Keynote Speaker Heather McGowan: Work in a Post-Pandemic World

There are three key points to manage work during the pandemic.

DHI conNextions Virtual Show Keynote Speaker, Heather McGowan
DHI conNextions Virtual Show Keynote Speaker, Heather McGowan

Keynote speaker Heather McGowan spoke on the second day at DHI conNextions Virtual about the future of work in a post-pandemic worlddetailing three major key points from her book, including “the adaptation advantage on how to manage work during and after a pandemic.  

Key Points

  • Rapid learning, unlearning and adaptation
  • Let go of, "the way we have always done it"
  • Evolving leadership and becoming comfortable with vulnerability

The Coronavirus has been an accelerant for digital transformation. Within 50 years, companies became more profitable by making product faster and cheaper. In 2017, the Top 5 companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and more are considered learning companies. “All of these companies win by learning faster than their competition,” says McGowan. 

Let Go and Learn Fast: 

  • Skills to do - skills for which you are hired
  • Uniquely human skills plus traits- what makes you better at your job
  • Agile learning mindset - ability to learn and adapt
  • Resilient and adaptive identity - resilience and understanding of purpose

What makes for the highest performing teams? 

  • Consistently learn and adapt when imagining seems impossible
  • Let go of old ways and identify and embrace vulnerability
  • Try a different approach to lead an adaptive team
  • The virus is an opportunity, so use it


  • Brand plus product
  • Leadership drives productivity and efficiency 


  • Culture and capacity
  • Leadership that inspires human potential

We need to remind people of what we’ve done and celebrate our successes. Look ahead and try to imagine or prepare for what we cannot imagine and that is the learning opportunity,” says Mcgowan 

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” African proverb.