October 9, 2017 – October 9, 2017 – Polly Sumner, Chief Adoption Officer at leading cloud computing giant, Salesforce, engaged with a cross-section of students, faculty and staff about driving technology as an enabler for growth. Drawing from her over 30-year’s experience in the tech scene in the Silicon Valley and across the globe, Ms. Sumner shared her experiences and also touched on Saleforce’s operational philosophy. Here are quotes from her talk
On Continuous learning
What you graduate from here with, will be not the skills of 2030. So you have to figure out that in business you're not going to be able to stop learning. It's only the companies that can build a culture of learning that will survive.
A leader can never assume that what they are hearing is right. They have to be able to say Where's the fact that back up what I'm observing? And that's one of the challenges for leadership going forward, because there is way more transparency in the world today than before. It's our obligation that if something doesn't sound right we challenge it. And that is forever going to change the relationship between educator and student. It's already clearly changed the relationship between employees and the company they work for.
Your role in Computer Science
I firmly believe there has never been a better time for Computer Science. Everybody thought it was going out of business in the 1980s and in 2002, but it was rejuvenated and continues to evolve at a high rate. So it’s an awesome time to be an entrepreneur, and it’s an awesome time to think about where you want to bring your talent, passion and time and for anybody that hires you. The important part is to get your cultural alignment in the company you’re going to work for, and ask a different set of questions, based on your future. That’s when they’ll know that you’re a person who can help them reinvent their future.
We ought to think about the next five years, and next ten and twenty years with regards to processes and how to scale them to make or impact change.
Polly Sumner often speaks to CEOs and exec teams across many industries about building and sustaining a culture of innovation, integrating philanthropy and leadership in the digital world. Today, she leads the Futures Lab and Advisor team at Salesforce and is the Executive Sponsor for their business Europe, the Middle East and Africa.