Communication works for those who work at it – John Powel
What goes into building a multi- cultural community, a diverse community a global community, a virtual community of leaders?
For me it must be Communication at its best, it must be about effective communication, it is about making your communication work
It was mid – April 2020, I had just taken up the role Vice President – Outreach of PMI Mumbai chapter. That night as I was browsing through linkedin group of PMI chapter leaders, I was amazed by the passion, dedication that the chapter leaders bring to the table. "Can we bring in all this passion at one place" I thought. "Can we connect, collaborate and co-create – build a community of PMI Chapters?"
And there it was the #PMIChapterXchange was incepted and my outreach journey started, a journey of virtual communication across countries, continents and cultures.
As my journey continues, I pause and ponder to ask myself how will communication be in the #futureofPMWork?
Here are some trends which will shape how we communicate
Remote work: According to Wall Street Journal even when the pandemic ends, many employees will continue to work from home. A study by Gartner says that 82% of business leaders plan to allow remote work for some time, while 47% plan to allow employees to do so permanently.
Diverse team: With “Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere and Virtual Collaboration - The Future of Work” our teams will be across locations, geographies and continents. With diverse teams, project managers would have work on their communication to work across languages and clultures
Security risks: With remote work comes the perils of security risks. As reported by Business Wire survey, a majority of respondents (58%) indicated that employee home network security was one of their areas of higher concern.
According to a study by BBC UK only 13% of 8 to 18-year-olds think young people will send letters and postcards to each other by the year 2049.
Holograms, body and brain implants will be used for communication and some even predict there'll be a new way of communication may be with emojis
Will this affect the way project managers would communicate in the #futureofPMWork?
How can project manager work with technology to make their communication work in this #futureofPMWork ?
Virtual presence: With virtual and augmented reality gaining momentum, virtual presence will be real soon. Project managers can connect with stakeholders in a virtual conference room. It is said the human brain perceives it as real presence.
Multi – cultural: With devices that can translate languages instantly, project managers could potentially bridge gaps allowing multi-cultural and multilingual teams to communicate effectively.
Secure peer to peer: Blockchain trends grows amidst the pandemic. Blockchain will enable secure and transparent peer to peer communication. This ensures effective stakeholder as well inter team transparent communication
How will you work on your communication to usher success in #futureofPMWork ?
Please share your views in the comment section.
If you want to join our community on the PMI Chapter collaboration platform. Request membership here.
It was late June 2020, the great lockdown quarantine isolation have been imposed for sometime now, to slow down the transmission. News and information on digital media has been disheartening and stressful. It has been impossible to relax.
We definitely needed an antidote for these physcological toll that humanity was going through.
Can reading be that antidote I thought ? Can reading bring us together even in isolation ?
And thus the Reader’s book club was introduced as an offering from our #PMIChapterXchange program. June 25, 2020, we launched the “Reader’s book club” – a digital platform for readers to interact with their favourite authors, or simply readers interacting with each other and discussing their favorite books – being togther in isolation. Our first digital reader’s club saw
Seema Giri who revealed her secret to happiness- Rebound, Reset and Realign. her book “Break Free to Stand in Your Power” and tips to be empowered in life and business.
Dr. Lynn Keeys provided insights into the Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Project Management providing a view of organizations as a network of projects, integrated by the more permanent organization, and to move away from a focus on individual projects.
Lenka Pincot took us through a cultural journey across continents through takeaways from the Culture Map book by Erin Meyer
With the nuggets of wisdom from these authors and an avid reader, I pondered as a project manager should we consider “reading” as a competency for the teams of tomorrow ? Here is why
Progression of life: To grow, we need to learn, what other way to grow than by reading.
Improved resiliency: Reading stories of trauma, challenges brings in hope and positivity. This influences our mindset shift that enables us to keep going, thereby improving resiliency.
Better decision making: Reading exposes a reader to experiences of how others approach a problem. This helps us to widen our perspectives and thereby make better decisions.
What ways can we as project managers leverage these digital book clubs in #futureofPMWork.
Team bonding: In the age of dispersed team, consider reading a book in a same virtual background. This gives us a sense of togetherness in spite being apart from each other.
Reinforcement of learning: Augmented / Virtual Reality book clubs, where the reader is transmitted to the plot setting can help in bringing about an immersive experience and reinforcement of learning
Increased Innovation: Digital book club can span across geographies and across demographics. Engaged in community reading with a diverse team can widen our perspectives challenging us to think differently and understand diverse perspectives. This enables a team to be more creative and innovative.
How do you think reading as a competency will evolve in the #futureofPMWork. How else do you think we can augment our team’s learning in the #futureofPMWork ? Do let me know your thoughts.
If you want to join our community on the PMI Chapter collaboration platform. Request membership here.
Until March, I was very excited about the future, I dreamt about an exciting future for project managers and #futureofPMWork. Then came the COVID-19.
COVID-19 is nothing short of a “Black Swan “event, just like the invention of the internet, or the 2008 market crash. Needless to say this has affected all industries, a lot has changed for us, project managers, remote working, processes, decentralization, culture, ways of communication are only some impact and more are yet to come.
What are the key skills that are required for managers, leaders in the new normal ?
The million-dollar question that is probably in the minds of every project manager, leader popped out while I and Lenka were moderating our maiden connect at the #PMIChapterXchange program.
A Panel discussion with experts from Czech Republic (Petr Janis, Michal Jauker) and Mumbai chapter (Satish Mittal, Chintan Oza) to share their perspectives on this very topic. So what did our panellists say
Petr laid emphasis on adaptability, listening and digital skills
Michal vouched for effective communication, team motivation and the value of global outreach enabled by the virtual world
Satish accentuated on the ability to navigate through multiple skills, 3rd eye out, predict risks and motivate team to innovate.
