While many aspects of our daily lives are on pause, the need to prepare for life after lockdown is uppermost in my mind. It strikes me that today in business, more than ever, standing still is going backwards, as if we’re facing upwards on a down escalator.
Why does it matter?
As I have mentioned previously, we are witnessing unprecedented levels of resourcefulness, creativity and innovation, from individuals, communities, organisations and governments. We all know our world won’t be the same as it was before, yet none of us knows quite what the future has in store either.
What we do know is, while most organisations are sitting things out, waiting for life after lockdown to reveal itself, the more forward-looking ones are actively working towards creating the future, and one in which they are ahead of the curve.
As we explored in another blog recently on our iTS AAR website, Benjamin Franklin can teach us some useful lessons about using this time to learn from experience, evaluate our behaviour and continuously improve.
As a leader, which approach will you take?
What are the options?
From where I stand, I think there are two choices. The first is to go into stasis, hang on and see how the land lies when the world starts up again. The second is to take active steps now to prepare for life after lockdown.
By continuing to invest in our teams’ development we will ensure that we are – at least – level to where we were when things took a pause, and perhaps even ahead of the game. Nurturing a leadership mindset and creating a curiosity in your key players now will enable you to seize opportunities in our new normality.
To put it bluntly, if two weeks ago we were functioning at 100% (i.e. ‘normal’ performance), then you can either choose to slip back to (say) 70% by treading water, or invest time and focus in your people now, to ensure they’re ready and raring to go at 100-120% when activities resume.
How to move forward?
One thing we are observing now is that everyone’s challenges are different. Some are home alone and finding the complete isolation difficult. Others are surrounded by young children and trying to cope with home-schooling and balancing domestic challenges while keeping up-to-date with work. IT problems, caring responsibilities (whether for neighbours or family members) and a myriad of other pressures may be exerting their influence too.
For once a ‘sheep-dip’ approach really won’t work. Support at this time has to be personal, in bite-sized, manageable chunks and delivered remotely by necessity, targeted to an individual’s objectives and goals and mindful of their personal circumstances and current priorities.
While getting the frequency and format right is essential, it’s also true that there’s probably never been a better time to invest in, or even experiment with, leadership mentoring and coaching for your key people.
Organisations which deliver meaningful support to employees and demonstrate clearly how important their people are to their future, will both cope better with the challenges of today AND be prepared for our new tomorrow.
If you’d like a no-obligation chat about how to move forward, we’d be happy to advise. Please do get in touch.
After all, iTS Leadership