The crisis as a catalyst for valuable change
Leaders are reporting new valuable ideas and behaviors emerging from the crisis. A spirit of creativity and innovation is providing a counterbalance to all the fear and worry.
What's working well?
Adopting new technology
Even former resistors are on board with new digital experiences. Leaders reported that their teams are doing in days what they previously failed to do in years.
Clarifying new capabilities
Working differently is calling for different skills, requiring updates in training and hiring plans.
"We’ve changed our communication completely, how we are connecting with everyone. This improved element of humanity in our communication practices needs to endure going forward.'"
Making well-considered, timely decisions. Recognizing the difference between including important inputs and wasteful bureaucracy. This is changing decision-making protocols.
Leaders are seeing that much of what we assumed to be true was wrong. E.g., we may need far less infrastructure expense in the future to operate successfully. Also, our call center jobs may be more efficient & effective when people work from their homes.
"This experience caused me to be more consciously caring and share my own stories as a way of connecting with others. There is no doubt it has increased the effectiveness of my leadership and the engagement of my team and it is something I need to make part of the way I lead going forward."
Relating to each other as human beings with whole lives to be understood and respected is changing how we lead. Trust & productivity are going up where that is happening and down where it is not. We must hold on to this lesson.
Leading systems not silos
Confronting interdependence, thinking systemically. Less turf protection, more care for the whole system.
Strengthening our culture
The C19 crisis is testing organizations and many are passing the test. Company values are now believed and trusted. During and after the health crisis & economic disruption, competing for talent & for customers is important. These organizations know that their culture will help them compete.
"People cannot get enough of us being genuine with them. Can we retain this authenticity when we are not in wartime?"
"The silver lining is that this is having us identify new opportunities for productivity, innovation, and accelerated shifts in customer behaviours, such as the adoption of digital channels. This creates an opening to accelerate changes we had been working towards as part of our business transformation, so it's important to find a way to lift above crisis, see the long term opportunities and ensure our decisions today help take us to our desired future state post COVID-19."
Responding leaders would welcome ideas on the following:
How do we keep from reverting to old bad habits re: turf protection and silos?
How will more virtual work experience change infrastructure investments? How will the changes in how we work change what we measure?
How will we navigate an eventual shift back to working in an office? Will expectations about virtual/remote working have changed? What are other leaders thinking about the possibility of evolving company policies?
"I now know that I am getting the best education I can get regarding being a CEO"
If you have insights, challenges or ideas you would like to bring to this community, we would love to hear from you.