Executive Director’s Corner

The summer of 2021 is upon us! What are we expecting this summer that is so different from last? Well, hopefully we are coming out of the pandemic. Are we tired of billion conference presentations on COVID -19? Zoom feels like a repeat of Hollywood Squares and Ground Hog Day merged together! How many times can you say “you are on mute”
in a day? Which headphones do I use, oh I know the ones I did not charge!

So lets think to the future… yes, time will continue to move forward and so will Innovate@UCLA and our members. There is hope, more vaccinations and less infections, more discussions and meetings on what’s next and less on lessons learned! Now what?

Well, I’m seeing businesses are opening, LA traffic is back, IT organizations did a great job – now can you do it with 10% less next year? C-Suite executives are focusing on business and less on IT. So what can our colleagues in the C-Suite expect from IT? Digital Transformation sounds so yesterday! We need a new tag line. Let’s not go back to “do more with less”!

So, here are some thoughts to consider:

  • Celebrate getting through this past year!
  • Rethink your strategy and find out how aligned you are with business strategy. Actually isn’t business strategy and IT strategy combined now?
  • Are you really finished with moving to more digital in your businesses. Can processes be so automated now that less labor is needed?
  • “Work from home” or as I now call it “Work”, is changing how we behave and does that change the culture at the office? It is estimated that 75% of us don’t want to go back to full time at office routine. Can your organization handle a “hybrid” mode of working? Can you better measure productivity and outcomes?

Innovate@UCLA is changing too! We now have to plan for in person events and virtual events. Even combining events to be both is being planned. Our membership is slowly growing but will it include virtual memberships that will reach well beyond SoCal? We hope so and will strive to do so soon!

As much as we want some in person events and get togethers, we also need the ease and comfort of virtual. I think this will be true for many companies not just Innovate@UCLA.

It will be an interesting summer, stay tuned, join us if you are not a member yet, and look forward to more programming, incredible networking opportunities, and access to ideas and thoughts that will help you and your company going forward!

Happy Summer everyone!

Jim Rinaldi