What has been your personal highlight of 2020?
In what has been a globally challenging year, the highlight for me has to be the way in which my team has responded to the massive challenges schools have faced. We've trained and supported thousands of teachers in the last few months so that they can support many more thousands of learners across the UK, which is something I'm incredibly proud of my team for making a reality.
It has been a highlight to see how teachers (unsung heroes a lot of the time) continue to embrace these challenges and step up to the plate - especially as parents are some of the toughest customers!
Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?
Marcus Rashford, Jacinda Ardern and Captain Tom Moore - these three have demonstrated that age, race or gender are no barriers to being an inspirational leader in 2020!
What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?
Definitely chocolate, sales have gone up in my area! Secondly, my Whoop (which is one of the best bits of wearables I have invested in) ensures I keep my calories in check!
Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?
Elon Musk, who continues to push the boundaries of the seemingly impossible - he just makes it happen, or won't stop until he does.
What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?
Firstly, broadband! Secondly, Teams and the like, for the daily communication between my team and our trusts and schools. It feels like now more than ever we need to connect, check-in, and care for one another.
Audible and MasterClass have also been essential to keeping learning alive and Whoop has ensured I stay mentally and physically on top of my game.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?
Given I've got the haircut already, being a monk for a week would be right up my street. My PA thinks I should be her because she's got the best boss in the world - I think she just wants to swap roles!
Do you miss face-to-face events?
Absolutely - nothing beats face-to-face interaction. I miss shaking hands and giving high-fives! I still haven't figured out whether to just smile with my hands in my pockets, fist bump, salute or put my hands together and say "namaste"!
How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?
The acceleration and reliance on technology has been huge and there have been massive changes in an unprecedented amount of time. The level of change that's taken place will bring great opportunity for organisations to do and achieve great things. As we know, with great change and great opportunity can also come great risk, so as a channel we need to be ready to respond and be ahead of the game. We must ensure we're walking in the shoes of our customers and protecting them from the risks and highlighting opportunities, such as cloud and security.
I think more CEOs now appreciate the impact and power the right technology can have across their organisations, which will mean they are more willing to invest in technologically based solutions in the future. They now realise that the right tech is a ‘must-have' rather than a ‘nice to have'.
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