How Leaders Discover Alternative In Uncertainty
As we plan to reopen companies, leaders face one of the most critical moments in their careers. As they walk through the reintegration process and over the next 18 to 24 months of uncertainty, their organizations could be on a path to greater organizational performance and higher stakeholder value, or create a situation of resentment, anger, and staff separation that cost them everything could.
This is the place where leadership legends are made. The tools of the legends will be compassion, clarity, transparency and accountability.
If you're in a leadership position, keep reading.
Those who are afraid to insist on returning to normal, or that working harder will make life better for all of us, are likely to find that their companies have difficulty meeting performance expectations, or worse, the latest " Love for hatred ”of the company“ The goal in social media, since its focus is primarily on profits, is clearly visible through the illusion of its unrealized company values and goals.
There is a call to workers to "get back to work" to "get the economy going again". And even though we all agree that we want a strong economy and work that enables us to support our families, the thought of going back to what it was seems impossible.
The workers have had a traumatic experience and they are not the same. The way they show up and contribute is influenced. What they need and what they can offer has changed. And the way they will be reintegrated and managed over the next 18 months leaves a deep sense of whether or not they are part of it, whether the work they do is valued or not, and whether they are through their work feel fulfilled or not.
Every disorder is about death and rebirth, things we have to let go of, and things that will come up. Workers are already experiencing this. Suddenly we can work from home. At least 50% of the meetings we thought were critical were not required. A longer time with the family can also spark the desire for shorter working hours.
If we let go of everything that is not essential, what is left?
What has died for each individual and what longs for a birth is deeply personal. However, this time of thinking, letting go and emerging can be used to stimulate innovative organizational changes that can improve the performance of the organization.
If we examine the transformation model developed by Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer at MIT, Theory U, we can gain a deeper understanding of the importance of this moment.
Scharmer calls this "U", part of the model, "Leading from the Emerging Future". According to Scharmer, the first step in any transformation is to stop the "download" patterns from the past. This is the idea of not doing things the way we have always done, regardless of whether we have the intended result or not. Downloading brings us conditions such as stupid decisions, unproductive "lawn wars" and inconsistent, inconsistent customer experiences. When we finish the download, we make room for changes. The Covid 19 pandemic, social distancing and the resulting economic challenges have led to a form of "forced downloading". We have already taken step one.
The second step is "wake up". Waking up to the decision every leader has to make – how will you lead through this moment? According to Scharmer
"You can respond by turning away or turning. To turn away is to close the mind, heart, and will – in other words, act out of ignorance, hatred, and fear. To turn means to open mind, heart and will – to act out of curiosity, compassion and courage.
We are here now.
Executives who turn away (the upper part of the model) and are scared will quickly bring employees back, send an inspiration email, possibly with a video of the CEO, greet them back, declare victory, and encourage them tougher to work for the sake of the economy and its jobs. And although this can get things going again, it won't initiate the type of transformation that the organization will do to add value to all stakeholders. This makes the workers feel invisible, devalued and separated. The opportunity for real innovation and transformation will be lost.
Executives who turn to (the lower part of the model) and act out of curiosity, compassion and courage will recognize the importance of a well-considered employee experience in this time of uncertainty. You will listen and involve the workers in the process of letting go and reshaping a new future.
Seize the opportunity
To take advantage of the opportunity provided by a skillful employee reintegration program and to successfully overcome this volatile and unsafe period, we suggest the following key steps that include the Blake project Business focus: success in uncertainty Program.
Times of uncertainty can lead each of us on a path of stress. For some this can manifest itself as avoidance, for others it can be harsh words or less than health indulgences like overeating or too much alcohol. When an entire organization is stressed, productivity is sacrificed. While you cannot control the external environment, you can rely on compassionate leadership to keep your teams focused and your employees feel connected and valued. Compassionate leaders:
- Take care of yourself first
- Acknowledge the uncertainty
- Promote self-compassion
- Ask people what they need
- Focus on what you control
- Promote and model self-care
Research has shown that “People who do not recognize and do not respond to their emotions show less well-being and more physical stress symptoms such as headaches. Avoiding our feelings is costly. On the other hand, with the right vocabulary, we can identify the real problem – have a messy experience, understand it more clearly, and create a roadmap to address the problem. “I have used the techniques developed at the Harvard / McLean Institute of Coaching for years and know that they will help achieve emotional stability even if we control the long-term effects of a global pandemic. Emotional constancy includes:
- Expand your emotional vocabulary
- Quantify the intensity of your emotions
- Write your story
One thing is certain, we are in a common state of "strategic ambiguity". The Covid 19 pandemic and the resulting economic pause and almost certain recession mean that it is not clear where we are going and we are not sure when we will get there. As leaders, we need to help our organizations get out of strategic ambiguity and become clearer as quickly as possible. There's no way of knowing where we'll be in 12 or even six months. However, we can clarify in the next 30 or 45 days. The key is to get your teams and managers involved in developing immediate priorities and longer-term strategies.
Follow these steps to keep teams focused once teams are focused on immediate priorities and longer-term strategy.
- Operate in sprints: embrace short-term strategies
- Learn fast
- Empower people at the forefront to make decisions based on brand values
- Exploit surprise wins
- Reward team effort
"The perception of the authenticity of a corporate brand is determined by the correspondence between the words and deeds of the people behind the brand."
In times of uncertainty, a strong company with a strong common purpose helps workers and ecosystem partners to stay inspired and focused. Corporate values will guide decision-makers as the pace of decision-making increases and spreads out and the impact is more weighty. The business core of image, culture and vision signals to all stakeholders that the organization is part of the solution.
"If your corporate culture is aligned and integrated with this identity, your employees are more likely to make decisions and take measures that fulfill your brand promise."
However, before you delve deeper into the business, it's important to assess whether core business elements need to be refined to meet the challenges of the current situation. By using an evaluation process involving everyone involved, your employees, customers and ecosystem partners have the opportunity to renew their commitment to the business purpose, mission, vision and values.
The Blake project's business alignment process will:
- Ensure that important voices are heard when we learn from success, uncover collective strengths and discover components of the company's identity that are still relevant and uncover new topics.
- Put together and share emerging topics and stories that represent the positive core of the company in this new environment.
- Strengthen business values by defining the behavior of the company, particularly in terms of stakeholder experience (customers, employees and ecosystem) and front-line decision making.
- Evaluate the current core business (image, culture and vision) and develop an action plan for the realignment if necessary.
- Increase collaboration in the C-Suite and the organizational focus on the business strategy.
What kind of leader will you be?
The Blake project Business focus: success in uncertainty The program is designed to help you take advantage of the opportunities your company has at this time of volatility and uncertainty. Please email us for more.
At The Blake Project, we support clients from all over the world at all stages of development. Redefine and articulate what makes them competitive and valuable in critical moments of change.
Branding Strategy Insider is a service from The Blake Project.
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