driven or it’s not. And so I think that there’s more of an emphasis on values and values-driven leadership and then it permeates the entire organization or it doesn’t and so I’ll let Jason go because I see his hand raised. 

Dream Team of Future of Work - In a Virtual Panel Discussion

Jason

Yeah, just Jess if I could, I think the thing that’s really important to understand and some people aren’t remembering this is that the adaptability factor that everyone’s had to go through in the last three months is crazy. And if you would have told the workforces as a whole that this is what you’re going to have to do, you’d have a massive revolt. If you would have told all the school teachers in the world that this is how you’re going to have to teach, you’d have a massive revolt.

So coming out of this we’re going to have a whole new level of adaptability, which I think is very important. People are going to be more flexible. People are going to be more human. People are going to be more loving. Now, is it going to wear off? Yes, probably. But for the most part, I’ll tell you, I have two boys 17 and 12.

I talk about them all the time, they are watching leaders share right now with their teachers and saying I’ve got some teachers who are really stepping up and I’ve got other teachers who I haven’t heard from. I was like, what do you mean, they’re like they won’t even communicate and they’re lost and I think that people are identifying leaders based on what’s happening right now in a different way than they ever have before

“People are identifying leaders based on what’s happening right now in a different way than they ever have before”

and I think after this people are gonna be able to say, ‘Hey my leader checked in with me every day. My leader asked how I was feeling every day. My leader actually got us online just so we could see each other’s skin’ and I think there’s other leaders who are just absent and waiting for something right now, and I don’t want to be too blunt, but I think those leaders are done. 

Gordon

Yeah, I agree with you, the point that John made earlier about, the question we keep getting asked, ‘what’s changed in leadership?’ and I agree with John’s answer. Nothing. What was good leadership before is good leadership today. The thing that has changed is that we are seeing the bad leadership a lot more clearly and how ineffective it is.

“What was good leadership before is good leadership today. The thing that has changed is that we are seeing the bad leadership a lot more clearly and how ineffective it is.”

And as we move to these virtual environments where we have to be much more able to engage people over distance and inspire them. That’s really highlighting and differentiating who has leadership and who doesn’t and I think that’s what we’re going to say, the bad leadership kind of diminish a little bit or people that don’t have the good leadership are just gonna fall away. 

William 

Gordon, do you think it is kind of a litmus test on leadership on those that rush folks back to the office? I mean, will you on some level, it’ll actually or emotionally judge leaders for those that kind of rush people back from remote work?

Gordon

Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I think for me leadership is a lot about having and demonstrating compassion. So what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to make sure that we take people and we have a duty of care for them. So if we can get them back safely and then yeah, let’s do that.

If we can’t do that, then what are we doing? And yeah, I would judge people I would look at that unfavourably. Let me put it that way. 

William

Yeah.

Gordon

I also think as well coming back to what you were saying before about, what I said before about, we got to take advantage of this system. Should we wish people back if we can make them productive at home? Why would I need to do that? If you’re able to do your job from home, why would I put you at risk? 

Mollie

I think the level of transparency around good and bad leadership is so much clearer, right? It’s all documented now, right? It’s on social media, it’s on webinars and I think the fact that we’re going to communicate about what the experience was like during and after, if there is an after, right? I think the transparency level is just so much higher.

Gordon 

The light is brighter and the corners are fewer for bad leaders to hide it for sure.

The light is brighter and the corners are fewer for bad leaders to hide it for sure.

Wiliam 

Well, one of the things that I’ve actually written on just recently is Employer of Choice Awards and Layoffs. So the people that promote themselves as the best place to work, great places to work, etc. and then lay off 40% of the workforce, maybe just maybe, call me crazy, maybe they’re not as great a place to work if they lay off 40% of the workforce. 

Second thing, Gordon something you said about allowing people to come back or not, I think whether that is tied back to that employee experience in choice, if you’re productive and the outcomes are met, well then choose where you want to work. If you want to work from home, fantastic. If you don’t, then fantastic. If you want to come in, I actually know some people that want to go to office, they want to avoid their house. They want to go to the office, they can’t wait to go to the office. That’s a totally different issue. Way too sad. 

