BlueJeans Blog

LOOKing back on the Dallas ‘Think Forward’ Event

Last week we wrapped up our second stop on the BlueJeans Think Forward City Tour in the Lone Star State’s third-largest city, and wow was it something! From the networking to the speakers to the awesome venue and staff (a big thanks to everyone at LOOK Cinemas for all your help!), it’s clear this City Tour is really something special.

I was fortunate enough to introduce to the stage Dr. Brian Greene, world-renowned theoretical physicist, author and our phenomenal keynote speaker for the City Tour series. Brian mesmerized the crowd with his presentation focused on the science behind digital transformation and its potential to drive both progress and chaos in how our universe works.

Afterwards, Dr. Greene was joined on stage by industry experts Ursula Llabres, Head of Customer Growth, Workplace by Facebook and our very own John Knightly, SVP Product and Solution Marketing, as well as business transformation influencers Tamara McCleary and Greg Verdino to discuss this next revolution in business and how trends around the future of work, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence are transforming leadership best practices. 

Here were some highlights from the conversation, beginning on the topic of leadership:

“The challenge [today] is the workplace has relied on consistency—but consistency can easily result in stagnation,” said Brian Greene. “Leaders need to allow for periods of inefficiency that are necessary for periods of innovation.” He went on to say that “Leaders need to redesign workflows and creative strategies to maximize the enormous opportunities of digital immersion.”

According to Ursula Llabres, “Leadership is about giving direction and guidance without controlling the process.”

A major point all panelists emphasized is this—digital transformation is not the future. It’s happening right now, and leaders must start acting on this fact and adjusting their operations accordingly or their organization will get left behind.

“There exists a crippling gap between traditional ideas of leadership effectiveness and what it takes today to drive sustained business performance in the digital age,” Tamara McCleary called out.

This complemented nicely with John Knightly’s findings. “As I talk to both business and IT leaders, it’s clear that most of us are grasping for insights on how to lead through the digital transformation. The digital transformation is here within our organizations and across our industries—the workplace is evolving, and we must start acting on it.” he said. 

Soon enough, the conversation steered to the topic of shifting company cultures as a part of the disruption—a natural sweet spot for Ursula Llabres. “Cultural shifts are not easy, it's about process and technology, but also, with some heavy friction, it’s about people and communications,” she said.

Greg Verdino made a great point when he said, “The reason industries and organizations get disrupted isn't because they can't keep up with technological change, it's because they can't keep up with the ways people's expectations, beliefs and behaviors are changing.” 

At the end of the today, people create change—facilitated by technology. And the cloud is a big component of this.

“The cloud is an important enabler of this distributed workplace. Whether it’s for workstream collaboration, meetings, or content collaboration,” said John Knightly.

All too soon the panel was over and attendees got busy eating, drinking and mingling with panelists and partners, while checking out the interactive workplace collaboration product demoes set up by BlueJeans and our sponsors Dolby Voice, Logitech, Polycom, Yealink, Kaptivo, Workplace by Facebook and Yamaha.

As you can see, it was a great night and one that none of us will be forgetting soon. To our panelists, sponsors, colleagues, customers and all of the Dallasites who made it out for the evening—thank you so much for great content and conversation.

In the meantime, we look forward to continuing the conversation at our upcoming event in
San Francisco.

Be sure to register here to see Think Forward in action at a city near you!