A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Lessons Learned during the Pandemic – Stories of Business Successes and Failures
4 June 2021
12:00—13:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The situation with the coronavirus pandemic forced business to be more flexible, to adapt to new realities, and to solve unusual tasks to maintain employee efficiency

Today, the topic of how to create the necessary conditions [for remote work — Editor] is of great importance: eleven thousand laptops purchased; software reinstalled; electronic jobs created. No, we cannot add a separate office room, but creating the right conditions was quite important. Hours of silence, days without meetings, [...] so that people could plan a space for themselves — they are at home after all. This is a rather important ethical conclusion, which we come to, unfortunately, after having made a certain number of mistakes — Mikhail Karisalov, Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Executive Officer, SIBUR .

We wanted to maintain a balance between what we had already come to know and what we hadn’t known yet. For example, we permitted working three days from home and three days from the office — David Manzini, President for Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Caucasus and Central Asia, PepsiCo.

Despite all its disadvantages and risks, the pandemic has had a positive effect on communication between employees and their empathy for one other, and it has brought teams together

The degree of involvement surprised me. [...] You didn’t need to force anyone to do anything. On the contrary, in terms of executive management — such a great number of initiatives aimed at the survival of the company [Detsky Mir — Editor] — Vladimir Chirakhov, President, Chairman of the Management Board, Sistema.

Leadership. We’ve seen people we didn’t think could achieve leadership positions gathering round themselves the support of the whole team and taking these teams to the next level. [...] [Another — Editor] important point has been solidarity among colleagues — Peter Herweck, Chief Executive Officer, AVEVA Group plc.

The pandemic has helped me a lot. [...] My colleagues and I began to organize barbecues at my home. [...] And the culture began to change because of this informal interaction. [...] We needed a pandemic to occur for this to finally happen. It helped accelerate cultural changes — Jan Dunning, Chairman of the Management Board, President, Chief Executive Officer, Magnit.

ISSUES
A significant decrease in employee discipline while working remotely

If you are using the Zoom app and [...] you ask people to turn on the camera — because I don’t want to interact with the screen off — then you can see that people are out on a beach somewhere during business hours. [...] That is, people say that they are working, but they are in such an inappropriate environment. It was not easy, people protested; they objected. And we said: ‘No, you have to turn on the camera so that we can at least see that you are working.’ [...] You are in a situation where you propose some rules, and this was never a problem before the crisis. And no one said ‘I will go to the office and work in swimming trunks.’ [...] We had to regulate the situation, though we had expected that people would regulate the situation themselves — Jan Dunning, Chairman of the Management Board, President, Chief Executive Officer, Magnit.

In psychology I think they call these ‘translation problems’. When they have a problem, and they don’t like anything, then they look for someone with whom to associate the problem. And they associate it, in this case, with the employer. [...] At the Skolkovo school, we had to deal with the fact that some of our students protested against online learning, although there were no offline alternatives at all. [...] The problem was with shifting focus — Andrei Sharonov, President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO .

SOLUTIONS
Relaxing formal requirements for employees or fostering a culture of communication with employees, personal experience

I have one-on-one meetings while I’m out for a walk, for example. [...] And if I am out for a walk, it means that the person I’m talking to can also take a walk. This is the evolution of ethical standards — Kristina Tikhonova, President, Microsoft Rus.

We said that if you are involved in a Zoom meeting [...] you should always be prepared to be asked to turn on the camera regardless of where you might be. And this changed the situation somewhat. [...] And not all apartments are adapted to working from home. And some people would have to go out into the street or onto the balcony. And we put up with it — Jan Dunning, Chairman of the Management Board, President, Chief Executive Officer, Magnit.

Should I turn on the camera or not? There is such a thing as discipline, and we tried to convey these things through culture, through leadership, through involvement — Mikhail Karisalov, Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Executive Officer, SIBUR .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS