As we emerge from the fog of pandemic, a vastly different work terrain is coming into focus. In a new remote work reality, how has the challenge of managing change, well, changed? What does distance leadership look like? How can project managers help their teams and organizations navigate these transformative times?
Take a look at how 54 thought leaders are answering these questions, and others, by perusing PMI’s recently published The New Leadership Dyamics, which offers insights and ideas, curated from an array of PMI events or platforms. Together, they show how project leaders can move forward and thrive in a still uncertain future. Following are several excerpts from this thought-provoking compilation:
On testing the limits:
“Our definition of resilience was risk versus preparedness. What we found was that the risks were changing on a daily basis. We found that the traditional linear model of risk assessments and then mitigating actions and things wasn’t working anymore. Our clients sometimes have very little time to make very important decisions.” — Caroline Das-Monfrais, chief strategy officer, EMEA, at FTI Consulting
On leaving your comfort zone:
“You can think about a crisis as an unfreezing—an opportunity to reshape things, to create new language, new institutions and new ways of doing things.” — Martin Reeves, chairman, Boston Consulting Group Henderson Institute
On defining your reality:
“The first role for every leader is to define reality. And once you define reality, then you can come up with strategies on how you want to move your team forward or to execute the project. Right now, COVID-19 is our reality. It is a storm before us. And it calls for a leader who is decisive, highly adaptive and who’s ready to learn.” — Billy Samuel Mwape, PMP, assistant information and communications technology manager at Development Bank of Zambia and [email protected] speaker
On purpose-driven leadership
“The role of the project manager— or in my language, the facilitator—is to help create a psychological connective tissue. The biggest mistake we make in any type of gathering is we assume the purpose is obvious. Always start by stating the purpose of a meeting. And then connect people to the purpose—and to each other.” — Priya Parker, author and host of Together Apart
Read more great insights from trailblazers and innovators in The New Leadership Dynamics here.
Aptera Goes Far With Solar
In another recent indication that the auto industry is being swept by major transformations, Ford has announced that it will convert all of its passenger vehicles in Europe to electric power by 2030. News like this bodes well for not only the environment, but also for innovative electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers such as Aptera.
Startups are built on bright ideas, a concept that rings especially true for Aptera, which powers its EVs by harnessing the sun’s power. Leveraging solar panels installed on its exterior, these innovative cars cut down on charging time while offering a greater driving range. Needless to say, this stellar combination of less time plugged in to a battery and more time on the road is highly attractive to EV drivers.
However, while the sun’s rays drive Aptera’s vision for a better, greener vehicle, solar power is just the start. For example, the vehicle is constructed from just four parts and features three wheels. As a result, many federal automotive standards don’t apply, thanks to the three-wheel configuration. In addition, the car’s front end is shaped more like an airplane than a traditional automobile, a clue to its aerodynamic design.
To date, demand has been high. Within a week of its debut, Aptera had already received more than 3,000 orders for the vehicle. Currently, Aptera is gearing up to start deliveries of its EV in 2021. To keep up with expected demand, the company will ramp up production at its new factory in San Diego, California, USA. Plus, there are two more development projects in the works.
You can read more about this breakthrough Project of the Week here. Learn how Aptera has navigated the road to secure funding, and where the company is heading in the future.
2021 Jobs Report: The Road Ahead
Categories: Program Management
Economies are still reeling from COVID-19, and the impact on job prospects and career trajectories has been devastating in many industries. The project management profession is no exception. But there are signs of hope in the New Year.
PMI has recently released the 2021 Jobs Report, which showcases new, emerging job opportunities—as well as areas of lingering uncertainty. Check it out to get some perspective on what the near future has in store for the global job market, and what it might mean to your professional path.
Here are a few highlights from the report on several of the world’s major regions:
Middle East: The collapse of oil prices has created financial havoc, and layoffs have primarily hit retail, airlines and tourism sectors. The result has been a sharpened focus on the need to diversify the economy, with a specific emphasis innovation and R&D.
United States: Hope is on the horizon, as October hiring outpaced September by 15.5 percent. While the road ahead is murky, job opportunities in manufacturing, transportation and logistics, construction, retail and real estate have been leading the pack… but will need digital-savvy project talent in order to continue the upswing.
Asia Pacific: Tourism and hospitality, as well as retail, have been hard-hit by the collapse of global travel, and will struggle throughout 2021. However, talented project managers will be in great demand to drive projects related to science, technology and healthcare.
India: A significant shift in consumer behavior, due to the pandemic, will boost online and last-mile delivery services in 2021. An increase in demand for insurance and healthcare will also drive growth in these sectors.
You can take a look at the entire list of regions included in the 2021 Jobs Report here. Not only does the report offer a deep dive into the regions listed above, but also Canada, Europe, Africa, Peru, China and Latin America.
Project Management Institute has unveiled the 2020 edition of the Most Influential Projects, which highlights 259 efforts, each a distinct masterclass in how to navigate change and deliver results. The projects demonstrate many pivots born of the global pandemic, but also shifts in response to pre-coronavirus forces, from sustainability to quantum computing.
The honorees—an overall Top 50 as well as Top 10s in 30 categories—represent the creative spirit shaping how the world collectively reimagines a new future. What’s more, they describe an emerging playbook for impact and success in a world that will never be the same. Four key elements of that playbook are summarized in “Why Projects Matter More Than Ever”:
The Most Influential Projects offer a unifying theme: the ability to turn bold ideas into a new reality. As Melati Wijsen, the 19-year-old co-founder of UpLink member Bye Bye Plastic Bags put it: “We don’t look at today’s challenges as a burden. We look at them as an opportunity.”
You can explore the entire list, including Top 10 lists in 21 industries and nine regions, here, the home of the Most Influential Projects 2020. And the No. 1 Most Influential Project of 2020? It's the US$125 million COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which aims to identify, accelerate and scale potential COVID-19 treatments by coordinating R&D efforts.
What do a new line of doll kits for kids, a mental health care app, and a rehabilitation center in China have in common? They are all innovations inspired and developed with inclusion as their guiding force.
In the latest digital exclusive from PM Network, you can learn about four projects that committed to inclusive design, from planning to user engagement to final outcome. What is inclusive design? Kat Holmes, author of Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, says her favorite definition of inclusive design is “creating a diversity of ways for people to participate in a shared experience with a sense of belonging in that experience.”
What's it look like in the world of projects?
>> In China, a $153 million rehabilitation center, set to open in 2023, will provide services to people with disabilities aged 16 to 60, including recreation, art events and education. An Italian architecture firm is using therapeutic green spaces throughout the complex, which will connect directly to a light mobility system.
>> For marginalized people and intersectional communities, finding a therapist who can relate to their needs can be challenging. A new app called Ayana uses a questionnaire and algorithm to connect users to licensed therapists of similar values and backgrounds, including gender, ethnicity and orientation. The Los Angeles-based team built in end-to-end protocols to protect patient privacy and is seeking partnerships with nonprofits to make the app free for those who can’t afford it.
>> “Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” says Kim Culmone, a senior vice president at Mattel, which launched Creatable World, the world’s first gender-inclusive doll kits, a year ago.
Four months later, the company expanded the line to include dolls without hair, with the skin condition vitiligo and with prosthetic limbs. Throughout development, Mattel consulted with physicians, experts in gender identity, and children who identify as transgender, gender nonbinary or gender fluid.
That kind of empathy-based, user-focused feedback is “inclusion in action” in the world of project management. And it’s a rock-solid guiding principle for any project to follow.