My first official day as Clarizen’s new CEO was March 30. Since then, I have spent about 15 minutes in our San Mateo, Calif. headquarters. I stopped by the empty office building that was already closed due to coronavirus-imposed health restrictions to pick up my new laptop. However, the pandemic has not prevented me from meeting (virtually) with dozens of leaders from our enterprise customers across multiple industries. I was surprised and energized to learn that the vast majority of them are not just surviving – they’re thriving. Their stories of how they are adapting to this unprecedented time are fascinating and inspiring, and I want you to hear them too.
That’s why we have invited senior executives with some of our customers, including McDonald’s, Cisco, JLL, and Siemens to join our three-day virtual summit beginning on July 21, “Embrace Uncertainty: How Enterprises Can Thrive on Continuous Change.” (Follow this link to learn more about all our presenters and to reserve your spot). Forrester VP Principal Analyst Brian Hopkins and I will also lead interactive discussions that we believe you will find helpful as you continue to refocus your business during these unprecedented times and prepare for the growth that is certain to return.
The pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the fact that the traditional ways of getting work done have become obstacles to adaptability and agility – critical elements for success amid uncertainty. How many times in the past three months have you been asked for some vital, urgent, hair-on-fire, difficult-to-come-by, soul-crushingly-complex piece of data that no one had even thought about before the pandemic? We don’t live in a world where pulling together some manual excel sheet, hoping it’s accurate, sending it up the chain, and waiting for a decision is going to work anymore.
Welcome to real-time decision making in the world of COVID-19.
While I’ve been inspired by many of our customers and their adaptability during this time, I’m also depressed every day when I read the news. The number of companies that are following the “Economic Disruption 101” playbook is staggering. That playbook mostly says “figure out how to blindly cut 10-50% of your costs. Like now.” But that approach stems primarily from a lack of visibility into how work is done, or more importantly, what the impact of that work is. It may stanch some near-term bleeding, but it does not set a company up for fast recovery or long-term growth.
One key takeaway from my conversations with customers is that they now think differently about work management. It’s not just a process to make their teams more productive. It’s a way to make their entire business more successful, even as the pandemic rocked the world’s economies.
Instead of blindly slashing headcount and budgets, they show their executives dashboards with insights into the benefits and risks from any cost-cutting. They discuss exactly what productivity looks like across the organization, despite having their entire workforce working from home for the first time in history. They can align the work to strategic goals, even though those strategic goals may have completely changed virtually overnight.
As we settle into the uncertainty that will remain for some time, remember that visibility, adaptability, and productivity will remain the pillars that can help you successfully navigate. The customers I’ve spoken to in my first 90 days have helped me see first-hand the opportunities for success despite uncertainty and how to be poised for growth as that uncertainty wanes.
I know you will experience the same eye-opening revelations when you hear some of our customers tell their stories during our virtual event. While each speaker represents a different business sector and area of expertise, they will all address one overarching message: Work management isn’t about processes or technology. It’s about results — every business can improve the impact of their work, even in the face of minor and major disruptions.
Register to attend here. If you have questions you would like me or any of our presenters to address, please send us a message on Twitter to @clarizen with the hashtag #EmbraceUncertainty.