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32. Giselle Mota on Non-Linear Career Growth and Covid Impact

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Podcast with Giselle Mota Part 1



Giselle Mota on Non-Linear Career Growth and Covid Impact


Giselle share her backstory in how she developed her career in a non linear fashion from figuring out herself in school, to trying out a new business and then going to corporate. She credit her accelerated career growth to her knack for helping people and connecting with people. She share about the examples and stories in how organizations accelerated their digital transformation effort during Covid’19.

[00:00:00] Andrew Liew Weida: Hi everyone. Thanks for coming to the show. Today's guest is Giselle Mota. Giselle is a principal consultant on the future of work at adp, one of the largest payroll provider in the world. As an industry leader, she assists executives and HR practitioner with innovative human capital management strategies amidst digital destruction, her deep domain expertise and expertise in training and consulting services have led Giselle to contribute to a broad spread of academic, small business and corporate spaces, throughout her career.

[00:00:35] Andrew Liew Weida: Giselle has been a keynote speaker at major events like SHRM iar, singularity University, MIT. She has also been featured in many public media sites like Forbes, Future of Work Report, ERE, chief Learning Officer Magazine, TED Talks, and ADP publication. She did her master's in business with a focus on organizational design and change management at the Kaplan University and a bachelor's degree in Business management and marketing from the University of South Florida.

[00:01:09] Andrew Liew Weida: Giselle loved to contribute to the underserved communities and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Always finding ways to use. And strategies for the good of all people and a positive future of work. Let us welcome Giselle.

[00:01:26] Giselle Mota: Thank you, Andrew. What an intro. I appreciate that.

[00:01:29] Andrew Liew Weida: How's your day been

[00:01:30] Giselle Mota: Yeah. My weekend was relaxing. It's cold where I am right now. Like we have a cold front. So yeah, that's how we playing. So spend some time relaxing around the house.

[00:01:41] Giselle Mota: How about you?

[00:01:42] Andrew Liew Weida: That's good. For me right now we are experiencing I know climate change like today is like super hot. Like we are talking about like 38 degrees Celsius oh, wow. Yeah. That is hot for you, .

[00:01:54] Giselle Mota: Jeez. Yes. We on fahs, I don't even know what we're at today, but I woke up today and the everything is like, there's ice on the windows and there's , it's called up there.

[00:02:07] Andrew Liew Weida: Wow. Okay.

[00:02:08] Andrew Liew Weida: It's a really great pleasure to actually invite you to the show, Thank you for having me.

[00:02:12] Giselle Mota: That's awesome.

[00:02:13] Andrew Liew Weida: Yeah. So please tell us your story, your backstory. Tell me how do you get here from the day you did your startup, or from the day you finished school?

[00:02:22] Giselle Mota: Yeah, but, so I haven't had a clear path into where I am today, and I'm noticing that the more people that I speak with, it's the same thing. Like a lot of people come into the future of workspace, I do in quotation marks in many untraditional ways, because this is an evolving area and field. So me, I started off I had a college course, an entrepreneurship course that I took at the University of South Florida.

[00:02:47] Giselle Mota: One of the final projects actually, was that I had to come up with a business idea, a startup, and execute that. So while everybody else was coming up with novel ideas and maybe playing around in class, I actually developed a real business. I launched it. It was an organization that helped others to find and develop skills and find roles in their field.

[00:03:12] Giselle Mota: So I helped people to learn how to interview and resume write, and I would connect them with job opportunities, but also just helped them to learn better at work. And typically there were people who were struggling to find work and they needed to up their skills for some reason. And I would help at that point, oh, years ago.

[00:03:29] Giselle Mota: I won't date myself quite yet, Andrew here for all listeners, but it was years ago.

[00:03:35] Andrew Liew Weida: Everybody got a small start, including myself , so going back to that, , like, how do you even stumble? That project, how do you even came about that idea?

[00:03:45] Giselle Mota: Yeah. One of the things that I've always been interested in a foundational level of helping people to give the opportunities that they haven't been able to have access to.

[00:03:55] Giselle Mota: I believe I'm a firm believer, just in my own experience. I struggled with learning as I grew up because I have dyslexia and I came from an immigrant family who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. They had to build themselves up from the ground up. And every experience and opportunity that I had was afforded to me.

