A few Questions for Lizebeth K. Green, IMA France

Published: 2018-09-26

Lizebeth will be one of our internal panel member at the conference in Frankfurt on October 26.

What does digitization mean to you personally?

Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format. For me, digitalization is an opportunity for behavioral change in my way of working: digital has, first of all, changed our personal way of life and it is coming into our business life as well.
Our inner circle has changed because of digitization (our children know how to use a smartphone before they learn how to write).
All things considered, it's not a question of being part of different generations (X, Y, or Z) but rather a question of mindset: for example a 25-year-old may not know how to use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet while his/her grandparents know how to use it and they also know how to use messenger apps such as WhatsApp or skype to communicate with their grandchildren without any problem …
 
Digitization offers multiples opportunities :
- Optimize our time by removing time-consuming /non-added-value tasks which will now be automated.
- Improve / change/review our way of working. We are able to preserve, access and share information easily.
 
It will change our role of Executive Admins and we will increase our skills and become more Business Partners.
In addition, this will be a game changer for us because sometimes our Management / Executive Committee are overwhelmed by the digitization.  With these new increased predominant skills that we will develop this will allow us to accompany them in the digital transformation.
We have to be aware that everything will not be a bed of roses. Indeed, we will be facing some challenging and/or unpleasant situations (such as fear, job loss, etc.) However, the opportunities are endless and we are very lucky to experience the beginning of a technological change as well as a human change now: It is the place to be!
 
Have you ever thought of the fact that a robot or a digital assistant like Amazon's Alexa could replace your current job?
With each evolution/revolution, we hear the same fears that these new products will take our jobs. As an example, we have experienced this in the automobile industry with the arrival of robots in the 1980's. Indeed, the robots have replaced the four workers who oversaw lifting the car engines… This was a necessary revolution, and, in the end, people adapted to it. We have to bear in mind that every 10 years, something new comes out…
I strongly believe that a robot and digital Assistant will not replace our current job. Let's not forget that humans are still better in professions where physical velocity, creativity, and social interaction are central and that require emotional intelligence.  
In the coming years, the robots and digital assistant will take on the repetitive tasks. It's important to note that everything cannot be automated, and some things never will. Certain actions will continue to remain out of the range of automation. For example, assisting, negotiation and providing original solutions are still far too special and important for a robot or digital assistant to perform successfully. 
We should learn to embrace the change. Indeed, the scope of our role as Administrative Professionals will change significantly. We need to take this opportunity to take on more Strategic / Leadership roles, to provide intellectual support to our Managers, to become their Business Partner and focus on other tasks such as Project Management, Procurement (negotiating contracts), help our Managers to learn how to use these new technologies and assist them to conduct change management within their teams.
This will allow us to save time and to focus on more complex tasks and actions. We will have the opportunity to evolve within our role.
Hence, we need to take this opportunity for retraining to transform our career, to learn to be more objective and logical, strengthen our personal branding, being more innovative, become solution focused and more problem solver. Each job that will be replaced will also create an opportunity for another profession (i.e.: HR/ Marketing / Sales / Finance / IT/ PR / Production, etc.…)
Right now, it is impossible to predict the situation so many years down the line. However, we must bear in mind that change is imminent and is unstoppable.
I love this quote from Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
The future is in our hands! And it's now.
 
Would you call yourself a Digital Native or rather a Techie?
Regarding my specific birth year, I belong to the Generation Y, "the Millennials". It is assumed that people who grow up in the digital age have a natural affinity for tech. This is not always the case. 
I rather call myself tech-savvy. I am very passionate and curious about learning new technology resources (online cloud-based programs, apps & gadgets, productivity, social media, and collaborative tools - mostly on Microsoft office programs). 
I'm an autodidact. I set aside dedicated distraction-free time daily to learn something new regarding technology tools. I find, and I read the user guides on different products, I view video tutorials provided by the resources developers. I watch online technology training and professional development tools.
I tried to use the right technology at my fingertips wisely at all time that helps me be more efficient, to my job better, stronger, faster and help me deliver results quickly. 
I enjoy sharing my knowledge and training my Manager / Colleagues and Admin Professional Peers on how to use productivity tools during a training conference and through the social network.  
It's very important to so and it's really rejuvenating! Networking is very important. You must cultivate and develop that. Technology can help you with this.
There are no secret skills to learning how to use technology resources. Don't be afraid to fail. It is part of the learning process (you test, you fail, and you learn).  In my opinion, you just need patience, time and a positive attitude to work through a trial and error process. 
 
You are truly a OneNote expert. Why is this tool so relevant to the role of the future assistant? 
Microsoft OneNote is a Digital notebook that provides a single place where you can gather all your notes and information. It is a free-form note-taking application including digital pages with unlimited document size. It is like a spiral-bound notebook with multiple sections. It has an added benefits of powerful search capabilities to find what you are looking for quickly. 
It is easy to use share notebooks to manage information overload and collaborate with others more effectively.
 