Mollie

Well, you’re right William. It’s true that some people are more productive at the office. I think for a long time before this, I started with the bifurcation between the self-motivated and the self-directed versus sort of motivated by leaders who are motivated by their environment. Are you more productive at Starbucks? Are you more productive at home or are you more productive at the office and having that choice is much more transparent, much more accepted no matter what the choice is.

Gordon

So I think people are most productive when they are searching for success and it is in the environment, a contributor to that or is it clear direction? Is it the tools that they need? Give people what they need to be successful. And we also talk about empowering people, tell them what you want to achieve and don’t necessarily tell them how to do it. Maybe what we’re going to be adding to that now is don’t tell them how and don’t tell them where they need to do it. Let them make that decision and surprise you with a high quality output solution. 

Aishwarya 

Absolutely. Thank you so much for those wonderful answers. So I think we have 16 minutes here. But we have a lot of questions from the audience and I’d really like to just take 10 more minutes for us to go through that if that’s okay with the panel. So the first question is for John and it’s from Ed Tropolsky.

What will be the role of mentoring in the remote workplace? is Ed’s question. 

John

Well, mentoring and coaching will be of paramount influence because people need a helping hand. Also, when you mentor, you learn so as everyone’s talked about you’re going to learn what’s on other people’s mind, the biggest mistake and Gordon, I know it addresses this issue is that leaders assume they know what people are thinking and of course they, if they live in their own world.

I know William with your work and Jason, you guys are having your finger on the pulse as does Molly, but I think the mentoring will pay off because we will learn how the organization is evolving. So it’s an excellent question and something to be thinking about.

Aishwarya

Absolutely. 

Mollie

And I think being a mentee is going to influence your ability to find new jobs and find new connections too.

Aishwarya 

Absolutely. Thank you so much John. The next one is from Mary Wilson. And this one’s for Molly. 

What are your thoughts on the impacts of building relationships, collaboration and communication? 

Mollie

I think it’s going to require new skill sets. I mean, I’m an introvert at heart and it may not be obvious from today, but I know I like to be quiet alone sometimes so that’s been good for me. But it also means during this time, I’ve actually been reaching out more. I’m not being a lone wolf. I’m being more participative and I’m getting on more Zoom calls and things like that. So it requires a different muscle and I think that’s okay. And I think it’s also realizing that again, it’s not about what you did before, it’s about what’s next and how can you adapt to the new environment

“It’s not about what you did before, it’s about what’s next and how can you adapt to the new environment “

because this is how people who I talked to once-a-year, I mean Jason, I probably talk to every week. 

Now it seems like he and I would go twice a year maybe, William the same way and other people as well, so I think part of it is just learning new skills to reach out and being willing to do that. I think it’s also knowing when you’re fatigued when it’s not who you are and when it’s not what you need. But it’s also about having some self-regulation is important, but I think that’s going to be so important, to find new ways to go.

Aishwarya

Absolutely. Thank you so much. Right. The third question we have is for Gordon and this is from Diren Tataria. 

What changes in business will happen after the lockdown? 

Gorden

What changes in business, I think, for me the biggest change or the biggest opportunity is that what we thought of as possible has just been trashed completely, the opportunities are so much bigger now and we should be looking at challenging absolutely everything. We’ve gone through a period where we’ve seen a lot of things come in and companies have disrupted business, Uber has disrupted taxes, Airbnb has disrupted the hotel business.

Covid-19 has just disrupted everything and I think that the companies that can rethink and relook at their businesses are going to be the ones that profit really well. I mean, my brother is a mountain guide and he takes people out trekking and as you can imagine when you’re on lockdown, that as a business that’s just closed down. There’s nothing you can do. But he innovated and actually worked out how many steps it was to go up the local mountains. 

How many to go up Mont Blanc. How many to go up Mount Everest and got people actually doing the tracking in our own homes, which was, for me, I was massively impressed with his innovation and I think businesses, we’re going to see a lot more innovation and a lot more change because what were barriers, are perceived as barriers and now going to be realized as mirages and is going to be able to make some big advances and if we don’t do that, that would be a huge disappointment and wasted opportunity.

