• Work Together 2020
Communication and Leadership Post-2020

As business communication trends evolve, all-new skill sets will be required.

Quick: name a handful of personal qualities it takes to be a great manager in 2020. Honest, strategic, flexible…telegenic?

Now that Miva’s first all-digital MivaCon Digital Day 2020 is in the books, we’ve seen firsthand how a trend that’s been brewing for decades finally crystallized: every business is now a content producer. Every company, no matter its scale, must now deliver that content to its workers, peers, and customers, in order to run a successful shop.

This quarter, Zoom has hosted more than 2 trillion meeting minutes per month, as strong an indicator as we’ve ever seen to express the rapid digitalization of businesses worldwide. From 1000-person professional conferences to routine staff meetings between team members on different continents, our work lives are all now utterly reliant on the stream of digital media which we create and consume. Not only must we craft engaging messaging for our customers, we must now also deliver effective, informative, and entertaining content for our staff and professional partners.

So, what kind of show are you putting on?

On a recent Dragonproof podcast, we explored the importance of maintaining human connections amid the shift to digitally-supported remote conferences. This week, we take a look at how the nature of that digital media is shaping the way we do business, and the complex skills which must be fostered to succeed on this new playing field.

Phil Leahy, CEO of Retail Global and production mastermind of MivaCon Digital Day, came to the podcast to discuss how his team has approached creating complex virtual events for many of the biggest names in ecommerce.

“It’s about putting fear aside and looking at the opportunity…as entrepreneurs, it’s our duty to find the solutions.”

Phil Leahy 

The increasing transition of businesses to remote operations has been triggered by COVID, but the virus is not the cause of our shift to digital work life. The entire push of the ecommerce movement has always been to allow people to accomplish more via technology. Let the software do as much of the heavy lifting as possible.

In a parallel trajectory, social media and streaming culture have also trained a generation to express ideas and interpret them via non-physical digital content. Now, these strands have joined out of necessity—and the long-term implications will be profound.

Much in the way that bespoke ecommerce sites have blurred the lines between B2B and B2C, the content we produce for in-house use will need to take on qualities that were previously reserved only for advertising platforms. Does a sales meeting on Zoom need to be as entertaining as a Netflix melodrama or as slick as a Nike ad directed by David Fincher? Not yet. But the ability to communicate ideas using digital imagery, sound, and text is now a make-or-break skill for anyone commanding a team or hosting an event.

Even more than production value, or how polished our speaking voices are, the most important step to participating in the digital content slipstream is to simply get on the microphone or in front of the camera, and be authentic. Everything else can be learned. As Phil Leahy observes, the audience is rooting for you to succeed.

More than ever before, ecommerce companies will be tasked with communicating in ways that connect. Our job isn’t to meticulously recreate the 2019 experience—it’s to use every tool in the arsenal to innovate brand new ways of speaking and leading.

This is the challenge. And if we do it right, it’s going to be a lot of fun. 

You can listen to Rick Wilson’s full interview with Phil Leahy on the latest Dragonproof Podcast here.

For free access to the MivaCon Digital Day 2020 content referenced on the show, please visit: https://mivacon20.com/session-recordings.

Work Together: A collection of industry updates, insights, and resources designed to help independent sellers scale and support our community during the coronavirus pandemic.

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