As Vantage Remixed draws to a close for 2020, we take a look back at the top 5 leadership moments from this week.

The Hon. Julia Gillard AC on adapting to a new world

When Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard stepped away from her role leading the nation, she didn’t stop helping Australians who needed it. Now as the Chair of mental health advocacy organisation Beyond Blue, Gillard sat down virtually with Adam Spencer at Vantage Remixed to talk about life pre-pandemic, and how we can hope to emerge on the other side.

Her message to business? “Things will never go back to the way they were before COVID.” As a result, we all need to act accordingly to thrive. We need to understand that some groups – like working women – are bearing the brunt of COVID’s impacts more than others, and we need to be prepared to listen to their anger.

Gillard said that businesses who want to thrive through the pandemic will learn to grapple with this additional complexity. These businesses will need “thoughtful management of the problems of today” and “scan the horizon” for opportunities and problems, Gillard added.

“It used to be that you had to walk and chew gum at the same time. These days you’ve got to run while juggling, hurdling and making sure that you know what’s around the next corner,” Gillard told Spencer.

Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Andy Penn on what we can learn from the pandemic

Our CEO, Andy Penn, shared similar thoughts at Vantage Remixed, saying that there needs to be change in how we do business and how the Government creates legislation so we can pursue future success.

“I am asking myself…how do we use the disruption and pain brought about by COVID for good in the future? How do we use it as an accelerant to the transformation of our businesses? How do we use it to bring new experience to our customers?”

Andy Penn shared the state of doing business in 2020 and how it’s primarily digital as a result of COVID-19. The rate of digital adoption following the pandemic means that we now have an opportunity to deliver on the promise of becoming a leading digital economy by 2030.

“Achieving this will not only require businesses to accelerate their own digital journeys but it will require Government too to set the policy and regulatory framework to support a digital economy.

“In this regard there are I believe three areas where policy and regulatory change will be important and for which we can jointly advocate.

“Firstly a systematic review of legislation and regulation at all levels of government – federal, state and local – to remove rules and regulations that stand in the way of a paperless economy, a virtual economy and a cashless economy.

“Secondly, to ensure we have the right policy and regulatory settings in place to support a thriving telecommunications sector. The digital economy is fundamentally dependent on the country’s telecommunications networks.

“And thirdly, with so much at stake, robust and effective cyber security has never been more important.

Andy Penn closed by adding that: “businesses that will be successful in the future will be those that can embrace this newfound humanity and make it the foundation of their culture. It will bring them closer to their customers and the communities they serve and create an environment in which their workforce will be motivated and engaged.”

Expert 360 CEO & Telstra Board Member, Bridget Loudon on creating an adaptive workforce

“The wave of flexible working has been a long time coming, and for many, COVID has been the tsunami for change. But it hasn’t derailed flexible working, it’s accelerated it. COVID has shown us just how much flexibility we have to respond to the world around us. This time it’s COVID, but next time it could be a new competitor to your business.

Through COVID, we’ve broken a 150-year practice and expectation forged by the industrial revolution where people get up every day and come to a place of work, usually Monday to Friday for largely fixed hours.

We’re never again going to get a such a fundamental opportunity to change the way we work, and rather than stop this new world, we need to adapt. Success and productivity is directly linked to how we allow the work to get done – once the tech is in place, we need to shift the mindset and culture to allow this.

There’s three major ways to think about flexibility; firstly, where the work is done, when the work is done and finally setting the right work arrangements such as permanent, part time, contract or project based. If you can keep these things flexible, you can transform your ability to respond to challenges of the day, week and year.

In Australia, demand for digital talent is expected to outstrip supply four-fold over the next two years. Flexible working also means your talent pool is no longer confined to a 20-kilometre radius around your office, your talent pool is global.”

Telstra Enterprise Group Executive, Michael Ebeid, on helping Australian businesses thrive in today’s digital world

“It’s easy for us to simply say businesses need to up their digital game, but what if they don’t know where to start, let alone decide their next steps? We saw a huge shift to online platforms and digital tools when the pandemic hit, but we know there are many businesses out there still struggling with the new tech-led environment we now live and work in. Many of these businesses now run the risk of being left behind as the economy rebuilds and consumer behaviour and expectations continue to change.”

To help businesses navigate today’s increasingly digital economy, Michael Ebeid announced the launch of the new Telstra Digital Maturity tool.

“This is about supporting and guiding Australian businesses, to ensure they thrive in today’s digital world. Knowing how your business stacks up – where you’re doing well and where and how you could improve – is powerful knowledge when you are deciding how to respond in the pandemic.”

Developed by Telstra Purple, the tool can provide operators with their own personalised ‘Digital Maturity Score’ as well practical advice. It asks users a series of simple questions to produce a customised Digital Maturity Score, which users can benchmark against other businesses in their industry. The tool also provides insights and advice on what a business’ next steps could be in its digital transformation journey.

“It could be as simple as adding an online ordering feature to your website, rolling-out video collaboration tools for your employees or implementing automation into your processes to maximise efficiency.”

Find out more about the Telstra digital maturity tool here.

Frank Abagnale, former con-man turned cyber-security expert on keeping safe from scams

If the name Frank Abagnale sounds familiar to you, don’t be alarmed. Abagnale is the subject of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 blockbuster film Catch Me If You Can. Starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale as an adolescent, where he became a confidence man and scam artist who defrauded millions and led the FBI on a global chase.

After his arrest and subsequent conviction, Abagnale started working with the FBI to teach scams awareness, and these days he’s a world-renowned cyber security specialist, and author of his most recent book, Scam Me If You Can.

Abagnale said that not a soul on Earth is immune from being scammed, and new scams are being invented to dupe us every single day.

Abagnale added that the best way to protect people from scams is to educate them on the methods scammers use to infiltrate our lives. That way, we can all know what to look for when scammers come calling.

Check out more of our Vantage Remixed highlights.