In a given moment we can always do something, but we cannot do everything. The better our actions fit the moment, the more results we produce per unit of time, money, and stress. A great sense of timing is a leader’s contribution to an agile, ever-evolving enterprise, and in times of uncertainty and challenge, it becomes even more important.
In this video, Conversant colleagues Bill Boyar and Robin Anselmi give their thoughts on how attention to timing can guide leaders and organizations through periods of stress and unpredictability, particularly in three domains where leaders are charged with responsibility:
Commit to transparency and make accurate information available to those you lead
When leaders are open and transparent about what they know and what they fear, the people in their organization can be more comfortable and more trusting. Hearing that some of their own fears are shared and knowing that leadership is reliable for communicating any relevant information as it comes to light sustains trust and builds a community of resilience and support.
Create a platform for communication and understanding and stick to the guiding principles of your organization
People are looking for guidance and leadership about the current moment more so than the future. When they have a platform for communicating their questions and concerns and for understanding the values and principles guiding decision-making, trust and collaboration go up, even if we don’t have all the answers right then and there.
The test of any organization’s culture and values is a crisis. When challenges arise, there is an opportunity for leadership to reinforce the purpose and values that were chosen for the organization when times were good. This is the time to walk the talk of your culture as leaders. If you can live consistently with these promises through a storm, your organization will be stronger than ever on the other side.
It’s likely that plans previously set in place about the strategic direction of your organization don’t quite apply today given the circumstances. Many leaders are wondering if they should be thinking about how long-term strategy will be impacted by the current crisis and when they should start acting to shift and drive forward a new plan of action.
Our advice: this is not a time to think about a long-term strategic reset. Right now it’s time to focus on the needs of today, tomorrow, and next week. It’s time to think about the present day health of your business and your people and to look for things you can do in this moment to ensure they are cared for.
If you go into a conversation about a major long-term resent of your strategy right now, it will be like nailing Jello to a tree – it’s going to fall down no matter what. Instead, spend time reflecting on what you are learning as leaders and as organizations from this experience that can inform the future, trusting that you and your community will chart the path forward as you learn more.
We will be hosting a live 30-minute conversation on this topic next week. You can register for that conversation as well as all of our upcoming webinars on our Community Gatherings page. We will continue to explore this topic and many others related to how we stay connected and keep creating value in challenging circumstances, so stay tuned for future episodes of The Connection Diaries.
If you and your community have been having inspiring conversations and ideas about how to navigate the COVID-19 reality, we would love to hear about them! Please comment below or connect with us on LinkedIn. Let’s unleash our collective brilliance.