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POPIn 2021 Predictions: Technology will Redefine Modern Leadership in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Technology will Redefine Modern Leadership in 2021

By Chris Jackson, Vice President - Customer Success for POPin, a collaboration app.

In 2020, technology innovation and adoption helped to reshape and redefine company resilience, collaboration styles and attributes of modern leadership. Many workplace changes this year could be here to stay, but new challenges await - here are some predictions on what's ahead in 2021 as businesses face a new "workplace normal."

  • The Ability to Lead a ‘Remote' Workforce will Determine Business Success - Remote work is no longer simply a nice-to-have perk for employees who want to avoid a long commute or spend some time closer to home. The COVID-19 Pandemic turned the nature of work on its head and companies adapted quickly to set up the necessary technology to sustain operations and maintain business continuity. Looking to 2021, however, we will start to see which companies have not only set up the technology infrastructure to work remotely, but have also changed the way they lead, instilling a culture that remains collaborative, connected and effective in a remote environment as this is expected to continue for at least most of 2021. As many companies realized this year, not everything can be accomplished on a Zoom call. The most successful technologies will explore all sorts of innovative collaboration technologies that rely on crowdsourcing, virtual and augmented reality, another other innovations to keep the workforce connected and aligned.
  • The "As-A-Service" Revolution Accelerates - the COVID-19 Pandemic has spotlighted the strength and maturity of our technology infrastructure thanks to a number of offerings from companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Zoom, and others. Because of this technology, businesses made the quick and successful switch to remote, but we're going to see some serious innovations in the year ahead to maintain this work environment. This will include better methods of collaboration and ways to identify top concerns for employees and customers without relying entirely on video chat or other methods that have only contributed to workplace fatigue. Crowdsourcing is an underutilized method in the workplace that we've seen drive incredible feedback and actionable results.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Efforts will be Scrutinized, Many Will Have Missed the Mark - Businesses leaders across the country prioritized diversity and inclusion programs following the death of George Floyd but we're going to find out that many were ineffective. It's extremely challenging to build support for a cause or change company culture during a normal year - and even more challenging, and almost impossible, when employees are remote. Business leaders and going to realize that these are not "one and done" conversations that cannot be accomplished over email or Zoom calls, but rather require support from within an organization. We're going to find out that many business leaders "talked the talk" but didn't establish the infrastructure for change management as they would any other issue. To be successful, CEOs need to set achievable goals, build support for these goals, and then drive the company to take action.
  • HR will Accelerate Tech Adoption; Company Morale will be Threatened - The HR function will undergo a dramatic transformation with challenges to recruit and maintain a talented workforce while managing through severe economic challenges and headwinds - and an entirely virtual workforce for many businesses. Some forward thinking businesses began implementing special emotional and mental health programs for their workforce due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Although employees are remote, the year ahead will require a level of connectivity we've never seen in the workplace. It will be critical that HR professionals have their finger on the pulse of employee attitudes, company culture, expectations for benefits, work-life balance and so many other issues that make for a happy and motivated talent base.
  • Sales Reimagined in 2021 with Radical New Approaches to Engagement - The sales function was upended in 2020 due to the severe economic downturn and the widespread inability to meet prospects and customers in person, and at events. The businesses that have succeeded have demonstrated to customers that they can help navigate this environment and have effectively stayed close to them throughout the year. In 2021, we're going to see a new urgency on the part of sales teams to embrace a digital strategy and find new ways to connect with prospects and identify their real pain points.
About the Author
Chris Jackson 
Chris is an accomplished technology sales and business leader with over 20 years of business and partnership development, client management, and strategy. He is skilled at closing high-value deals, working closely with partners to deliver results, and developing new business opportunities inside existing partnerships. He is a proven leader with demonstrated success building high-growth businesses.
Published Wednesday, November 18, 2020 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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