We are honored to feature Sandip Darji, Assistant Vice President for Improvement, Analytics, and Innovation Services, at Stanford University’s Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer. Stanford University is a place of learning, discovery, expression and innovation. With seven schools, research institutes, the arts and athletics, their faculty, staff and students are impacting the world through their, discovery and knowledge. The Business Affairs organization at Stanford provides administrative policies, infrastructure systems, services and support for the benefit of the University community. Their various teams, within this Stanford organization, work together to make administration seamless and efficient, with overall support of teaching, learning and research.
Sandip continues to offer a valued perspective of the distinguished private higher education sector. His organization’s mission is to identify, prioritize, and launch projects that measurably improve Stanford’s business processes and services by looking broadly across the institution and through collaboration with university partners.
Another Source has partnered with Stanford University since 2009 and has facilitated over 400 critical hires across Stanford’s campuses.
What has been the most significant transition for your team during this pandemic?
Fortunately, my team has a history of communicating using virtual tools (primarily Slack and Zoom) in addition to meeting in person. So, in that respect, the transition to 100% remote working has been fairly seamless, aside from dealing with small laptop screens and trying to find a quiet place to take meetings. The biggest challenge for the team has been how to balance work with family caregiving demands throughout the day.
Assuming you and your team are working remotely, what’s one unforeseen benefit and one unforeseen negative?
An unforeseen benefit for my team is that holding our monthly all-day team strategy sessions (6-7 people) virtually has led to more productive collaboration/conversations in the moment. It seems everyone is extra attuned to avoid interrupting each other and extra focused on the topic at hand.
We are also comically forgiving when pets roam across the camera or one’s kids chimes in on the discussion. 😊
The unforeseen negative is the increased exhaustion from a day of virtual meetings.
What’s a critical lesson you learned about yourself and/or about your team in the last 6 weeks?
Taking even a few moments at the beginning of a meeting to check in with everyone can go a long way towards helping team members get through the day.