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MIT SMR’s Work/22 virtual symposium featured guests who spoke about how leaders can navigate the workplace challenges they’re facing after two years of pandemic-induced disruption.

On the second day of Work/22, our virtual symposium held Nov. 3-4, 2021, MIT SMR continued its look at moving beyond the past two years of leadership challenges spawned by the pandemic. Our guests continued to bring us their insights and shared a sense of optimism and possibility about what the future of work can be if we manage it well.

Editor in chief Abbie Lundberg and executive editor Elizabeth Heichler co-moderated the event.

The second day of our virtual symposium featured the following presenters:

A Global Brand President’s View of the Future of Work

Doug Palladini, Vans

In response to the pandemic, many companies are transforming their cultures and workforce approaches. For global sports lifestyle brand Vans, that includes managing retail store disruptions, developing programs to broaden accessibility into creative brand careers, and going all in to increase diversity and inclusion for underrepresented minorities among both full-time staff members and the contractors and creatives who contribute to the brand.

Section time stamp: 0:35

Creating Good Jobs

Zeynep Ton, MIT Sloan School of Management

Underlying the “Great Resignation” is the reality that we are not generating enough good jobs with fair pay and good working conditions. That’s a problem for society and also for companies, and company leaders must drive systemic change. Ton discussed why managers need to understand why people don’t like their jobs — and which leadership beliefs and expectations must be reexamined.

Section time stamp: 30:12

Effective Coaching, Mentoring, and Sponsorship in the Virtual Office

Curtis Odom, Northeastern University

Identifying promising employees and guiding their development is a crucial task for leaders who want to keep such workers engaged. There are unique challenges for coaching, mentoring, and sponsorship in the virtual world, but supportive relationships are possible even at a distance, says Odom.

Section time stamp: 58:18