Last week ChIPs leadership hosted a virtual roundtable with our ChIPs community of women in tech, law and policy. The conversation spotlighted how these women are leading their teams and organizations during this time of turmoil.
As a follow-up to this dialogue, we have included below some of the sage advice and inspiration shared by the group. We offer this with the hope that the women who find themselves having to lead right now know they are not alone and are supported by this community.
6,000 miles apart.
8 time differences.
9 leaders in technology, law and policy came together remotely to share their experience and advice in leading teams during COVID-19.
Noreen Krall (ChIPs Co-founder and Board Chair) led the discussion of the ChIPs Board members and international leadership. Never has a session title been so apt – Leading in Times of Turmoil. With 250+ ChIPs members from across the world dialing in, the panel shared their unique and valuable insight of leading in unpredictable and uncertain times.
We have collected some of our favorite lessons from the panel to share with you:
“Communication needs to be centralized – from the top management to the rest of the company. To be effective in times of constant change, communication needs to be constant, clear and calm.” – Dorian Daley, ChIPs Board Director
“Shift your priorities. Things that mattered yesterday may not matter today. Identify those areas of the business and those priorities that can be put on hold for the time being and redeploy those resources where they are needed” – Stephanie Burns, ChIPs Board Director
“Be solution-oriented. What do we need to achieve results? Do we need to collaborate to provide new technological solutions? For example, in facilitating remote court hearings and depositions. Be cross-functional in developing solutions in your business and industry. Bring in key stakeholders. The solutions to solve the issues we are facing today, may be valuable in the future.“ – Noreen Krall, ChIPs Co-founder, Board Chair & VP of Litigation at Apple
“Focus on the good that will come. These are worrying and scary times for everyone. But we are sharing these worries with each other with the result that we are breaking down barriers and labels. We are humanizing each other and, in so doing, creating meaningful connections that will outlast this current crisis and make our profession and our lives better.” – Annsley Merelle Ward, ChIPs Europe Co-chair & Counsel at WilmerHale
“Look for ways to collaborate with each other across firms, companies and associations. By sharing best practice and uniting behind initiatives to ensure that your profession continues to function effectively during these times, you are not only helping out your immediate teams but also ensuring that the profession continues to service those who need it most.” – Laetitia Benard, ChIPs Europe Co-chair & Partner at Allen & Overy
“Find new, creative ways to nurture your connections. Plan lunch catch ups over video. Organize happy-hour drinks with your colleagues. Remember that those all-important “hallway catchups” can happen remotely. Carve out this time each week.” – Cyndi Wheeler, ChIPs Board Director & Director of IP at Slack
“In this unique time, you can tap into your leadership skills and find ways to lead – whether that be through organizing virtual discussions for those who need to feel less isolated, or through sharing tips for working at home (particularly if you have experience doing so from the past), or through recognizing that your clients may need you to operate and communicate in a new way and finding a way to do that effectively and passing on the successes you are finding in doing so. Show off your strengths (listening, empathy, communication) and shine through!” – Jennifer Yokoyama, ChIPs Board Director & Deputy General Counsel, IP Group and Chief IP Counsel at Microsoft
“Women are often the logistics managers of our households, which means we have a lot of new challenges right now. It’s not going to be perfect, and that’s okay. We just have to tackle the most urgent needs one at a time. But this also might be an opportunity for us to break down the silos we still have with our work lives and personal lives, to be more of our whole selves in our professional lives. I hope that will be a positive change that sticks around.” – Katherine Minarik, ChIPs Board Director & General Counsel – Americas at Dyson
“First, this is really hard, and we need to acknowledge that. It’s tough homeschooling your children and working at the same time. But, as we got through the first week, I realized that everyone is in the same boat. People were almost relieved when my kids interrupted my conference calls – it made them feel free to open-up and share their own struggles. Also, I realized this is a real opportunity: ever since I’ve been a working mother, I felt guilty about not being present enough due to travel, commute, etc. Now, suddenly, those obligations are gone, and I get to see my kids whenever I want each day. I am truly grateful for that and it helps to keep that in perspective.” – Sarita Venkat, ChIPs Board Director & Head of Global IP Transactions at Apple