Insightful takes on scaling your business

How to succeed in a post-coronavirus job market, according to Vice’s SVP

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Flavia Pollastrini
Story by
Flavia Pollastrini

In the series “Staying inside with…,” we pick the brains of experts and interesting people in tech to find out their favorite books, courses, movies, and podcasts they’ve been enjoying during lockdown. Mark Adams, SVP and Head of Innovation at Vice, is the latest to share what’s been keeping him busy whilst staying at home.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on both people and businesses. A total of 81% of the global workforce have had their workplace fully or partly closed and nearly 195 million full-time workers are currently at risk of losing their jobs

Adjusting your business strategy to the pandemic, or simply adapting to new working conditions and habits won’t be easy. It will require collaborative efforts and flexibility from the entire global workforce. “The only way to make sense of it all is to use our only human superpower – our ability to connect, support each other and collaborate,” Mark Adams, SVP and Head of Innovation at Vice, said to TNW. 

This week, we got Adams’ tips on how to cope with the post-pandemic job market and we gained an insight into the books that inspired him and kept him busy during the lockdown.

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During his career at Vice, Adams has transformed the business from an emerging print magazine into one of the largest youth-focused digital media companies in the world. He collaborated in the launch of the creative agency Virtue, Vice News, Vice Records, and Vice Studios, the TV and film production arm of Vice Media that co-produced the Fyre Festival documentary and more than 70 other projects for Netflix and Amazon Studios

The right approach to thrive in this new environment

“I just finished re-reading what I consider to be the true story of innovation: Death of a Salesman,” Adams told TNW. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman play tells the story of Willy Loman, a 63-year-old American man who has spent more than thirty years in sales. Willy loses his job because the economy has shifted its focus and both he and his company weren’t able to notice until it was too late.

According to Adams, Death of a Salesman is the proof that “innovation will happen to you, and not for you if you don’t pay enough attention.” The world is currently going through a dramatic economic change and cutting hard-working and valuable people out of the economic equation is more topical than ever before.

Willy Lomen’s tragedy was that he unconsciously witnessed the start of the New Industrial era,” Adams explained. “Our tragedy is that we are unconsciously witnessing the end of it. Business leaders must begin to accept right now that the industrial era is no longer the growth engine of our economy and after COVID-19 it really never will be again. The great challenge of the next 12 months will be our ability to cast off the powerful habits, thought loops, and convictions that the last industrial era has programmed into us.” 

Connect, support each other, and collaborate

During the lockdown, Adams has been putting a lot of effort into helping people who’ve been recently laid off. Networking and making connections is Adams’ main advice when it comes to keeping busy during the pandemic.

“Do you know anyone who is looking for work? Bet you do,” Adams said. “Can you put that person in touch with a new company? Write a recommendation for them? Help with their job search materials? If there’s anything you can do, this is the time. None of what’s happening is personal to any of us. No one chose this or deserved it and it doesn’t make any sense to say so. The only way to make sense of it all is to use our ability to connect and support each other.” 

Helping each other must be our number one priority, especially if we have quite a lot of time to kill and we are in the privileged position of still having an income. “It feels good, it’s great karma but most importantly it’s what this new connection economy will be based on. So may as well get practicing.” Adams said. “If you’re reading this and there is anything I can do to help you or someone you know then reach out on LinkedIn and I promise to do my very best.”

Published May 27, 2020 — 11:40 UTC