Mollie

I’ll just add to that. So, some of the things that we used to think of as barriers for people with disabilities are now just natural parts of how everyone’s operating right? I can’t climb Mount Everest. I have Parkinson’s disease and I’m out of shape and so, but I could climb in my house. 

Gordon

I climbed Mount Everest. I did climb. I belong there. 

Mollie

Yeah, exactly. So I think it’s also going to be an opportunity if we seize it, and also include more people in our workforce with tools we’re already using. It could be very easy to not include people for those reasons. I think the fact that so many people are used to Zoom. So many people are used to remote work. Some people are used to people working from different conditions that I think we can seize that opportunity to really bring more diversity and more inclusion of all sorts into the workplace.

Gordon 

Absolutely.

Aishwarya 

Absolutely, Jason. I’m so sorry. I didn’t see your hand there. Would you like to add something?

Jason 

Now, I think just really quickly. I mean what I was going to add and I think one of the things that’s really important there is that and it goes back to fleeting thoughts is organizations can’t stick with one strategy for as long as they used to. Especially right now. So, organizations that built out a three-year recruiting strategy or organizations that built out a three-year digitization strategy or even a one-year digitization strategy. I mean you heard us on this call. 

So we don’t know what’s next, which means, I always say that if you’re driving a boat, you can take your hands off the wheel for a while if the water is calm, if the water is bumpy, you have to hold on and right now we have to hold on and as we’re holding on we need to shift left and right as the world changes around us, which some people love, some people hate, but the concept of a static strategy, at least for now and maybe forever has to be gone and we have to realize that we may have to change here and there and I think that if I could give a piece of advice back to the original question like, stop doing static strategy. Make it much more agile. Make it much more fluid within your org 

“Stop doing static strategy. Make it much more agile. Make it much more fluid within your org “

Mollie

And that’s why values are going to be so important, right? Because the values will stay while the strategy shifts.

Jason

The values are your barbed wire fence, Molly which is where I was going. Thanks to you for adding to my fleeting point. The barbed wire fence are your values. What you do within the barbed wire fence? You don’t want to run into it, but run around and play and try things but those values, that keeps you within the same universe of thought and keeps people aligned. So thank you for reminding me Molly of my fleeting thought.

Mollie

Anytime. 

Aishwarya

Beautiful answer. So quickly the next one. The next one is for William and it’s from Siket Dhaat. 

Do you think the job market will evolve with respect to the pandemic? Do you think it’s a good time to switch jobs? 

Jason

Hey William. 

William 

Yeah. 

Jason

Before you answer that question, could you get used to someone saying your name like that? I think that she says it so nicely compared to what I say, hey Will. 

William

Let’s face it. There’s usually a modifier on the front end of William. Yes, I would love for her to do my voicemail actually because then I would be being uploaded or an uptick in respectability from mine. 

Yeah, exactly. I think the job market first of all, I think that yes, the changes in the job market both candidate-side and employer-side again, I think again with patience if you heard the earlier part, I think that we’ve got to have patience as candidates. But we’ve also got to allow that the organizations are going through this massive change inside and again, they should be going through this change, as Jason and Molly both mentioned that they should be taking this moment as a moment to change while at the same time hiring. 

I think there’s a couple points that I would make, I would point out to people on the company side or the employer side is take down jobs that aren’t real jobs.

So if you have jobs posted on your career site or Indeed or whatever and they’re not real jobs, or maybe you work in December, you’re hiring for this and you’re not now, take those job posts down. Secondly anybody that’s in the candidate process that’s made it into the process, let’s say they are three or four steps in, pick up the phone and call them and tell them if the job got froze, tell them the truth. Just let them know what’s going on with the job.

But this is fundamentally, it’s changing because the way that we think of candidate experience is changing and you know, Jason mentioned earlier about video interviewing. There was a real reluctance for people both on the candidate side, ironically and on the employer side. There was a real reluctance to embrace video interviewing. Now, no reluctance. 0 reluctance, 0 issues on both sides.

