Lead story - Davos and the contradictory future of work - lessons for the real world?
Every year, Davos flies in luminaries to discuss ambitious problems. Every year, Davos faces the same questions on its internal contradictions, including the "fly to Davos to take a stand on carbon emissions?" social media roastings invariably bestowed upon attendees.
Stuart dodged the omissions roast via his virtual coverage. Future of work took priority in Davos 2022 - the future of work is hybrid, but what does that mean in practice? For now, set aside the pressures of expensive (unused) office real estate and managers
who conflate cubicle dwelling with brand loyalty oaths with control issues. What about those whose work isn't tied to physical locales like hospitals or restaurants? Stuart quotes Chano Fernandez, co-CEO Workday, who gets to the heart of our true hybrid work problem:
Clearly, we all as employers need to understand that we need to support employees wellbeing, but we also need to train our people. Leaders and people managers need to manage and coach and guide on this new world... Clearly some people feel fatigue from very long days, and maybe video conference calls. So it's kind of the question of, how do we bring the best of both worlds?
I'd like to think most people accept that framing. As Stuart argues, that still leaves us with a defining issue: how do we achieve that hybrid fluidity? Which leads us to Stuart's Davos 2022 - Earn my commute! Accenture CEO Julie Sweet on the 'omni-connected' employee factor in the return to the office debate, and the surprising Accenture research: those working at offices felt less connected than remote workers. Stuart quotes Accenture:
Unfortunately, too many conversations about organizational culture are still anchored to space and place. Omni-connected experiences that result in a heightened sense of personal—and measurable business—impact truly thrive though vibrant, human relationships.
Which begs the question: omni-what? And how do we omni our way there? Stuart:
The four key principles pitched by Accenture are:
- Instill modern leadership - lead with empathy, transparency and trustworthiness.
- Grow a thriving culture - nurture cultural norms that prioritize purpose, authenticity and psychological safety.
- Enable the agile organization - take flexibility further and scale new ways of working.
- Empower people through technology - provide access to a robust foundation and the ability to experiment.
After Accenture's cringe-worthy metaverse commercials, this research strikes me as much more grounded. Granted, it still leaves us with the problem of getting there, but, agile buzzwords aside, that's not a bad framework. Stuart: "Bringing omni-channel thinking to the question of work is a useful notion." Agreed, and Accenture's "earn my commute!" (with an explanation point) is one of the best return-to-work calls to action I've seen. Of course, there is still the pressing problem of automation, made urgent by human labor shortfalls. Chris covers that in Davos 2022 - involve workers for successful automation, says WEF. We've got more Davos 2022 missives if you want, including Davos 2022 - it's time for an environmental capitalist revolution, says Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Manutan CIO modernizes out security risks - Mark documents the story of a business that used a ransomware incident as a catalyst for change: "A cybersecurity incident has moved the French business from what the CIO describes as a state of technology obsolescence to the adoption of digital factory methods."
- Retail sector - bad news/modestly good news updates - Stuart's got your not-so-happy (inflationary) retail update: Gap's digital-first mindset is missing as retailer sees online sales drop 17%. And, a slightly better vibe in the DIY (do it yourself) sector: Digital transformation helps DIY sector avoid the retail downturn in the Vaccine Economy.
- Salesforce Trailblazing Women Summit - how organizations can make work more flexible for women - Madeline breaks out fresh tips for the ongoing workplace issues women are facing.
- Contentstack's no-code automation hub - making composable tech stacks easier and shaking off 'integration hell' - Barb updates on Contentstack's moves.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style - earnings reports set the tone this week:
- Workday turns in solid Q1 despite some buying decision pushback due to macro events - The macro-picture put a bit of damper, but as Stuart reports, not a total momentum killer. He quotes co-CEO Aneel Bhusri: "When I look back at the COVID environment, it took one to two quarters before people got their arms around that environment. And then they kind of went back to business. I suspect the same thing will happen here."
- Box’s momentum continues as it raises guidance and nears $1 billion in revenue - Box also seems unfazed, rebounding from a gritty 2021 - as per Derek.
