October 2, 2020

The Road Ahead Recap: How is the IT World Responding in this Time of Crisis?

Last week, Megan Shipley, Managing Director at LeapPoint, attended BDI & Workfront’s ITWorks: The Road Ahead as a panelist, alongside Diana Kelley, CTO & Co-Founder at Security Curve. With the current environment of disruption and uncertainty, the moderator focused on business continuity and the new level of prioritization, sparking insightful conversations from Shipley, Kelley and the audience.

The panelist spoke about how large enterprise companies adapted and quickly executed shifts to working from home and how organizational leaders continue to automate processes, centralize communications, resources and efforts to define clear priorities to achieve their goals.

Below you will find an overview of the most popular questions from the session and a summary of the discussed topics.

What has been the most significant thing you have seen in this transition from crisis to productivity?

“At LeapPoint, we have always been a remote company,” explained Megan Shipley. “It was very interesting to observe what happened within our customer base. The real thing that stuck out to me is how much we rely on that tribal knowledge, specifically in-person communication. I can no longer walk over to your desk and explain to you where you need to go to find this file. In-person meeting advice becomes a 30-minute discussion (via zoom), and now that we are distributed, it’s even more of a problem.”

One major question was insight into work-life balance: Do you have any best practices or tips to make sure you are not working too much or overly productive?

“We have done some very deliberate things internally to the point where we enable people to turn off slack notifications,” said Megan Shipley. “We walked through how to turn this off for very specific hours because people were getting pings at all hours of the night and over the weekend. If I enable myself to turn those notifications off, I’m not as tempted to respond. Some of it is corporate culture and expectations. Still, some of it’s on ourselves to enable people to disconnect a little bit easier. I think that’s valuable.”

What are some things you have found that have helped to keep your team productive and on track to further these essential business objectives, especially when we’re all working separately from each other?

Shipley enthusiastically spoke of a book she referenced in a recent webinar. “A great book, Essentialism by Greg Cohen, offers this anecdote that the word priority and the Latin root was never meant to be plural, it was only singular priority, meaning the single most important thing. And then in English, we’ve added the ‘ies.’ And somehow that’s manifested in this idea that we can do all these things because they’re all priorities. And so I’m very explicit right now about what is essential versus urgent. And what is most impactful and setting your goals and connecting on those is super important.”

What have you seen that has worked well for building relationships virtually?

“We were doing virtual coffee meetings,” said Diana Kelly, former CTO at Microsoft. “Once a week, they would be half an hour, people were having coffee connections. There were plank challenges for people and workouts, too. I am not kidding. A woman who lives in New Hampshire, who can hold a plank for 19 minutes, was just scary…but it really helps people come together more as human beings and creates relationships.”

Teams are challenged to work more efficiently globally than ever before. During this panel discussion, the overarching message was one of adapting, staying inspired, and continuing to find the most effective strategies in the new work-from-home environment.

As we continue working through this crisis, organizations must continue to educate their teams and find ways to interact with them even while working remotely. If you would like to learn more about LeapPoint and connect with our team, email us at info@leappoint.com.