So something like that takes this pandemic to get us to kind of change. It gets the candidates to then say yeah, “I can do that video interview. Not a problem. Let me just shoot that for my phone. Not a problem.” Whereas before that would have been a barrier and employers, I still remember, you know the hirer coming to market and some of the others that came to market and it was such a conflict of like, ‘Well, we really want to see him, we want to talk to him. I want the team to meet him all of this.’ Basically, it was an excuse to not transform that part of the business now all of that’s gone. That all has been eroded. And Gordon and I had a note. 

Gordon

No, I was just gonna say it’s amazing how zero options get rid of resistance.

“It’s amazing how zero options get rid of resistance.

So yeah zero options can change things quickly. 

Aishwarya

Thanks William. 

Quickly the next one is for Molly here, for re-skilling, what do HR departments need to focus on besides Learning and Development? And this comes from Zeba. 

Mollie

Wow. Okay. One thing I would say is payroll, because you can’t get that wrong right now and how people are paid and where people are paid and not just compensation, but actually payroll itself. Because having financial security means emotional security, means physical health these days. So I say that’s a huge part for people

“Having financial security means emotional security, means physical health these days. So I say that’s a huge part for people” 

I’ve been looking at a lot of the intersection of payroll and wellness which may sound weird, but when you think about today’s situation, whether you have a job or not, if you’re worried about money, your health is going to deteriorate which is the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in the US’s medical bills which causes stress which causes health problems which causes financial problems. 

This idea of making sure that while we need to be learning and growing, we also need to be really taken care of the basics, getting it right and making sure that people have access to their funds, people have new ways of thinking about managing their financial future, because I think that’s what is going to be so important. 

Especially as people are emerging from this weird time where there’s all these unemployment. But like other insurances, they may be furloughed. They’ve been working for other people and having part-time jobs. Helping people manage that process exhibit really important in making sure they actually are financially stable, which is a compensation issue but also an actual physical pay issue as well.

William

There is something that you just touched on is, it relates to after this pandemic and it’s all going to be kind of different times for different people in different ways, but there’s once a PTSD because that’s trauma. We’ve all consumed trauma and we’re consuming trauma and I think we’re going to have to from a workplace perspective, I think we’re going to have to confront that trauma somehow and probably multiple different layers of the ways, but for different employees and just be there for them to deal with some of that trauma 

Jason

Yeah, and one more  thing if I’m just going to say this really quick and really blunt about IT, Digital is not ITs job, Digital and how Digital works is not ITs job, like stop that. Digital needs to be a component of everything we do, how we think, how we act, the change management component of things like that. If that’s not part of your HR function today in my personal opinion your HR function should go out of business.

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IT should be there to enable and support your digital strategy. If you count on IT to create your digital strategy, you will not be successful and that to me is one of the huge skills that HR people need to get over, is the fact that that’s not their job. The only way we work today is leveraging digital. We live in a digital economy. It’s not IT’s job, it’s our job.

Mollie

Yeah, you know my favorite saying is Jason, what I always say “If the tools will solve the problem, we all buy the tool or sell the tool and go home” right? It’s always in context, I think that’s a really interesting job. 

Gordon

Your point was excellent, just two points one is that Digital is not IT, I worked in IT for 30 years and I built Sales Systems and sales was never my job. I built Marketing Systems and marketing, it was never my job and now we’re building a digital organization. And as you say it now seems to be an IT job, that cannot be the answer.

IT is not full of entrepreneurs or people who understand business, there are tool jockeys, code merchants, great at giving the tools but somebody’s got to pick them up and I think, for me if I was giving advice to companies on what’s the number one skill that they should be able to do, and this is a little bit biased because it’s in my field but by the buyers I would seriously say start training people on how to lead in a digital environment. 

The virtual environment is going to become much more. We’re going to have more and more people at homes. And if you can’t train your leaders to build to lead people productively in that environment, then there will be a move from those leaders to stop pull people back when it doesn’t need to happen or you’re just not going to get productivity. So, please please please and you know, I’ve been working for 30 years in roughly the same kind of role. 

