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Viacom Inc.

This Viacom Vice President Cares About Community

This Viacom Vice President Cares About Community

How does Viacom, the media conglomerate and home to pop-culture mainstays such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, remain at the top of the entertainment industry? According to Jennifer Cardella, Vice President overseeing Viacom's technology Project and Strategic Vendor Management department, they heavily rely on agile methodology to respond to the needs of their fans and the market. Being agile is one of the cornerstones to the success of her team, as well as to Viacom on the whole.

As Jennifer explains, "As the old adage goes 'the only constant is change' and for a company like Viacom, which needs to be responsive to a very dynamic market, that's certainly the case. We pride ourselves on being able to select the right methodology and approach for each situation. We're not in the business of process for process sake. Our next opportunity to innovate and create something awesome is always just around the corner. We need to be able to keep pace, and deliver at scale"

Jennifer's team and their ability to adapt to those frequent shifts is due, in no small part, to the community she has built. Jennifer is in charge of many moving parts such as streamlining and optimizing tools, working closely with critical external partners and establishing coaching groups to ensure processes are followed correctly. When she started in her current role, she was influential in creating a council to foster community-focused best practices. Viacom's "fail-fast" mentality means team members aren't penalized for making mistakes, but rather, this mindset helps make the team more successful in the long run.

She says, "Don't be afraid to fail fast because it's not about the failures. It's the learning experience that goes along with it. This also helps promote a culture where taking a calculated risk is seen as a positive rather than a negative."

Community and solid communication techniques make the team great, agile processes underpin this and promote timely sharing of information in a structured manner. Technical skills are a necessity, however soft skills such as humility and openness to new perspectives, while frequently overlooked, are what continue to move them forward. Jennifer points out, "The relationships you build, both within Viacom and outside are critical to being an effective leader. Viacom's fast paced and innovative culture require a lot of socialization and relationship management." As changes come from the bottom-up and top-down, knowing that there is an open line of communication allows for the team to respond and act as needed, when needed.

Certainly, Viacom's culture bolsters that sense of community. Viacom's commitment to a diverse workforce is a source of pride for Jennifer. "Everyone brings something different. I'm one of the women who works with the Girls Who Code program. I love the fact that we get to share our culture and work with these young women and support them. It's good to know that Viacom sees diversity as something important."

It's by design that community and communication are a vital part of the way Jennifer's team operate. Their success and that of the wider organization depend on them.

For more information on Viacom and their open roles, learn more here.

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