When I played soccer in high school, my most hated practice session was running the mile within 5 minutes. I was a sprinter and worked in short bursts and 400 meters (one lap around the track) was about 200 meters beyond what I could sustainably run at max speed (forget a mile!). I always heavily faded towards the end, thereby letting my teammates down.
I had to pace myself, accepting that I would fall behind early to conserve energy. It was only after I fired up the afterburners at the halfway mark that we started getting more competitive.
Cut to present day. I have had the opportunity to talk to several of our customers in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil over the past 2 months to ascertain what they thought would be the long-lasting impact of this crisis that none of us planned for?
According to one report, massive reduction in CAPEX spend is estimated in the coming years across LATAM markets. A prominent executive remarked, “The crisis made us do things at a time that we could not do in years of digital transformation.” [“La crisis nos hizo hacer cosas en un momento que no podríamos hacer en años de transformación digital.”]
Work from home – check, digital platforms – check, e-commerce-based sales – check. Can we continue to transform and adapt quickly? – hmmm …
The biggest question was, if this is the way we have to continue for a while, how do you make teams collaborate to build software and drive uniformity in the way they work? What are the organization’s afterburners?
Culturally, Latin America has teams that are high-touch and work locally. With this new way of working, should we give up on our high-touch that is the genesis of innovation and creating applications that are core to our competitive advantage?
The right answer lies in changing the ways of working to replicate in-person, close collaboration in the remote ways of working. Agile methodologies, remote testing and organization-wide coaching are key takeaways that our survey results in 2019 presented.
Digital platforms are now mature enough to be able to drive this type of collaboration across regions and languages. With infrastructure available to sustain voice and data globally, corporations can glean the benefits of globalization and access to resources or capability – Virtually!
In this journey to normalcy, I feel we're at the ¾ mile mark. By early-July, the vast majority of us should be free again. We're tired and may have started off too fast, but we need to muster up our remaining energy to finish strong. I encourage all corporations to use the month of May and June to work extra hard. , I know this work to force Digital transformation for all our employees will drive positive results.