Recent films and series that convey the dangerous “side effects” of technological advancement may influence people to be concerned that we are losing some element of our common humanity as tech becomes so enmeshed in our daily lives. However, I believe this is a common misconception — we are at an inflection point in the relationship between people and technology. What we call “intelligent transformation” closes the gap between the promise of tech and its actual delivery, empowering end-users and enabling closer collaboration around the world.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Joseph Mingori, General Manager of Lenovo’s WW Smart Office Business Group. The Smart Office Business Group was created in July 2018 to leverage the next wave of smart office technology to help enterprises design modern workplaces for agility, creativity and ultimately increased productivity. ThinkSmart Hub 500 is the first wave of Lenovo’s products and solutions from the new group.
Thank you so much for joining us Joseph. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path at Lenovo?
I spent a lot of valuable time in my previous role as a sales executive with many insightful global customers across many different industries. During the last year or so in that role, I observed some growing conversation themes around four intersecting areas that I am very passionate about: productivity, collaboration, the overall employee experience tied to workplace transformation initiatives and how smarter innovative technology can positively enhance all these items together. In parallel during the same period, by studying this market and listening to our customers, Lenovo saw an opportunity to bring our innovation and entrepreneurial culture into this newly developing workplace transformation space. So, we created a new business group in July 2018, Smart Office, that is responsible for bringing various new smart technologies to the rapidly evolving collaboration market. To help kickstart a new start-up in a $50B company, I moved over to lead and help build this new business as the WW General Manager, allowing me to capitalize on my own enthusiasm for these topics. It has been a tremendous experience thus far and I am very grateful to be part of a very dedicated team creating something brand new.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I have been very fortunate to work with very talented colleagues and teams throughout my career at Lenovo. We have shared many great successes and challenges that helped us learn and grow together. One of my most interesting and rewarding roles was a long-term international assignment based in Hong Kong. I was responsible for helping to develop the emerging markets for our Global Accounts organization across portions of Asia Pacific and Latin America. While I had many best practices to share and contribute from the mature markets, the overall learning experience and knowledge I personally gained from my new team members and local customers during this period was an incredible gift. In addition, my family (wife & two very young daughters at this time) also cherished this family bonding experience and the strong friendships we made during this period.
Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on/announced recently ? How do you think that will help people in the workplace?
By leveraging the next wave of smart office technology, enterprises can design a workplace for agility, creativity and greater employee engagement. These workplaces will start turning their attention to the concept of transitional, mobile engagement and spaces that foster greater collaboration and human connection. Our modern collaboration solutions built on the ThinkSmart Hub 500 platform, whether enabling Microsoft Teams or Zoom rooms, will help companies succeed in workplace transformation initiative. They will elegantly balance their business goals with inclusive cultural policies and personal touches that bridge employees to new ways of working.
How do you think this might change the world for professionals?
Smarter collaboration solutions like the ThinkSmart Hub 500 can be foundational to help bring fragmented colleagues closer together and improve human connections through seamless video communication. This smart solution can also allow professionals to get much more intimate with their customers due to more human interaction; building deeper trusting relationships. The real-world benefits of enhanced collaboration go on: enhanced productivity, reduced travel (help with work life/balance- more time with family, less expense, better sustainability) and finally more interactive meetings that simply start on-time and more inclusive interaction from participants working remote.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?
Recent films and series that convey the dangerous “side effects” of technological advancement may influence people to be concerned that we are losing some element of our common humanity as tech becomes so enmeshed in our daily lives.
However, I believe this is a common misconception — we are at an inflection point in the relationship between people and technology. What we call “intelligent transformation” closes the gap between the promise of tech and its actual delivery, empowering end-users and enabling closer collaboration around the world.
Was there a “tipping point” that led your team to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
It’s harder to identify clear tipping points in smart office technology, but it’s a meeting of technologies and working cultural changes that are enabling transformations in smarter workspaces with fast connectivity, more intelligent devices and software as well as greater expectations of individuals for “things” to actually work, wherever they are.
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption with professionals?
One key driver for adoption really centers on companies embracing various new smart technologies to help enhance productivity, collaboration and the overall employee experience.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have always appreciated quotes of all backgrounds, particularly for broader perspective and inspiration. One quote I have been coming back to most recently is from Jeff Bezos. It is a great reminder that all of us have unique talents and positive ideas to offer the world and we must never let fear of failure or loud critics prevent us from jumping into the arena of life.
“If you absolutely can’t tolerate critics, then don’t do anything new or interesting.”
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I primarily share updates and insight on LinkedIn. For me, LinkedIn is a valuable one-stop shop to stay current with customers, interesting topics and various industries. Connection requests on LinkedIn are always welcome.
Thank you for these great insights!