Stephens Business Playlist 08Nov21

An ongoing series where I share a “Business Playlist” of articles that made me think in the hope that you find them valuable also.

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Why Executives Like the Office

Remote-First Work is Taking Over the Rich World

Two articles from The Economist (a publication I have been privileged to write for in the past). The authors discuss the increasing reluctance of employees to return to the office now that they have had a taste of working remotely. 

“An office is meant to bring people together. Instead, it has become a source of division. For some, the post-pandemic return to the workplace is an opportunity to re-establish boundaries between home and job, and to see colleagues in the flesh. For others, it represents nothing but pointless travelling and heightened health risks.

Slack, a messaging firm, conducts regular surveys of global knowledge workers on the future of work. Its latest poll, released in October, found that executives are far keener to get back to the office than other employees.”

I have a saying that I frequently share with my clients and colleagues, “If it can be done online, it will be done online. Get used to it”.

I consider myself fortunate that I was forced to deliver Strategic Planning and Business Coaching services virtually to my clients more than a decade ago in 2009 when I spent time living in Canada and needed a way to service my USA-based coaching clients. Sure, it is nice to spend time socializing together at a strategic planning offsite meeting, but I learned how to create an engaging virtual strategic planning experience to deliver the same (or better) outcome for clients in a far more time-effective and cost-effective manner.  

Businesses are now being forced to learn the same lessons. Rather than take a face to face experience and try to create a digital version of it, I recommend taking a “digital-first” mindset and re-imagine the experience with a blank slate.   

More from The Economist: “A hybrid future beckons, in which workers divide their time between home and office. Managers need to improve both environments, not assume that one is obviously superior to the other.” 

And, “Perhaps it is only a matter of time before everyone who can, goes fully remote.” 

If you are unable to read the 2 links due to The Economist paywall, I have included PDFs here, and here

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Gartner’s 2022 Top Strategic Technology Trends. Old Problems. Old Trends. New Names.

Every year the Gartner Group releases their list of top strategic technology trends. But are the trends really new, or just renamed old ones? 

In this Forbes article, Steve Andriole cuts through the B.S. in his typical no-nonsense style.

I had access to a Gartner subscription for a couple of years in a previous role (a pricey 6 figure annual subscription fee). To be honest, I was underwhelmed. The only value I could see was “pay for play” to make sure your company was featured in the Gartner Magic Quadrants and Vendor Guides. Their specialist industry analysts were helpful people, but Gartner’s generic business publications seemed derivative and padded out with their own brand of corporate gibberish. I also went to a 3-day “Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference” and came away feeling that I had wasted my time and learned nothing new. Is it just me?

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“The future of technology is not really location-based apps; it is about making location completely unimportant.” – Balaji Srinivasan 

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Until next time…
Stephen

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