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An Interview with Sharon O’Dea

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Interviews,

Sharon O

Sharon O'Dea

Founder at Lithos Partners

Key Topics:Future of Work, Digital Workplace, Hybrid Work, Social Collaboration

Sharon O’Dea is an experienced digital strategist advising complex organizations on communication, collaboration, and digital workplace technologies for the future of work. Organizations Sharon has collaborated with include HSBC, Credit Suisse, Allen & Overy, Standard Chartered Bank, Shell, DSM, the Houses of Parliament, and the UK Government. A regular writer and speaker on the role of digital in a changing world of work, Sharon is co-author of two books, host of Fujitsu’s Future of Work podcast series, and a member of the Royal Society of Arts' Good Work Guild.

Sharon has recently featured in Onalytica's Who's Who in The Future of Work report.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I started out in publishing, then moved into communications. But I’m a lifelong geek and have been tinkering with websites since the early 90s. As social media began its unstoppable rise, I became a champion for its use in the workplace. This led to me leading digital communications programs for the UK Parliament and then a global bank, as well as writing and speaking about the future of workplace communications at conferences around the world. Since starting my own consultancy in 2016 I’ve worked with many clients to help them plan and deliver their own future of work. I took the Institute for the Future course at Stanford in 2019 to learn more techniques for futures forecasting, and now apply these to the future of work with clients and through my writing and speaking.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

Workplace communication, collaboration, diversity, effective hybrid working, remote work, nomad working, the workplace in the metaverse.

Who influences you within these topics?

What do you think the future holds in this space?

Work is becoming far more complex, and fast. The old norms of when and where we work disappeared during Covid, while there are many longer-term trends in which work is becoming disconnected from companies, from jobs, and from physical place. The workforce is becoming older, better qualified, and more diverse. But power and responsibility are shifting towards individuals – for good and ill. The most successful brands and products are those which help people and individuals to manage that complexity.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

Automattic, Citrix, Digital Workplace Group, Dropbox, Firstbase, Fujitsu, IFTF, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce, Shopify, Slack, Upwork, Zoom.

I’m available for speaking engagements (online or face to face), moderating panels, podcasts, media comments, long-form commentary/blogs, white papers, video or audio interviews, advisory work on product or strategy.

What are your passions outside of work?

Irked by the lack of diversity at tech and digital events, I co-founded an event series – 300 Seconds – to give women and other underrepresented groups in digital a way to gain confidence and experience, and to find their voice. In my spare time, I enjoy lifting weights, hitting the spin studio, and traveling the world.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Email, Twitter, or LinkedIn


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