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Article • 01/11/2023

Exec Connect Breakfast Boston: Navigating Change and Embracing Innovation with ezCater and Takeda

In our most recent breakfast roundtable event, featuring remarks from Jennie Hardin, Vice President, Communications at ezCater and Megan Ostrower, Head of Global External Corporate Communications at Takeda, industry leaders gathered for breakfast at Mooo…Beacon Hill to discuss a variety of topics within the communications landscape:

 

  • Addressing global crises and leading during times of chaos
  • Grappling with the impact of artificial intelligence
  • How to approach ESG initiatives 

Addressing global crises and leading during times of chaos

Top of mind during the event was the question of how communications leaders operate within the context of global crisis. Attendees debated when to release external vs. internal communications to address crises and discussed the challenges of appeasing various stakeholders during deeply polarized and politicized times. When asked what advice our speakers from ezCater and Takeda would give for leading during chaos, Megan Ostrower from Takeda emphasized the importance of aligning her team by leaning into the company’s values and Jennie Hardin from ezCater stressed transparent communication and maintaining a voice of calm and stability.

Grappling with the impact of artificial intelligence:

The role of AI in the communications landscape sparked lively discussion. Some communicators expressed uncertainty about embracing AI, fearing job displacement. Others were adamant that AI would enhance their roles rather than replace them, as AI can speed up administrative tasks and be implemented in strategic use cases, such as Signal AI’s use of discriminative AI to label the sentiment of text as positive, negative, or neutral. Some attendees even discussed their company’s in-house versions of ChatGPT, which have been trained specifically for their purposes and are suitable for confidential information. 

How to approach ESG initiatives:

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments are at the forefront of corporate concerns for many communicators. The industry leaders in attendance acknowledged the importance of forward-leaning ESG initiatives, but at the same time, expressed concerns about potential controversies and navigating accusations of greenwashing. Our discussion highlighted the need to balance commitment to ESG from a time and resource standpoint with the expectations of both consumers and investors.

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