Chintan highlighted the skill improvement framework Identify(gaps), Classify( what can be achieved), Simplify( bucketize Short, Medium and Long term goals), Justify( correlate goals to current scenario) and Amplify ( go full throttle to achieve your goals)
Armed with the wisdom of the wise and deep introspection of the great lockdown, here are some additional skills that comes out dominant for a leader to succeed in the #futureofPMWork
Anti-fragility: Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. A resilient leader resists shocks and stays the same; an antifragile leader gets better it means that he / she does not merely withstand a shock but learn and improves because of it. Leaders must learn how to make their lives anti-fragile, rather than simply less vulnerable to randomness and chaos to survive in #futureofWork
Empathy: Tough times calls for leaders to lead with empathy. Empathizing in these times can go a long way to foster engaged and inspired teams.
Inclusiveness: Uncertain times calls for innovative, creative and high-performance teams. Leaders will need to create a well-intentioned, inclusive-minded environment to foster high-performance teams.
Do you have any other skills on your mind which would be relevant for project managers to succeed in the #futureofPMWork ? Comment below.
Want to join our community on the PMI Chapter collaboration platform. Request membership here.
They say “necessity is the mother of invention “and COVID- 19 era has been the true testament of the same. There have been multiple technological revolutions from AI based doctors, voice enable AI detecting infection from the sound of the cough, to simple chat bots providing information via voice interaction.
We are indeed moving towards a ‘touch less’ or a voice enabled economy.
Research says the overall voice and speech recognition market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2019 to 2025 to reach $26.8 billion by 2025. Voice shopping is predicted to become a $40 billion business in the next two years. With COVID-19 impact this may grow even further.
So what is "Voice Enabled AI" ? The Voice enabled AI is a technology that does natural language understanding combined with voice recognition.
Does this have an impact on #futureofPMWork? Let's find out
Contactless economy: With the advent of the COVID-era, consumer behaviour has been driven by health and safety concerns. It is evident that consumers will move towards digital or the contact less economy which may give rise to product usage to be driven by voice.
Voice Commerce: Voice search has been seeing a rising trend even before COVID-19. According Juniper Research voice-based ad revenue could reach $19 billion by 2022. Organizations will experience a shift in touchpoints being converted to listening points.
Consumer Behaviour: With the slow down of the economy, unemployment on the rise, organizations consumers have become cost conscious. This would mean organizations would have to find out ways to increase improve the voice of their brands
Can we leverage Voice enabled AI to manage our projects in the #futureofPMWork ?
Some instances could be as follows:
Operational activities: Much of the operational activities of a project manager, can be accomplished with voice commands e.g setting up meetings, managing them in the virtual world and managing collaboration tools. Another usage could be status reporting from the field, using external and internal data, machine learning to provide predictions, forecast and risk analysis.
Enhanced customer experience: Voice assisted chatbots on web sites could help us to find what engages the customer most and thereby driving opportunities of revenue generation. This technology can help us to build inclusive products there increasing our customer base and improve customer experience.
EQ enabled conversations: EQ enabled Voice AI intelligent technologies could be leveraged to detect emotions from a conversation with team members and to respond to them accordingly. This data can be used for coaching and mentoring of those who needs the most to engage and inspire.
How else can we give our projects a voice or leverage voice enabled technology in our projects?
Do drop a note in the comments section and let your voice be heard 😊
Since Aug 2019 I have been writing on #futureofPMWork , how the future of projects would be, what would be the different skills, techniques to engage our teams of the future, in the #futureofPMWork
Come March, all these theories, the #futureofPMWork suddenly seem so relevant. As we try to survive through the coronavirus pandemic, we are anxious, stressed, nervous of our own health, our elderly parents, our peers the society and world. On the work front, 125,000 team members in India suddenly became remote – working from home. Working remote before corona is strikingly different than working remote under quarantine. Many including myself was feeling lost in the first few weeks of quarantine.
Here is what I have learned in the 8 weeks of quarantine - the new #futureofPMWork on how to keep teams engaged and inspired.
The changing needs - Maslow’s hierarchy:
March 2020, most of us tumbled all the way down from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs top levels down to the bottom – to our physiological needs.
Provide assurance: that their basic needs in a job, the salary that helps them to be financially independent to take care of food, shelter and rest will be taken care of can help them to bring more to work.
Empathize: and do what we can to get them what they need, even if it has nothing to do with work. Research shows that being a servant leader serving team as they explore and grow, while providing emotional support create greater engagement.
Start with the Why but define How:
We always knew “purpose”, “Start with the why” keeps teams engaged to their work. In the new quarantine work environment, that “Why” might change. Questions like “Where do I stand in terms of my career now? How do I contribute to my organization’s goal? What is important to me in my career now?” can help to redefine the ‘Why’. These answers might not be the same as they were a month ago. This type of conversation can ‘define how’ or provide clarity needed to personalize the teams purpose and connect them better to the organization’s goals and vision.
Maintain diversity and inclusion:
To foster high performance team in this era of quarantine and social distancing project managers need to create an inclusive environment. This inclusivity would be for gender, race, parents with young children and generations. Elder generations could be afraid being impacted by the disease or may have trouble adjusting to virtual collaboration tools. Look out for any kind of such instances of marginalization, address them publicly and support those marginalized privately through one and one meetings.
Do you have any learnings or tips to engage and inspire your teams in this new #futureofPMWork ? If yes do share, I would love to hear from you here.