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CADENCE RECAP SERIES: Keeping business human in a digital world

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

When futuristic movies were made in the 80’s or 90’s depicting what our time now would be like, everything on screen was completely digital - there were flying cars and robots everywhere. While our present system of things doesn’t look quite like what screen writers had predicted, it’s not that far off from the truth.

We are undeniably living in a digital world, a world that is run by emerging or advancing technologies. Digital technologies probably affect more aspects of our lives than we’re aware of. Think of the computer you use for work, or the smartphone you’re probably on right now.

With many companies also undergoing a digital transformation recently, it’s imperative that we don’t lose our “humanness” while conducting business in a virtual world. July’s program of Cadence: Keeping business human in a digital world tackled important topics such as how to build strong connections and how to maintain a positive work environment in an online setting.

Cadence is a new monthly series organized by ACE Virtual Events and beedance, created for professionals in the events, marketing, and communication industries, or for anyone who wants to know more about how to navigate their business in a virtual era. Ideally, experts in these areas are invited to come and share their best advice with the audience. For the July program, our panelists were Ashleigh Vogstad, Suzanne Kelly, and Jeff Baietto.

Panelists at our Cadence event

Ashleigh Vogstad is the CEO of Transcends - Channel Partner Marketing. Ashleigh founded Transcends on a passion for people and is a strong advocate for diversity in technology. Transcends is a digital marketing agency that accelerates growth for B2B tech companies from startups to Fortune 100's like Microsoft, Adobe and NTT across Asia Pacific and North America. Ashleigh actively supports the entrepreneurial business community with a position on Microsoft's Geo Expansion council and as a board member for Redfund Capital, an accelerator of global wellness brands.

Suzanne Kelly is a Founder at Acquisition Intelligence, LLC. Her years spent as a recruiter taught her the hiring process inside and out. She understands business and leadership. As a Chief Talent Advisor, she curates unbiased referencing for C-suite executives. When companies select their top-tier candidates, they can’t accurately assess a candidate’s soft skills, work ethic, or integrity. With her proprietary method for unbiased referencing, she finds out if a candidate is exactly who they say they are even before they interview. Suzanne uses her 20+ years in recruiting and her human touch to vet high-profile executives.

Finally, Jeff Baietto is the COO & Co-Founder of InJoy Global - a company aligned with his personal mission to help as many people as possible live the life of their dreams. He is also Host of the InJoy Success Podcast. Jeff has a Master's in Spiritual Psychology and a background in the video game industry, along with years of experience in executive coaching and personal development. Jeff’s experience, stories, and overall energy will make it clearer than ever that no matter where you are in your life or what change you want to create for yourself… YOU CAN DO IT.

Our incredible lineup of speakers spoke about keeping business human by using different communication channels to create good business practices, focusing on people development by challenging them and accepting feedback, and honing the right qualities to establish new connections.

Making use of different communication channels

Effective business communication is crucial to any company or business to foster good working relationships and to boost overall morale. Business managers know this and, as a result, some make use of as many communication channels as possible. However, the mediums they use to communicate with their employees could prove to be ineffectual if they don’t take the time to truly know their team.

Asleigh Vogstad mentioned that there is a richness in making use of different communication channels, but it’s also important to recognize that there is a fundamental difference among each of them.

For example, digital and face-to-face are completely different, so one recommendation she offered for using digital mediums is to always have your video on.

In her role as CEO of Transcends, Ashleigh aims to create meaningful impact and accomplish change. The only way she can do that is by creating motivation and excitement among her team.

She advised that when you’re limited to virtual experiences, turning your camera on and interacting with others is the best method to get your message across.

Although Transcends was founded on a remote work culture, Ashleigh stated that before the pandemic, they put a lot of effort into prioritizing face-to-face events. She made it a goal to meet with each of her employees on a quarterly basis. Since the pandemic made that impossible, they continued with face-to-face meet-ups for people living in the same region, and weaved in a digital component to bring all teams together virtually.

Focusing on people development

Jeff Baietto argued that when it comes to change and communication, a lot of organizations are doing it wrongly. He compared creating a culture to building a muscle. You can’t expect to work out for one day and be in shape the rest of the year. Similarly, you can’t have one event or one training and expect to create lasting motivation and impact.

Just as companies focus on their structure and accountability for other important areas in business, such as marketing, sales, or operations, Jeff states that the same should be done for their people development. One of the problems he notices with hosting one or two events is that there is a huge disconnect.

To encourage deeper engagement and communication, leaders need to understand four main things about their employees. People need to feel:

1. Valued. Lack of value is the biggest complaint on surveys by employees of large companies. It’s important that employees feel valued by their leaders.

2. Connected. Whether it’s digital or face-to-face, employees attend company events, but many don’t feel connected to the people around them. Fostering those connection