News

Work is something you achieve, not somewhere you go

When you hear the word work, what comes to mind? Is it an office or another type of work site? For many people, that’s the case. They equate the concept of work with being at a physical location.

Working with businesses on issues involving gender equality, flexibility, work–life balance or integration, and other best practices, I often find that many managers, sometimes subconsciously, still think of work as a place someone goes to. They’re aware it’s possible to get work tasks done remotely. But many are distrustful of telework. They believe they can only be sure their team members are working when they’re in the office.

Both halves of this assumption are wrong. People are often even more productive when working from home. And being in the office does not guarantee productivity. It’s perfectly possible to be at your desk in the office, staring at your computer, and

Read more

When the CEO gets divorced, who else pays the price?

During the COVID-19 lockdown, married couples have unexpectedly found themselves becoming office mates. Working from home has its charms, but conducting too many Zoom meetings in spare bedrooms can test the work–life balance of any couple. The inevitable interpersonal tension has caused attorneys to predict a surge in divorce cases; media reports in China already point to spikes in the divorce rate in the regions hit hardest by the virus.

It stands to reason that CEOs will not be immune from the uptick in divorce proceedings: Given their overarching responsibility for corporate strategy, CEOs face even more pressure than usual in times of crisis or uncertainty. And that should be cause for concern to shareholders and boards of directors, according to a new study (written before the coronavirus outbreak). That’s because after CEOs get divorced, the author finds, they curb their business ambition — but at the same time, they

Read more

The clear Sky strategy

Jeremy Darroch will soon mark his 13th year as CEO of Sky. With 32,000 employees and 24 million customers across seven European countries, Sky is a leading player in media content and distribution. Darroch has an atypical background for the head of a large global media company. Raised in a small town in the northeast of England, he attended the University of Hull, and spent 12 years at Procter & Gamble before moving to electronics retailer Dixons as a finance executive. He joined Sky as chief financial officer in 2004, and was named CEO in December 2007. Sky, founded in 1989, was the U.K.’s first satellite TV service. It grew into a media powerhouse, largely on the back of its channels dedicated to news and sports — especially English Premier League soccer. Darroch spearheaded the company’s investments in adjacent business lines such as broadband and over-the-top (OTT) subscription service Now

Read more

COVID-19 means insurers should pick up the pace on improving experiences

Note: This column is the fourth in a series about redefining experiences in this time of great change and isolation, and reimagining them to emphasize the importance of human connection. The first can be found here , the second here, and the third here.

Insurers have been focusing on customer experience through revamped service and product design for several years. In fact, shortly before COVID-19 hit, industry CEOs identifiedPDF customer experience as their top growth and investment opportunity for 2020. The pandemic’s sudden onset drastically accelerated that priority in two ways: by emphasizing the need for digitally enabled interactions — be they with consumers (B2C) or commercial clients (B2B) — and by requiring a more human-centric approach to those interactions.

Rarely have the mutual needs of customers and insurers been more pronounced. Consumers are staying with brands they know and trust, and insurers are focusing on retaining

Read more

How to create a “new normal”

Note: This column is the third in a series about redefining experiences in this time of great change and isolation, and reimagining them to emphasize the importance of human connection. The first can be found here and second here.

COVID-19 has swept through workplaces like a hurricane, scattering employees in every direction, exposing many to new risks, and redefining what workers need to do their jobs safely, efficiently, and effectively. At the same time, customers’ needs and expectations have changed drastically, too. As interactions have moved online and economic pressure has made revenue a matter of brand survival, the touch points where the customer journey and employee journey intersect — moments when a brand can create (or lose) value — have become even more critical than they already were, both in ways that can easily be counted, such as revenue, and in ways that cannot, such as emotional

Read more