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January 13, 2021 14 min
“The crisis happened at a time of exponential change in technology that was already transforming the way we work, how we engage with clients, how we make decisions. … And then you instantly had behavioral change at a scale that we've never seen in the past.” Julie Sweet believes large companies should be flexible and light on their feet. Case in point: her own Accenture. When she became CEO of the multinational professional services company in 2019, she instituted sweeping changes to its operating model and invested billions in a new cloud system, which left their half million employees in 120 countries in a much better position to withstand the pandemic. It is this kind of foresight that led the New York Times to call her “one of the most powerful women in corporate America” and Fortune to rank her number one on its “Most Powerful Women in Business” list. “I am talking to many companies now who say we want to move as fast as we did, “she tells Mike. “And my simple question is, ‘What have you changed?’ Because large organizations in particular can’t operate in crisis mode forever. What do they need to change to compete and to be successful in what I call the new reality?”
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