Navigating to the New Normal 6 questions to guide you
May 7th, 2020
‘We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails’
As the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold, businesses are having to take bold steps as they navigate towards an uncertain future. For many that means adapting their leadership style as agility becomes a real necessity. Along with facing the health and human impact of the crisis, business leaders and executives are having to think on their feet and make rapid decisions on their strategy for recovery during and post lockdown. In parallel, spending time reflecting and articulating what the ‘new normal’ will look like in relation to revenue, costs, people, opportunities and problems are front of mind right now.
Having spent time talking with a number of my clients and addressing their immediate needs, I see a clear need to find the right balance between agility and constructive planning. Business leaders need to grasp great ideas and run with them, and that may mean pushing aside bureaucracy or a risk-averse culture. But they also need to ensure they make room for valuable reflective time with their management team, to pause, create, plan and take decisive action on the fundamentals that will help their business recover and thrive now and in the future.
Just like my clients, being agile is important for me, and I am seeing the value to them of offering a new approach, with 2-hour weekly virtual team coaching meetings over a 30 day period to facilitate that reflective thought process so they are ready for post lock-down and beyond.
Here are 6 simple questions to help you navigate
- How resilient are we personally and as a team?
When people are looking to leaders for direction it is important that they are at their best
Practicing simple resilience strategies that enable them to lead their families, teams and businesses effectively is vital. Many people have come through recessions or adversity before so to tapping into that wisdom is key and can boost resilience.
- What is our Plan and the key Priorities?
Planning for a range of options short, mid and long-term is key to ensuring organisations adapt during lockdown, recover post-lockdown and thrive in the longer term. Since none of us knows what the ‘new normal’ will be, addressing the ‘what-ifs’ is essential for contingency planning. Organise meetings that are dedicated only to your business’s key ‘what-if’ questions so you can think ahead of official decisions and put proactive plans in place.
- What new projects do we need to launch and coordinate?
Your plans will instigate a number of initiatives and projects. The challenge is to prioritise and coordinate initiatives that will future proof the business. This may impact the roles of current team members, so make sure they are clear on the new priorities of their changing role and the contribution it is making to the future of the business, and their own future career.
- How do we motivate our teams?
As we are all experiencing now, there is a need for clarity and hope. Give your teams both in all your communications because keeping them both informed and motivated is important.
Remote team working is here to stay, so your presence, virtually, is even more important now. Work with your teams collectively and individually, as people adapt differently. A client who took on the CEO role less than a year ago makes a point of listening intently during these meetings and recognising those who may need more time even if they do not ask for it. He also has a team of mental health aiders who are ready to support people within the business, as we do not always know what is going on at home that could contribute to levels of stress and anxiety.
- How do we adapt our offering to clients and customers?
Ask them! There will inevitably be plans to adapt technology and services, so your business is more relevant and stronger. But start with contacting clients and customers personally and having conversations with a cross section so you understand their immediate needs. They will appreciate your time and concern and it will build loyalty.
And keep close to your market place so you are informed of current changes and successes. Many of my clients are setting Google alerts to keep abreast of current market activity in their sectors so they can continue to educate and advise their customers and clients regularly.
- What culture is emerging and what do we want to be known for?
A crisis can bring people together and create a team spirit of collective endurance – and it can also create divisions and distrust when people only look after themselves. How will people remember the way you handled this pandemic? I have heard stories of both delight and despair. People have long memories and it is at times like this that people remember the ‘best leader they ever worked with’. If you handle the crisis with honesty, courage and kindness you can build long-standing loyalty and renewed enthusiasm. And make sure that all your leadership team stand for and demonstrate these values, as trust is built on consistency.
The future will bring a new normal that no one can predict today. Indeed, there are aspects of this period that have created a spirit of community and gratitude that we wish to hold onto and retain forever.
All we can do is prepare ourselves to bring our personal best to rally the troops through these challenges and into the new future. 2020 will be a year to remember – make it one that you will look back with pride and know you did your very best. I have been humbled and inspired by many who did just that in whatever way they could.
I would be delighted to explore ways to work with you to future-proof your business. For more information on our virtual programme Leading and Navigating for the New Normal get in touch here
If you would like to know more about what our clients have gained from our coaching we have lots of testimonials that you may find interesting.
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