In my first job, everybody was in the same room as I was. I’ve just spent ten months leading a project where I didn’t meet a single person. It is different, we do have to adapt and focus on people so much more we have to focus on involvement, engagement, setting up water cooler opportunities for people to have that informal conversation, because it can’t all be going to meetings where we used to come in with an agenda. We’ve got to have that kind of semi social aspect to the work as well and leaders of the ones that I’ve got to initiate that and get it started to create the engagement and involvement.

Mollie

One is I think this idea of it turns out digital requires us to be more human than ever, right? 

Gordon

Yeah. Absolutely. 

Mollie

Yeah, and I would also say Jason and Jess have been hosting this Friday afternoon podcast that I’ve joined quite a bit and as someone who is a sole entity, a sole proprietor having a community that’s not just your own business and water-cooler is not just your own people. Okay, so that as well.

Gordon

Yeah, Molly put it perfectly. As we move more digital, we have to be more human

“As we move more digital, we have to be more human”

and I think that will be a surprise to a lot of leaders, but if you cannot increase that human component, you’re not going to be able to bridge the leading digital age and environment.

William

Yeah, it’s globalization. Basically one of the things that’s beautiful about a great digital strategy and a great remote strategy, however, you would like to freeze it is, you stop thinking about the four walls of wherever you live and you start thinking about all the different places where you can both collaborate with different people, you can hire different people, you can promote from four different people, but you start looking at globalization differently through a digital lens than you do it through a non-digital lens if you will.

You start looking at globalization differently through a digital lens than you do it through a non-digital lens if you will.”

Aishwarya

Yeah, what you were saying, very interesting question here…

We know about the messages from Uber and Airbnb they were sharp contrast for announcements of job losses, right and one did it on a five minutes do call and the other one has a long compassionate letter to their employees but in the end if people lost their jobs, is it a failure of leadership or it’s just that stuff happens and you move on. What do you think Gordon?

Gordon

Well, if a business goes bankrupt because of the way the leaders have run it or if you’ve got something like Covid-19 and that’s just sucked all of the demand out then I don’t think you can blame the leaders but then it’s a question of how do they manage that? And as you say, if we let everybody go by text message that’s appalling leadership. You know, we’ve got to show compassion in every single thing we do. Compassion in recruitment, compassion in leading people and doing the job and then compassion when it comes to letting people go. 

William

Yeah, I’ll give you a great example that for Carta, it’s basically a shares company where you can manage stock in different kinds of companies and their CEO, it’s worth looking up. Their CEO basically came out and said when they did layoffs that your managers came in and fought for you, and they built a list and I’m the one that made every single furlough decision, every layoff decision. So blame me because I failed you, they didn’t fail you. I failed you. So it’s my fault, and if you’re angry, you should be angry with me. 

So the thing is again we talked about, we’ve used the word humanity and empathy many times during this webinar, that is if you’ve got to furlough people and I think everybody on this call has had to go through this bit and if you have to do it, there’s a humane way to go about that. And that’s all, I mean, I think that’s what I expect a basic requirement of leadership to have is to be Humane.

“A basic requirement of leadership to have is to be Humane.” 

Gordon

That is a choice isn’t it? and if you choose not to be human, what does that say about you and your value system

Aishwarya

Yeah, absolutely. All right. So moving on to the last question and feel free to jump in. This one’s from Vanessa and it is for William…

The world has been following, ‘go where the talent is’, has this changed with the trade wars and the Go Local movements that are being launched.?

William

Yes and no, again there’s different countries that have different economic incentives for people or even in different municipalities. If you want to do something in the US that does different incentives for people that hire locals. 

So I think there are tax incentives that are available for folks that hire locals, that hire let’s say, folks that maybe don’t get a normal chance or don’t get a chance like a lot of us, but I think so, to balance out what you see in localization and hiring you’ve now because of Covid and because of remote work, I think now everyone’s kind of what I say, the air’s not going to be easy to put back in a bottle for employers. 

I think that’s a good thing and it’s also a good thing, it’s a great thing for candidates because now they can open up their aperture, that localization if it makes sense for a company to hire someone local, fantastic! 

