Panelists emphasized that while ESG initiatives need to originate in the C-suite, they should involve teams from across the organization, from legal to sustainability to finance. Doug Schosser, executive vice president and chief accounting officer, KeyBank, added that “the board is also really engaged, and there’s quite a bit of investor interest in our ESG footprint,” all of which drives the conversation forward. Bill Strahan, executive vice president, human resources, Comcast, said employee dialogue has had a “galvanizing effect,” as employees increasingly seek to understand and influence how their employers are addressing ESG.
Even if aspects of ESG metrics and reporting remain unclear, it’s still important to have conversations with internal and external stakeholders and make progress. “We have to be aware of evolving regulations, but we have to keep moving,” said Red Robin’s Morse. Schosser from KeyBank added that “any time there’s a new accounting standard, a new practice, you have to be agile.”
The Best Remedy for Uncertainty? Adaptability
The world is in a “geopolitical recession,” according to Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group. And unlike economic recessions, the world doesn’t have a set of tools ready to address it.
The critical element in responding to this kind of recession—which happens, according to Bremmer, when “the global order is no longer aligned with the current balance of power”—is adaptability.
Speaking at the Executive Symposium at Workday Rising, Bremmer used recent real-world examples, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to illustrate how institutions that fare best in uncertainty are the ones that display the most adaptability. He cited the EU-wide economic response to the pandemic and Western sanctions against Russia as examples. “Adaptability was the single most important feature to see if you came through the pandemic as more effective or less effective,” he said.
“A big part of the new leadership is coming from multinational corporations, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, and state and local governments,” said Bremmer. Whether it’s the private sector developing COVID-19 vaccines in record time or financial services firms shifting investments towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels, Bremmer made the case that adaptable institutions not only fare better, but may be our best bet to make progress on seemingly intractable challenges.
At the Healthcare Kickoff on Monday, we were delighted to have our customer community together again in-person to connect, collaborate, celebrate, and share best practices.
Workday leaders jumped into the session by giving an overview of the healthcare industry experience at Workday Rising, highlighting the healthcare keynote sessions, breakout sessions, healthcare tower area in the Expo, encouraging participation in the Sunrise 5K Fun Run, and more.
Matt Brandt, group vice president, healthcare sales at Workday, said, “Today we're going to talk about you, our customers, because collaboration and learning from each other is so important in healthcare.”