[00:04:15] Giselle Mota: Yes because of the hard work of my parents, but also because of my hard, hardworking application. But there were people along the way who opened doors for me. I wanted to be a door opener, whatever I dedicated myself to do, and I wanted to help people no matter where you started in life to get to the best opportunity that you could.

[00:04:33] Giselle Mota: So that kind of led me into helping connect people with opportunities. Plus, I was always just really good at helping my friends and family find job opportunities and learning and things like that. That basically led me to the corporate space. After I did that, I jumped I went, got my master's degree.

[00:04:50] Giselle Mota: I went into the corporate space helping with learning education. I was teaching, I still teach to this day at the college level my economics and math and business courses. And then that led me back to consulting on my own, where I had a consulting on artificial intelligence and how people can learn and develop at work by using ai.

[00:05:12] Giselle Mota: And then that led me back to corporate today where I am again in that space. And I just been going back and forth. So note to anybody who's listening, if you think that you have to have some traditional. You don't have to, you can definitely weave in and out. You can create your own path and

[00:05:28] Giselle Mota: it's totally possible.

[00:05:30] Andrew Liew Weida: Yeah. It's very interesting when you live a very colorful adventure, I would say. Even figuring out like a dyslexia, oh, by the way, I also have dyslexia, so I empathize. Okay. And, but yet you also have the ability to identify that you have that neck for connecting people, for helping people.

[00:05:47] Andrew Liew Weida: And that spirit of opening doors what comes around goes around. That's true. And so interestingly tell me more about the fact that when you were doing your startups and you're helping people and you're doing corporate all about, you've been doing strategy work or helping or advising how has Covid 19 actually changed digital transformation where you are living and working .

[00:06:10] Giselle Mota: Good question. , in my corporate space, one of the things that I used to do is help organizations and people to even learn about all these buzzwords. There was a time where I felt someone who was, what they call people are futurist and people who are always looking forward.

[00:06:25] Giselle Mota: I still feel that way, but there was a time where it was very new where not too many people knew what artificial intelligence machine learning was. Data analytics, the gig economy virtual reality, augmented reality. These are things were terms that were very new and people were just dabbling here and there in turn areas, but it wasn't widely accepted.

[00:06:47] Giselle Mota: So before the pandemic still, we were at a pa, a place where a lot of organizations who were either leading right in these spaces doing amazing things, having great investments creating products or partnering with others who did. And then you have people who they, we would call them that they were lagging behind laggards, right?

[00:07:05] Giselle Mota: Yeah. And they were like, ah, we'll wait and see what everybody else does, and we'll see if we decide to invest in that or not. We're good with our manual processes. We're good with business as usual. Our people don't really use mobile anyway. Like, why should we even be looking at. Now what happened with the pandemic was that got disrupted.

[00:07:23] Giselle Mota: There was a massive acceleration and there was less of this concept of that all of these topics are buzzwords and now people's perceptions started to truly change so that they could say, uhoh, maybe we do need to do more with less. So we need to start automating. We need to start investing because we have less people working, for example, in a manufacturing facility because of the pandemic.

[00:07:46] Giselle Mota: How do we reach out to things like predictive analytics to understand what our machinery is going down, and then maybe send a notification through artificial intelligence to a manager who's offsite because he has to be home. And that way we can only man our organization with one or two key people while everybody else is home, for example.

[00:08:07] Giselle Mota: Or how do, if I'm a restaurant, I'm a retailer, or how do I get my service and goods to people when they're not coming all the time to my location? And we have restrictions now and people are having to be put in their homes and not come out, right? There's curfews and this and that. So what do you do?

[00:08:25] Giselle Mota: You start using robotics to deliver services or you start using all of these other type of things. So what this digital transformation, like they're talking about, it got accelerated during the pandemic because people needed to stay in business. Business resiliency and business continuity help to move all of these things forward.

[00:08:42] Giselle Mota: Not to mention Andrew, that here in the US Yes. And across the world. Governments started to rally and tell people, Hey, if you have skills in data analytics or artificial intelligence, we need you to work on projects. The White House issued a clearing call, and ask for the people with skills for that to try to get ahead of where is this pandemic spreading and how could we solve for it during the beginning?