In addition, You can :
Use it in your business or personal life
Take basic notes but also include pictures, drawings, web pages, videos, files, scans, links and embedded files, to-do list, grocery list, etc.
Capture screenshots & handwritten notes – both directly with a stylus or from a notebook via the camera on your phone 
Record audio/video from discussions in your notebook
Add different content or print it in your notebook such as important emails, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations. Its great integration with other Microsoft Office applications- particularly with Outlook
Automatic saving - Autosaved as you work
Customize Pages and manage templates
Share Notes with others in few clicks
Accessible anytime & anywhere on a mobile phone (iOS or Android device)/ Web /Desktop app, and you can add your notes on the go with no disruption
 
Using OneNote as an Executive Assistant is a real game changer. Ever since I started using OneNote, 6 years ago, for my personal use and professional use, it has changed my way of working. 
I can easily manage my task list, gather all my information in one place and create other documents, take meeting notes and share them easily. 
Most importantly it's keeping me productive and organized. 
When using OneNote, you must think "digital, not physical".
 
How digital are you? What are your favorite tools and apps?
I have several apps that I use during my Day which helps me do my work faster, easier, more efficiently and it saves time. I have downloaded them as Desktop app on my computer, on my phones (professional & personal devices) as well as on my tablets (Surface Pro 4 and iPad). I mostly use digital tools powered by Microsoft.
I'm curious and passionate about technology. New apps are regularly coming to the market at a fast pace. It is important for me to stay abreast of new productivity tools that are helpful in the work that I do, and it also helps my Executive and his Team to save their time. 
Hence, I'm always testing lots of tools/apps and looking for new trends. This allows me to stay ahead of relevant technologies which increases my contribution to the people I support and to my company.
 
Here is a list of tools and apps that I find useful: 
A note-taking tool which allows me to capture, organize and share my notes at any time and from anywhere and I sync them with all my devices. For this, I use Microsoft OneNote (my favorite app) and sticky notes.
 
Cloud-based storage drives that allow me to store any types of files with my Manager, colleagues, peers in real time. In addition, it provides access at any time and from anywhere. 
These  are popular and widely used apps:
o OneDrive (personal use)
o Google Drive (personal use)
o We Transfer (personal use)
o Dropbox (professional use)
 
Task Management Programs which helps me with my daily organization and it increases my productivity immensely:
o Microsoft Planner (professional use)
o Microsoft To do (personal use)
 
Other Microsoft Office programs
o Office 365: Outlook, Excel, Word,
o Office Lens
o Add-ins: Findtime Dictate, Translator
o Teams - Microsoft Teams, a great platform for connecting with colleagues and sharing info. The chats are amazing. Emails are available. You can easily have a conference. All in one package
o Yammer
o Sway 
o Delve
 
Virtual Assistant 
o Siri
o Cortana
 
 Presentation Tools 
o Microsoft Powerpoint
o Prezi
o Slideshare.net
 
Video Conferencing
o Cisco WebEx
o Skype
 
Social Media 
o LinkedIn
o Facebook
o Twitter
o Instagram
o Snapchat
o Pinterest 
 
Social management Dashboard - this helps manage multiple social media Accounts
o Hootsuite
 
Instant messaging
o Skype
o WhatsApp
o Viber
o Facebook Messenger
o Cisco Jabber
o Microsoft Kaizala
 
Travel organization tool - to share information with other, store important documents and sync travel itineraries to my calendar
o TripIt
 
Other tools /app :
o Greenshoot: Screen capture
o F.lux: Display settings
o Treesize: Files management 
o Waze: Navigation/traffic app
o SwiftKey keyboard
o Grammarly: free writing assistant
o Blippar: Visual discovery app
o Mindmap: Mind management
 
 

Lizebeth K. Green
Lizebeth is bilingual in French and English. She is currently the Executive Assistant to the Senior Country Director of Symantec France. Lizebeth has been with Symantec for fourteen years. Prior to that, she worked as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of one of Microsoft partners, Areda Computer Systems, in San Diego, California. Lizebeth is very passionate about learning and teaching Information Technology Software. She often trains Executives, Sales Reps, and Admin Professionals on Microsoft OneNote and Microsoft Outlook. Lizebeth is a proud member of IMA France (International Management Assistants Network). She is currently serving as Deputy Administrative Officer and Training Coordinator and she enjoys lecturing and speaking about Information Technology in general, at administrative conferences and events. Lizebeth holds a degree in Office Management from the University of Paris Créteil. She was born in Paris, France but grew up in Fremont, California. Currently, she resides in Paris, France with her six-year-old daughter, Aaliyah. In her spare time, Lizebeth loves studying and learning foreign languages and new information technologies. She is currently studying German and Mandarin Chinese.

What do you think of the management assistant in the digital age?

The Executive Administrative Professionals are becoming key players and Business Partners in the Digital Transformation within their organization. They must accompany their Executives and fellow colleagues in the usage and adoption of new products and new technologies to save time, be more efficient, make their life easier, faster, more productive and more convenient for themselves and the people they support. Hence, they need to stay abreast of new productivity tools that can be helpful in their everyday work and in conjunction with the people they work with. This also allows them to stay ahead of the relevant technology, increase their knowledge base and help them be more successful.

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