- Zuora revenues up as customers look to Subscription Economy to ride out the wider storm - Is Zuora also well-positioned in the current (stormy) market? Stuart: "Tzuo’s thesis around the robustness of the subscription economy looks set to be put to the test over the coming months"
- Zoom’s shares rebound as company delivers solid Q1, driven by enterprise growth - Another tech stock rising (slight) above the grimness, via enterprise traction. Derek: "Zoom’s latest set of financial results showcased how much of the company’s growth is now being driven by its enterprise division."
Meanwhile, our event analysis and use cases rolled on:
- The Planful Perform 2022 review - time for finance collaboration to move beyond finance teams - Jon
- Supply chain agility - an achievable goal? How NVIDIA uses SAP Business Network and AI-enabled planning to minimize the gotchas - Jon
- Kinexions22 - how Honeywell standardized supply chain planning across 37 businesses globally - Phil
A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Digital marketing agency Iron Roots builds omni-channel touchpoints with Zoho Marketing Plus - Phil
- Pega acquires Everflow to advance its process mining and hyper automation ambitions - Derek
Jon's grab bag - Madeline shares a compelling return to work story in What I’d say to me back then - SAP SuccessFactors Maryann Abbajay on her "stinking hard" return to work after a 10-year gap. Finally, Derek easily nabs headline of the week honors with British Government has no idea if the hundreds of billions of pounds it spends are working.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- VMware to Be Acquired by Broadcom in a $61 Billion Deal - Usually mega-mergers bring all kinds of happy talk about "untapped synergies"! But not this one. Via this New Stack piece, this seems like a marriage of economic convenience. Quoting an analyst: "There’s no linkage between Broadcom’s chip lineup and the VMware acquisition." That's the spirit!
- Robot Orders up 40% As Employers Seek Relief From Labor Shortage - Yep, here's why employers are all-in on automation - but when the labor shortage lessens, where will all this shake out?
- How to create value with a CDP - After so much CDP hype and carrying on, it's instructive to get a video (and written use case summary) from an actual project. By Thomas Wieberneit: "How can we work with this treasure trove of data that also includes transactional, surf patterns and behavioral data."
- Fixed Fee Structures: 4 Key Items to Negotiate for a Successful Transformation Program - UpperEdge gets into the nitty-gritty of transformation, which means: savvy agreements with any (and all) systems integrators.
- Workplace real estate in the COVID-19 era: From cost center to competitive advantage - As I said on Twitter, solid piece by McKinsey, but at some point, why not bluntly state that some companies have a problematic real estate footprint now, re: future trends?
- A Manager’s Guide to Helping Teams Face Down Uncertainty, Burnout and Perfectionism - Good one from FirstRound; when we get on the short fuse, our teams take the brunt.
- Uber and Lyft Are Out of Ideas, Jacking Up Prices in Desperation for Profit - Motherboard's Aaron Gordon with a blistering critique of elusive profitability, and venture capitalists losing patience.
So Researchers Develop a Quantum-Teleportation Network to Achieve "Quantum Internet" - yeah, nevermind that this is just a baby step towards something that is 10+ years away. By the time the Quantum Internet rolls around, we'll be having too much fun in flying taxis to care. Question: is it fair to call this kind of premature hype techno-comfort food?
Oh, and if you think you're having a rough week, just remember that Without intervention, 'superpigs' could soon invade Alberta cities, researcher warns.
Anyone else want to stack their job interview chops up against my own?
You can practice for a job interview with Google AI https://t.co/i7yoc5w9Ju
-> I'm pretty unemployable at this point so I might be a good edge case for this one... :) Maybe @BrianSSommer and I can both do it and see who flunks the most at it lmao
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 29, 2022
Oh, and finally, nothing beats a clever class prank...
School principal has to feed and tend to students' horses thanks to old law https://t.co/OrLsUOaZBK
"12 seniors rode to school on horses over 4 miles, through different towns and across railroad tracks."
-> the principal definitely wins the good sport award on this one.... pic.twitter.com/xq6cj5DeWa
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 28, 2022
see you next time...
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.