Especially if there’s a tax incentive, or if there’s some other type of incentive, that’s great. But they can also look at the world as their talent pool now and I think before there were some talent acquisition leaders that did that, that had that mindset that looked at the world and said Google is my search engine for talent, you know, and basically I’m going to go find the best talent in the world and figure out a way to work with them. But that was a tiny percentage of most of the global leaders.

Now I think most global leaders that wake up today think of, well, I can look at localization and if there’s an incentive to do so either based on my company or based on taxes, great. But now I can look at the entire globe and say where’s the best talent for this particular position, if it’s in Sri Lanka, fantastic! Then I’ll hire that person in Sri Lanka, but before there was actually a barrier for a lot of folks that thought they would have thought of all the barriers. ‘Oh, what are we going to do with the time zones? And oh my gosh, how are we going to communicate with them blah blah blah.’ Well all that stuff, that’s not really a barrier. It’s a false barrier. 

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Mollie

Yeah, I would just add to that. I think local frontline jobs have realized how essential those are. We need to find ways to compensate companies for hiring people local for those local jobs, the person who works at my grocery store, the person who works at my Pharmacy, the person who works at my Healthcare office. Those people have to be local. So we need to pay them to be local because they can’t open up their aperture because they need to be physically where their job is as we need to find ways to compensate for that as well as finding opportunities for people who are able to do other jobs. 

Gordon

I would say that one of the things that I think we need to do is that you know, if it’s not about price, if it is about, you know, getting the best talent then what we shouldn’t be  doing is we shouldn’t look to being protective and just say, ‘hire local’ we should be actually looking to train the local people so that they have the best talent. We should know, how do I make my people the best I can make them, rather than how do I shut the door to people that are better than mine because I can’t be bothered preparing them for the current world. 

Jason

And if I could just add one thing to it just really quickly. We don’t know where the talent is.  I’m being kind of blunt about that. I mean, you know the concept of go where the talent is, we don’t know where the talent is. Some of you may argue or disagree with me, but I think what has to happen is we have to take the shackles off and say, you know, I’m not hiring necessarily for a job. I might be hiring for a task, you know, at least I say, ‘Hey, I may not be hiring a full-time person.’ 

So the concept of ‘Go where your talent is” well I’m interested in the thought.
(A) I don’t think that anyone in the world can claim they know where the talent is because I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point yet
and…
(B) We need to first identify. What do we need? And what’s the job and what do we need done to then determine what kind of talent we need. 

The matchmaking algorithm between what the talent wants and what we need in my opinion is a hundred percent more complicated now than it was pre coded. We don’t have time to go into all the reasons but you have a lot of people with a lot of different needs. Everything’s changed, which it’s just really important to keep in mind as you try to come up with an algorithm for you to know to ‘go where the talent is.’ 

Gordon

I think one of the big leadership changes that we’re going to have is what I would call a synchronous leadership where you know, if we want everybody to be on the same time zone as we are, and we want to be able to have synchronous conversations, we send a request we get a response back immediately that’s going to close things done. 

If you’re working with different time zones, you’ve got to get into the habit of working with people that are on different schedules and it does then become asynchronous. I think if you can do that that can actually open it up to a lot of good talent that is locally that might not be just available to work the specific hours that you want them to and not necessarily what they would need to to do the job.

Aishwarya

Yes, thank you. Thank you so much for these wonderful answers. We have more questions coming in but respecting everyone’s time we have hundreds of listeners on the call.

Thank you so much. It was a very very engaging conversation and I’m so thankful to our panel members and Jess for accepting our advice and for the high energy and engaging talk. I would also like to thank all of you individually for your support leading up to the panel discussion and for being part of this journey. I really hope to see you back again on our show on behalf of our audience and leadersHum and all over the world attending this panel. Thank you so very much. We surely do live in a very interesting time and I think Jess, reiterated that resilience at the end will win the day and a quick note… 

Do also register for a next Dream Team panel discussion that’s on May 28th. Stay safe and have a wonderful rest of the day. Thank you so much folks. Thank you so much. 

Gordon

Thank you. 

Mollie

Thanks everyone. 

Gordon

Thanks to the panel!