Surprisingly, it’s a virus – and not a technological innovation – that’s behind the biggest economic disruption of this decade. The COVID-19 pandemic cued a watershed moment for the global economy, and it’s safe to say that life after it will not be the same ever again.
Over the past few weeks, sharp agility in adapting to global disruption has emerged as a critical differentiator for maintaining business continuity amid the pandemic. From ensuring uninterrupted delivery to initiating innovation projects that can help address the ongoing crisis, effective response management has quickly become a cornerstone for operational excellence.
But beyond all else, this disruption has unlocked a collaborative spirit and hidden reserves of resilience in people from all walks of life.
At Wipro Health, for example, offices established 100% business continuity within 24 hours of the lockdown announcement. This achievement was possible, in part, due to our robust technological infrastructure, expertise, and processes – but more so because of the outpouring of spirit, empathy, and positivity from our employees. In fact, many of our team members drove hundreds of miles using their personal vehicles to commission remote working infrastructure at our associates’ homes – a critical step to helping our pharmaceutical clients maintain undisrupted R&D operations and supporting the search for a cure to COVID-19.
Similarly, Wipro Health teams were able to predict the situation 10 days in advance and mocked up a communication cascade with projects spread across four continents, helping establish 96% uptime on Day 1 of the lockdown. That‘s the kind of personal commitment and client centricity that’s a hallmark of Wipro’s working culture, and it’s this human (rather than technological) response that’s kept us and our clients operational through this crisis.
Finding Solutions with Empathy
For many employees, enforced quarantine and a blurring of the line that divides home and work lives have allowed us to see colleagues and friends in a more empathetic and humane light. At Wipro, a consequence of this shift in perspective has been a greater recognition of employee concerns and willingness to assess and fast track new workforce management paradigms across the organization.
It’s important to take this perspective we’ve discovered in our organization and extend it to our client relationships. By leveraging this empathy and understanding to create solutions that go beyond business concerns, we can tackle the unmet and sometimes unexpressed needs and expectations of the people behind them.
Putting on the Design Thinking Cap
As the pandemic forces us to rethink operational frameworks and business models, it’s important to recognize the opportunity inherent in such a situation – enterprises now have a sandbox to test larger operational initiatives that are in line with the new normal.
In driving innovation, design thinking is a vital technique to establishing more human-centric models of workforce management. Instead of narrowing potential solutions down from a set of preconceived choices, a design-thinking session prioritizes divergent thinking, encouraging participants to think outside the box, develop new solutions, and deploy those ideas to solve enterprise challenges.
More importantly, by capturing views from a wide spectrum of organizational stakeholders, design thinking is able to bring human-centricity to the “solutioneering” process and deliver results that address both business requirements and people’s needs. This practice is vital during a time of crisis when economic shutdown extracts a larger cost from the average citizen than an enterprise.
From the organizational change management perspective, design thinking helps highlight the many concerns of an enterprise undergoing a fundamental shift in the way they conduct operations. It also helps establish new processes and paradigms that accommodate these concerns without compromising business outcomes. In turn, this creates an environment of trust and fearlessness that helps both people and business adapt to change faster and more efficiently.
Uniting Through Disruption
In a world where large-scale remote working and contingent workforces may be the new norm, the importance of establishing collaboration, empathy, and trust as the bedrock for future enterprise success cannot be overstated.
And for both global and local businesses, this is an extraordinary time, calling for extraordinary and creative measures.
Whether teaming up with the Azim Premji Foundation to deliver relief to frontline fighters against COVID-19 or instituting stringent disease prevention guidelines for our associates, Wipro is among the enterprises that are tackling the pandemic head on. At the same time, we are also preparing for a future where the nature of enterprise management will be profoundly different.
Designing for the New Care Continuum
From deploying change management workshops and finding new workforce alignment strategies to using our technological expertise for richer collaboration across geographies and different agents (Pharma, Payer, Provider, Medical Devices ) in the Health industry, we’re helping the world get through this crisis in safer, more productive ways. Along the journey, we ask enterprises everywhere not to lose hope, but instead to upskill and rearm themselves. That way, we can all be ready for the day the crisis subsides and the economy bounces back.
To learn how we can help you Design for the new care continuum, please write to us at Health.sbu@Wipro.com
Senior Vice President and Global Head of Health Business at Wipro.
Bill is a senior Healthcare and Technology Executive with over 27 years of experience in Healthcare, Life Sciences, and Technology domains. He has executive leadership experience in business development, product management, software development, consulting and managed services.
Bill joined Wipro from IBM Global Services where, as Vice President of Healthcare and Life Sciences, he was responsible for IBM’s US business with full P&L, Sales, Marketing and Delivery responsibilities. Bill spent the initial part of his career with HealthQuest which was later acquired by McKesson Health IT and following that has had a variety of leadership roles in the Healthcare and Technology sectors with Dell, LeftHand Networks (acquired by HP), SunGard and Dimension Data.
Bill is an Electrical and Computer Engineer from University of South Carolina and currently lives in Denver, where he enjoys being outdoors in the mountains with his wife and three children.