[00:09:06] Giselle Mota: So yeah, those are just some examples for you, just what happened during the pandemic that all of a sudden buzzwords became business continuity and business resili. Less guns, words more business tactics.

[00:09:19] Andrew Liew Weida: Let me, help me understand here so you mentioned about couple of years ago, was it like four or five years ago, and when you tried to talk to people about, Hey, I think we need like a digital, like digitization, or we need to get people to use analytics to forecast or create notification or create other, what was the kind of conversation that people actually respond back to you?

[00:09:40] Andrew Liew Weida: What was their concern? Hey, do you think we are too early in the game? What was the conversation like here?

[00:09:46] Giselle Mota: I think a lot of times it, especially before this pandemic, people wanted to know the specific use cases that if I invest money in a tool and education time and maybe change management.

[00:09:59] Giselle Mota: Because if I start to bring some type of analytics platform into my organization, or if I start to use gig workers, or if I do invest in robotics, chat bots, rp, robotic process automation, rpa, and other. Where's my return on investment and will my people actually adopt these things? So I think it's, it was more about, okay, gimme something small I could start with and if I fail then I failed and we learned from it and we could decide if we pull out from it or not.

[00:10:28] Giselle Mota: But I think people were being careful. And then at the same time the conversation was like many chief innovation officers CIOs and chief Technology officers, I remember going to conferences before the pandemic and a lot of the people who were in attendance that would pay thousands of dollars for a ticket to go to a summit or a conference, they also didn't know about a lot of these areas.

[00:10:53] Giselle Mota: So a lot of people do and they specialize. Maybe they know a lot about AI and they know some about data analytics or other areas security. But not everybody can take in everything cuz it's just so much information. That's true. So I also found that some people just didn't know where to start, how to get started.

[00:11:11] Giselle Mota: Should I do this or is that just the buzz.

[00:11:12] Andrew Liew Weida: So that was before, and like you said, people are trying to figure out a specific use case. There's so many information out there. Then, so how has that conversation changed once Covid happens? Like there's restrictions, there's locked down or maybe at least in part of other parts of the

[00:11:28] Andrew Liew Weida: world,

[00:11:28] Giselle Mota: yeah, for sure. I think now people have had the question of, okay, what tools can we use to help us continue moving business forward? What tools can we use to still engage our clients and maybe even create experiences in a different way because maybe now they can't come in and touch everything physically in the store, or they don't have the trust or confidence to do that.

[00:11:51] Giselle Mota: So how do we now create touch experiences create more touch points as far as experiences that are virtual? So now people have been looking around, they've been learning from other industries. So let's say you're your retail, right? Yes. And you used to have a brick and motor store, right? Before you would just depend on people coming into your store, going online and purchasing your products.

[00:12:16] Giselle Mota: But what you've seen now are people leaning into what we've learned from media producers and others who are using virtual reality and augmented reality and artificial intelligence and data analytics to get smarter with how they. And to create more experiences that are even virtual. So today you can go shop for an item, you can test it out without ever going into the store, and you can do augmented reality.

[00:12:43] Giselle Mota: Bring that you know into your physical space and see what that will look like just by scanning an item on somebody's website or QRC code. If a new sneaker or tennis shoe comes out and it hasn't been even developed yet, and in a store you can have, you can buy that. People are now selling and trading NFTs, non fungible tokens.

[00:13:06] Giselle Mota: There's this concept of the metaverse now that people are dabbling into. And so employers from big restaurants, major retailers are jumping on these opportunities to create new experiences. Concert halls, museums have developed experience through virtual reality. More organizations are using data analytics tools and artificial intelligence to get smarter with processes and more efficient.

[00:13:30] Giselle Mota: So they don't spend as much resources and money. So yeah it's different now. People are trying to be more efficient and more creative. I would say for everyone listening, no matter what your culture is, no matter where you live in the world and you're listening to. Be curious about other people. And when you do that you expose yourself to other people, the way of life, the way that they think, the way they approach things.

[00:13:55] Giselle Mota: I know that we are ma almost married to the way that we are upbringing our worldview, right? Our countries, right? But the world is global and there's so much more out there. So I would just say everything that you do, put an inclusion lens on, put some glasses on of inclusion, and think about people that approach the world differ from you.

[00:14:16] Giselle Mota: And once you can do that, I think that we can have a better future work for everybody.