Monthly Archives: Mar 2021

10 things to think about, if you want to be a more successful and genuine person in this emerging economy

March 23, 2021 | Phil Fersht

It’s been quite the year hasn’t it, folks!  I don’t know about you, but this has proven to be a voyage of self-discovery for me personally as we build businesses that can thrive in a world where it doesn’t matter where you are anymore, where the rules of the game are being re-written in a way we could never have imagined a year ago. 

If you’d told me we’d be doing multi-million dollar deals over Zoom and holding the attention of a global industry captive for an entire day online while we shared experiences of vaccine brands, I would seriously try and shake myself out of this bizarre dream.  Not to mention the spate of billion-dollar-plus deals being constructed on the back of an envelope…

In fact, I may still be having the same bizarre dream while I sleep-write this, and will wake up shortly to check my seat and meal-selection on my next trans-Atlantic flight, so I hope my ten learnings from the past imaginary year of bizarreness are worth a read:

  1. Take control of your career. Whomever you are in today’s corporate world,  the playing field has been leveled – however, almost everyone you know relies on the same vehicles to get things done. You have more time than you’ve ever had to focus on covering all the bases of your professional and personal lives, so make this time count and prepare for the future with a new attitude of self-assurance and confidence.
  2. Be a great communicator. During his career heyday, my father was a world-famous scientist in protein science and biochemistry.  His one (career) piece of advice to me was “always assume stupidity in your audience”.  People love to hear you talk about the basics of what we do and build from there.  I have never veered from this advice and it always serves me well… and those who engage in my narrative have proven to be anything but stupid!
  3. Make a concerted effort to develop your relationships. While nothing beats a great dinner or a few glasses of good wine, beer, or whisky, the people you knew before the big change are still as important as ever, and you need to do what you can to keep them close and keep the camaraderie moving along.  Relationships got you where you are, and during these new times, it’s even more important to keep the dialog going.  Make time for the people who matter, and develop deeper relationships where you can.  Also, focus on more one-to-one dialogs with people than sitting through hours of turgid discussions with too many people… nothing beats the intimacy of a direct conversation where you can see each other and share your genuine thoughts, ideas and feelings. 
  4. Keep learning new things. No one has any excuse to keep doing the same old things the same way, and in today’s environment, you really don't want to become a dinosaur… post-covid world is definitely not dinosaur-friendly! If you are in sales, learn to sell over Zoom;  if you’re in marketing… learn cool new apps to run promos, get familiar with analytics that help you understand your market, and make publications look awesome;  if you’re in finance, put yourself on some data science courses;  if you’re in IT learn how to cloudify business functions and understand the context.  And if you’re ready to break free of the corporate treadmill, there is no better time to start your own business and reel in some clients.
  5. Show your emotions more freely. Don’t you prefer to know how people really feel about things?  Or if you’re pissing someone off?  And doesn’t it feel good to get things off your chest, instead of letting them simmer for a long time until you blow up like a pressure-cooker?  We have no choice but to preserve/build digital relationships with people, so be more expressive, and people will know you better, and maybe they’ll be more expressive in return. 
  6. Demonstrate your true values. We can peek into each others’ homes, hear our kids screaming and dogs barking… so why not peer a bit deeper into what makes us think the way we do?  There are just too many issues conflicting our world these days, and it helps to share some of our views and beliefs – when it is appropriate.  While it’s wise to avoid politics (unless it’s plainly apparent you’re with like-minded people), it’s healthy to discuss how to manage people better, the culture in which we like to work, how to cope better with stress, how to get a better balance between work life, health and family life.  It’s also healthy to discuss how to balance diversity issues in the workplace, ensure equal opportunities for candidates when we are hiring for roles, respect our planet more, and what we can do collectively as an organization to address sustainability issues.  Because if we never share our values, we can never learn from each other, and we can never evolve with how we think and act. This also means we need to avoid public shaming of people for behaviors that some people may construe as racist or sexist. That only creates deeper divisions between people and does nothing to promote better attitudes.
  7. Make peace with people you value. It’s so easy to fall out with people these days when tensions and stress levels are running high… but it’s also just as easy to smooth things over and get relationships in a better place.  It’s also easy to reconnect with folks you’d fallen out with years ago and find new areas of common value – bury that hatchet!  The modern business culture is so relationship-driven these days, so drop the ego and cultivate relationships with people who matter. 
  8. Move on from people who don’t appreciate you. And on the flip side, those people who just use you when they need something… aren’t you just sick and tired of the take, take, take, and never getting anything back?  These people are already getting left behind, and you need to move on from them.  It’s all about valuing each other, listening to each other, sharing ideas, and mutually helping each other out.
  9. Take the higher ground. How many times do you get pulled into petty squabbles, and you suddenly realize “why am I bothering? This really isn’t important to me”.  Always take a deep breath and think about your higher goals and consider whether you need to fight every battle and distract yourself from the war you need to win?  This isn’t being “political”, it’s simply smart about how you handle yourself.
  10. Don’t forget those who got you here. One of my most important rules is never to forget the helping hands you’ve had during your quest for greatness.  People who supported you know what they did and really appreciate it when you recognize them for it. I have lost count of all the favors I have done for people over the years, but I do remember when someone mentions they appreciated it – even if it’s years later.  However, those who just “take, take, take” get struck off my list pretty fast these days – who has time for the entitled liberty-takers who want whatever they can get when they ask for it?

