A Year of Firsts

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We will never forget the year 2020. The year that turned the standard business playbook on its head. When working remotely became the norm, and despite being apart, we got a lot more familiar with each other’s reality than ever before. I was recently in a meeting with the CIO of one of our largest global customers, and he abruptly dropped off video. Returning a moment later, he said, “When my son finally goes back to school, I’m going to stand in the doorway of his classroom and ask him where the scissors are or what’s for lunch.” Yes, children, pets, package deliveries, the neighbor’s noisy leaf blower, and the technical challenges of the mute button—we’ve all experienced a completely new way of working this past year.

Although it’s been challenging, one thing that’s become clear to me is that with crisis comes opportunity. And the creativity, dedication, and resilience I’ve seen from my team, and our Workday customers and partners, is the gleaming silver lining behind it all. It’s the practical magic that’s emerged from the crisis that will carry us into 2021. Here are three of the key lessons we learned and how we managed through them.


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