Webinar with Steve Cadigan on how to ensure your organisation culture survives and ultimately thrives in crisis and beyond.
Steve’s webinar was full of insights and it posed many great questions to reflect on. Here is a guide to ‘the kind of things to have on your mind’. You can watch it here.
“Demonstrate all the things you’ve learned, and apply them quickly”
This was one thing that Steve said that seemed to capture the essence of leading during Covid. No one knows how to do this. It is a time full of fear and uncertainty and the pressure on leadership has never been greater.
In many ways, we can no longer rely on experience. So, we must rely on our ability to learn and apply like never before. Steve’s webinar was full of insight and it also did what in many ways we all have to do at the moment, it posed more questions than it answered! Here is a great guide on ‘the kind of things to have on your mind’. Here are some examples that really struck a chord.
“I can’t reassure you”
Leaders are invariably looked to provide direction, clarity and a sense of stability. That has been hard for some time, given that change is the new norm, but Covid has made it even more difficult. We are hearing that the best leaders are the ones fast to both inwardly and outwardly acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers. Realism is better than reassurance – it encourages creativity over cynicism, support over scepticism.
“The way we do things around here”
One of the favourite ways we have described our culture. Well, that sentence needs to be totally deconstructed. The ‘here’ has changed, so what is the new work environment for you moving forward? What are the new, positive behaviours you are seeing in your people that have become ‘the new way.’ This is an opportunity to re-define, don’t miss it!
“Over-index on communication”
Steve calls it the ‘ultimate distraction environment’. It is tougher than ever to get messages through and to tap the consciousness of the team. So, double the efforts. Where you used to meet 1 x per week, do it 2 x per week. You need more insight than ever, and more ideas than ever. The importance of ‘check-ins’ at the start of your meetings, asking people how they are and really listening to the answer. Also, not everything needs an agenda. We are missing ‘hang-out’ time with our people so perhaps work this into the daily and weekly comms.
“The digital transformation – it just happened”
For the last few years we were frantically trying to find new norms for digital experience to be established. Well, it’s done. Now we need to find new norms on human connection. Our psychological safety is being tested not just at work but in our families and our social groups. Leaders must build their capability and indeed comfort levels with understanding and caring for their people at a much more human level.
“What you know may not be as important as what you can know”
It’s clear that much of leadership is built on experience. We like to think that the leader in the room has done something like this before so we gravitate to their wisdom. Covid has thrown that model in the air. What we are gravitating towards is a leader’s calmness and adaptability. As Steve says, their ability to demonstrate all the things they’ve learned and then apply them, quickly!
“The 90 degree pivot”
We really liked Steve’s thought on pivoting. We often assume that to pivot means to go the opposite direction, the full 180 degrees. Everyone is seeking change, questioning everything, so it’s a good discipline to ask ‘to what degree?’ and really get aligned on what shift you might be aiming for. Exec alignment will be even harder when you are not all in the room eye-balling each other and seeing the body language. It could be a matter of degrees.
“This is a huge opportunity for the unrecoverable moment”
The ability to accelerate trust, faith, empowerment and inclusion is paramount. Pretty much everything is accelerated and leaders are making important decisions more frequently and at great pace. There are some great high-profile examples of brilliant, human-centred decision making. However, there are many where the decisions and communication will be unrecoverable, mainly because they have failed to apply the one word that we are all so focussed on as a society right now. Care!