Leadership & Collaboration in a Crisis
Never has this been so apt at now with the Cover-19 global pandemic!
The key takeaways for me were:
Although the context in which leaders need to operate is changing, leaders still need the same key skills: more on these in our recent blog about leadership in the 2020s here
The importance of keeping existing routines and enhancing communications/check-ins such as 5 minute daily video-cons from leaders (ideally with pets / kids / partners to demo authenticity) or all-company / team drinks.
We are still in the first mile of a marathon - enabling people with the tech and tools to work from home is not the same as creating a highly engaged remote workforce that is collaborating and working effectively. Indeed the ONS have just released figures that, of the 32.6m people in employment in the UK, less than 30% have ever worked from home in their current job: that’s a lot of new ways of working to embed!
On top of significant changes to working practices, this is a heightened time of anxiety for staff: online searches for health anxiety have increased by 3,000% in the past few weeks. Leaders need to be providing additional support for staff to help them adapt and cope.
This is a real opportunity for businesses to build deeper relationships with their existing client base and also with staff, partners and associates.
The need for businesses and organisations to realise that the world has changed and will not revert to how it was. This is the new normal.
That ‘hunkering down’ and 'riding this out’ is not going to cut it - now is the time to adapt: the organisations who will emerge from this the strongest are those who are already changing their business model and ways of working permanently.
The decisions leaders take now are critical: some will kill their businesses (think Sports Direct and the massive customer backlash), some will simply revert back ways of working that frankly were outdated pre-Covid-19 and some will reinvent / re-imagine their business models. The latter will emerge the strongest.
This is a rapidly evolving situation that requires daily attention, agility, flexibility and adaptability.
The importance of network and collaboration: no-one was incentivised or paid to join the round table this morning but everyone was enthusiastic about sharing their views and experiences. Thank you!