Augmenting data, products and human capabilities
Similarly, with increasing pressure to innovate and personalize customer experiences, Joe Manton, Senior Director at Mondelēz called out the importance of investing in AI capabilities to scale operations, in conversation with Jonne Heikkinen, Managing Director of Thoughtworks, Finland. Not only has AI been used to augment creativity at the snack giant, by replacing repetitive work and optimizing the creation of new products, but Manton shared how it is also key to attracting top talent. The next generation of employees expect, at the very least, an opportunity to explore this space, to build their own capabilities for the future.
The future of business is largely dependent on extracting the value of data, but as Danilo Sato, Head of Data and AI, Thoughtworks UK notes, “what we see over and over is that technology is really not the main challenge in implementing a data strategy.” Data Mesh helps move away from centralizing everything and truly activates togetherness by bringing data closer to those who own it, across the business.
Sanjeevan Bala, Group Chief Data & AI Officer, knows first hand about activating the value of data and delivering on “the last mile.” For ITV, it’s not about the what but about the how. Through the Data Mesh model, ITV tapped into the connection of data, and the art of possibilities in business, by asking “What if?” of their employees, to underpin their transformation. This new philosophy to data has helped the organization decrease time spent on typical data activities and achieve tangible business growth.
A global workforce, with shared purpose
Understanding the importance of people in technology initiatives is as important as knowing the implications across global boundaries, as explained by Nico Ackermann, with One Touch Retail at Mercedes Benz. To maintain their global brand integrity and customer experience, the automobile giant rolled out a global sales platform iteratively, starting small, and scaling fast by keeping a laser focus on what was most important. They tailored the experience to each region, while, importantly, always working toward a shared business goal.
“The most powerful way to create shared identity is to have a shared sense of purpose,” says Jay Van Bavel, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. This, he argues, is a critical factor for building a culture where employees want to stay.
In Van Bavel’s opinion, leaders have a deeper responsibility to foster team connection and trust in our now remote world than ever before. Inclusive language and psychological safety are critical to building successful teams, which means that we must be courageous enough to address, and remove, toxicity within our teams and workplaces.
Building the communities of the future
“Organizations spend a lot of money on salary and perks, but it isn’t enough” agrees Spotify’s Head of Backstage, Austin Lamon. “Developers are your most precious asset, yet retention is worse than for any other function.” Effective developers are happy developers, but, according to Lamon, they spend less than a third of their time actually writing code.
Creating an engaging engineering culture and finding ways to help your developers be more effective is key to retention. Leaders must remove their biggest obstacles; helping them to ship to market faster, support the scaling of their work and teams, without slowing them down, and providing the information and tools they need to make decisions at speed.