Many of the shifts in recent months have accelerated the trends that have already been in progress for some time. Digitalization has given us an immense opportunity to innovate, progress by testing new ideas out and constantly learn from impact. The pace and depth of change have only demonstrated what’s possible.
Unfortunately, the true economic crisis is only just beginning and will continue to require businesses to make big and bold changes, to push beyond the way things have been done in the past.
Time to act is now. The most effective leaders will leverage opportunities described in an earlier article. Businesses will have to surround themselves with the leaders and top teams they need, not only to survive but also to thrive in an uncertain world.
We must restore confidence
Even though leaders are dealing with change management, in the end, it's not about the numbers, it’s the people who are going to achieve new ambitions. Companies will need to reinforce the positive changes they have made since the onset of the pandemic. People want to be appreciated and they want to belong.
Listen to the stories and teams, who have spontaneously worked together to solve a problem, went the extra mile for the incremental achievements. Share the data and the story, progress inspires!
Be open to other people’s ideas. Nothing shuts things down faster than the word “but”, what comes next is always negative and leads to disagreement. Rather replace “but” with …that’s an interesting idea, “and” you might also consider… to improve team effectiveness.
We are all just human beings. As leaders, we don’t have all the answers, and those won’t be found in the executive office. Vulnerable leaders encourage organizational curiosity, creating a culture of “collective genius”.
Lead through purpose, empowerment, and support
Rather than telling people what to do, they should be inspired about what to think about.
Energize people, stimulate curiosity, and motivate with purpose. Clear communication of “why” can deliver a much-needed boost to involvement and can act as a call to action. People want to contribute in a meaningful way.
Turn on the encouragement, build on each other’s strengths and expertise to find a solution. The current shift demands boldness and learning at the pace of how the situation evolves. To be able to keep up, agile leaders are breaking down barriers limiting innovation, stimulating collaboration, and integrating diverse perspectives to foster forward-thinking evolution.
It’s about trust and trust should go both ways. Leaders empowering their teams, supporting them in their effort, providing sufficient autonomy, and removing the obstacles to progress. While teams, united in a common purpose, transparently define flexible and pragmatic solutions, put them into practice and refine the outcomes.
Don’t forget to celebrate along the way
Reach out to people, recognize personal efforts and notice small things done right. People want to know that they matter, that they make a difference.
Acknowledge and celebrate how far we’ve come. A celebration is a motivation and there is a long road ahead. The journey must be successful. The stakes are extremely high.
Give energy, don’t consume it. Victories are hard to come by these days and far less visible. Despite hard times it is still OK to celebrate.
While we are learning the hard lessons, the self-disruptive leaders are pivoting themselves and helping their organizations adapt. Getting better through constant learning where failure is a practice to get better.
They are leading with purpose, anticipating constantly changing realities, partnering, mobilizing top teams, and building trust. They are not just ready to meet the future—they’re prepared to shape it.