The International language of lifting
Ross Moloney, LEEA CEO, on the emergence of more agile, efficient, international and ultimately supportive organisations in 2021.
There’s a lot of talk about the future of work post Covid restrictions: will there be more people working from their home offices? How will we be connecting with the rest of the world? The pandemic has taught us that it is not always essential to send trainers out across the world. Minimising travel reduces overheads such as air fares and hotel costs – as well as our carbon footprint.
This has been thanks to communications platforms such as Zoom. But placing greater responsibility on remote operations will demand changes to deliver the best online experience possible. Zoom was a great enabler for many of us at home and for work when the pandemic struck and now, having worked with these platforms over the last year, we are learning their foibles and what it takes to truly integrate them into our daily work operations.
This is likely to transform our places of work into high-tech IT suites, using technology such as interactive whiteboards and touch screens. We certainly see these as useful ideas for addressing some of the difficulties that became apparent during the Association’s initial adoption of Zoom-based online learning. This included simple things such as glare from pointing the camera at an ordinary whiteboard, making it difficult for somebody to read it on their screen. An interactive whiteboard that simply plugs in to a PC means whatever the tutor writes can be clearly seen by the learner. Developing a more engaging learning experience including videos, interactivity and virtual reality will offer an impressive learning experience.
When it comes to remote operations for a global trade association such as LEEA, which has traditionally delivered training and audits in English, it becomes essential to offer translations in Arabic, Bahasa, Chinese, Portuguese Brazilian and simplified Chinese for mainland China.
This aligns with a more global outlook and raising standards internationally. After all, raising standards is an argument that can be won nationally by winning it globally – if, for example, an end user based in India is aware of LEEA, they are likely to want to use LEEA members wherever they are globally. We want members, wherever they may be around the world, to offer our gold standard assurance through being part of the incredible global brand. The value of a global trading mark rather than an indigenous UK brand with little attachment to areas such as the Middle East or Africa, cannot be underestimated.
The post Covid refresh may see global operations realising the limitations and remoteness of centralisation and they will be moving to devolving authority to the regions, giving them more power to set their own work plans, prioritise the things they want to deliver and to allocate spending. If you are in Angola or Australia, why wait for a trainer or auditor to arrive from the UK? We are moving away from this reliance on travel because we now know that we can manage these actions to the same standard, while minimising our overheads.
While Zoom technology means we can carry on conducting audits during lockdowns, clearly this does not offer the same experience as live visits. But what this technology does offer in terms of short notice audits, reducing overheads and remote drop-ins is exciting. In our case, it allows us to provide coverage to members irrespective of their geographical location.
And this is why, I foresee more agile, efficient, international and ultimately supportive organisations, including LEEA, emerging in 2021.