 Peace Out... ;) 

Posted in: Digital TransformationDigital OneOffice

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Can we get back to a world where we engage with each other again?

March 21, 2021 | Phil Fersht

Posted in: Digital TransformationSocial NetworkingSocial Media

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'I look forward to a day when a company lost business because of how they handle diversity'

March 07, 2021 | Nischala Murthy KaushikPhil Fersht

I spoke with HFS Research CEO Phil Fersht for his thoughts on gender diversity and building inclusive organizations, why we need women at the workplace, how the industry has evolved over the past decade, and ideas for the future to make significant progress for the case and cause of #womenatwork.  A one of its kind and exclusive interview in which Phil shares unfiltered reflections and intriguing insights.

Nischala: So Phil, firstly, thanks for your time to do this interview with me. As you know, the topic of #WomenAtWork is very close to my heart.

I’d like to start with a basic question - Why do you think we should have more women in the workplace?

Phil: Thanks for doing this, Nischala. Appreciate all your initiatives around women at the workplace.

Coming to your question - Firstly, I think that there’s a shortage of talent in the workplace, particularly creative talent. I work in a knowledge industry, where we need creative people - good writers, thinkers, and communicators. In many cases, women are outstanding in these areas, especially writing and communicating.

If women aren’t an active part of the workforce, I do feel that we’re missing out on a lot of talent, which is critical for business growth. I do recognize that many women disappear from the workplace when they have kids or caring for the needs of the family - and they don’t come back.  Some women come back, and a minimal number are tremendously successful, but not

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Posted in: Policy and Regulations

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OneOffice: Where data is the strategy, automation the discipline, AI the refinement

March 07, 2021 | Phil Fersht

While the last year has blown our minds with the sheer amount of change it has invoked on our professional and family lives, what is has achieved - more than anything - are these two factors:

  • No more flashy bullshit. There is no room for solutions that are confusing, designed to make people look special, but ultimately pathetic in real value and execution.  
  • Data and processes are inextricably linked. The focus on value has shifted firmly to the strategic value of data and how designing processes can help you achieve the data outcomes that create the value.

Bottom-line: We need to understand that data is the strategy and how the data cycle works to get us ahead of our markets. Here are five steps we must take:

  1. Get The Data to Win In your Market. This is where you must align your data needs to deliver on business strategy.  This is where you clarify your vision and purpose.
  2. Re-think processes to get the data, Then you must re-think what should be added, eliminated, simplified across your workflows to source this critical data.
  3. Design your new operational workflows in the cloud. There is simply no option but to have a plan to design processes in the cloud over three-tier web-architected applications.  In the Work-from-Anywhere Economy, our global talent has to come together to create our borderless, completely digital business.  This is the true environment for real digital transformation in action.
  4. Automate processes and data.  Automation is not your strategy.  It is the necessary discipline to ensure your processes provide the data - at speed - to achieve your business outcomes. Hence you have to approach all future automation in the cloud if you want your processes to run effectively end-to-end.
  5. Apply AI to data flows to anticipate at speed. Once you have successfully automated processes in the cloud, it is easy to administer AI solutions to deliver at speed in self-improving feedback loops.  This is where you apply digital assistants, computer vision, machine learning, and other techniques to refine the efficacy of your data.  AI is how we engage with our data to refine ourselves as digital organizations where we only want a single office to operate with agility to do things faster, cheaper, and more streamlined than we ever thought possible.  AI helps us predict and anticipate how to beat our competitors and delight our customers, reaching both outside and inside of our organizations to pull the data we need to make critical decisions at speed.

Posted in: Digital OneOfficeAnalytics, Big Data and BIIntelligent Automation

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RPA is alive...With Super Marios to the rescue

March 02, 2021 | Elena ChristopherPhil Fersht

We've been pushing our concept of Native Automation hard these past few weeks, where it's imperative for organizations to embed an attitude to automation workflows deep into their operations. So what better to promote this native adoption, than to get it for free from the world's juggernaut desktop software institution, Microsoft?  And does this spell trouble for the likes of UiPath and AutomationAnywhere's desire to IPO... now RPA is practically free for all?  They now have little choice but to prove their value beyond RPA.

RPA is not dead, as previously stated. Thanks to Microsoft, it’s going mainstream.

In line with day one of its annual Ignite events, Microsoft announced that it would immediately offer a free version of its Power Automate Desktop robotic process automation (RPA) application. This is available for complimentary download starting today. Additionally, it will

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Posted in: Robotic Process AutomationIntelligent AutomationArtificial Intelligence

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