2020 Editors’ Picks: Smarter With Gartner Articles

From practical tips on good remote meetings to navigating large-scale digital disruption and embracing critical conversations on race and equity, Smarter With Gartner editors share their list of 2020 must-read articles.

Support your people. Sustain your organization. These were the prevailing themes of Smarter With Gartner articles in 2020 as business leaders — no matter their specific role or the size, industry or location of their organization — battled the effects of COVID-19 and engaged in difficult conversations about race, equity and justice. To say it’s been a challenging year would be a gross understatement.

The Smarter With Gartner annual editors’ picks typically highlight our favorite titles, but this year we wanted to share some actionable and forward-looking must-read articles — those that:

  • Help guide you through uncertainty with strategies to address myriad complex challenges
  • Answer the questions that many of you find yourselves asking for the very first time
  • Explore the realities of a post-COVID-19 world (yes, there is some good news)

These articles remain relevant and useful beyond their 2020 publication dates. We look forward to providing you with more in 2021.

Reset Your Business Strategy in COVID-19 Recovery

Gartner sees the pandemic response in three phases: Respond, recover and renew. Right now, the majority of organizations are in either the recovery or renewal phase, with leaders keenly focused on making strategic decisions that will lead to a renewed future state. This article explores all three phases and explains how leaders in the renew phase can reset or rebuild their business models and operations for a post-COVID-19 reality. Read article.

How to Lead Better Remote Meetings

When much of the world began working from home due to COVID-19, one thing became clear: The remote environment was new to many. Leaders needed help to keep their teams connected, in particular, making sure to run remote meetings effectively, whether a 1:1 or a full team meeting. This article offers tips and best practices on how to make those remote meetings run well. Read article.

What Functional Leaders Should Know About Scenario Planning

Although most business leaders have had some experience with scenario planning — typically as strategic advisors to corporate-level planning exercises — 2020 was the year many had to learn how to create scenario plans for their specific function. This article not only explains why scenario planning is a must-use tool in times of crisis, it also breaks down what scenario planning is, what it does and how to use it. Read the article or jump to our guide on scenario planning.

Advancing Equity in Times of Unrest

Halfway through 2020, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, business leaders were called on to tackle another monumental challenge: How to acknowledge in an authentic way the emotional toll of anti-racism protests on their employees. This article includes three key, concrete ways all leaders, not just those in HR, can do so — including showing empathy, creating safe spaces for candid conversations and demonstrating actions for the long term. Read article.

Build Organizational Resilience for Today and Tomorrow (Video Included)

Smarter With Gartner’s Jackie Wiles sits down with Gartner VP Caroline Walsh to discuss actions leaders can take to make their organizations more resilient — and why success depends on their ability to reimagine both the workforce and work design to sense and respond to change repeatedly and at scale. Article includes video. But if you can’t view it, or prefer not to, the transcript is included.

Dispel 7 Myths to Prepare for a Hybrid Future of Work

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Manage Employee Stress With Flexibility and Transparency

The lines between our work and home lives often blur. COVID-19 made the separation nearly impossible, calling for leaders to create psychologically safe workplaces. How? By expanding work flexibility and providing transparency to manage the emotional impacts of COVID-19 on their employees. Read article.

7 Digital Disruptions You Might Not See Coming In the Next 5 Years

“Nobody can see the future exactly as it will happen, so we have to be prepared,” said Daryl Plumer, Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst, during his presentation at virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo® 2020. We’ve learned this year just how true his words are. Make sure you know the three different types of change and the seven digital disruptions that will alter our world, from DNA data storage to augmented humans. Read article.

10 Pillars of Pandemic Planning

Just because the world has shifted from response to recovery doesn’t mean you should neglect your pandemic planning — from clean workplace/personal hygiene protocols to establishing a pandemic communications program. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that organizations need to be prepared. Review these 10 crisis checkpoints to ensure your risk mitigation is sufficient. Read article.

6 Ways to Support On-Site Employees

Not all employees were able to work remotely when COVID-19 hit. Many needed to be on-site to do their jobs and provide essential services to their communities, including those in the healthcare, retail, food service, hospitality and manufacturing industries. This required organizations to determine how to best keep their employees safe while working on-site. See the six critical measures to maintaining employees’ physical and mental safety and well-being. Read article.

7 Macro Factors That Will Shape the 2020s

While COVID-19 changed the way businesses operate, executives will have to grapple with a host of other challenges throughout this decade. From systemic mistrust and environmental concerns to a talent shortage, this article delves into the global issues that will shape business in the 2020s. How will you manage the challenges and opportunities of the decade? Read article.

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