I want to start off this week’s column by thanking everyone who has been reading along here on the Calabrio blog, on TMCnet, and those of you that have reached out via email and social media to share your own stories. If only one lesson sticks with me (but believe me, there are going to be lots of lessons that I hold on to) it will be that we cannot get through this type of global change alone.
Last week I talked about the new cultural and procedural matters that should continue when we start to return to the office. I believe that this disruption of our typical business patterns will have lasting impacts—many for the positive. Our routines and mindsets will likely never return to the same state as before the pandemic. But that is OK, because I believe that good leaders can use this as an opportunity to evolve and improve.
That said, we also have tough times and choices to handle. Through talking with other leaders, here are a few of the things you can do to tackle and plan for the difficult parts. You can read the full summary on TMCnet. I hope these thoughts and ideas are helpful as you continue your leadership journey, too.
Even for those organizations that have weathered the pandemic, there are going to be hard decisions to make. You do not want to be caught off-guard, so start thinking about what might happen in the coming months.
Now is a great time to do a SWOT analysis for your business. Think about your organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relative to a new world and a new way of doing business. Think about how a cultural change might impact your business and your brand.
No one can predict what will happen in the coming year. So, think about the potential losses that might impact your business. What happens if one or more of your employees fall ill, or if employees need extended time off? Consider the impact of closing an office, factory or other physical location. If any of these scenarios have already happened, did you act in the best way or would you do anything differently now?
With the continued changes we are all going through—the uncertainty of what the future holds, changing schedules and patterns for work and school, caring for others and worrying about ongoing health risks—people are getting tired. The emotion and effort required just to maintain a sense of any consistency in our lives is draining.
Even in our organization where we have been very lucky to be able to protect jobs and keep most employees on a fairly typical work structure, all the external forces have taken a toll. As a result, employee morale tends to dip and engagement with others in our personal and business lives wanes over time.
I would like to say that I knew how to handle all these tough decisions before 2020, but the truth is, I am learning, too. In the last months, I have focused even harder on asking others for input and support, I take notes and think about the really tough things that I would rather avoid, and I am open to ideas about how we at Calabrio might need, or want, to change in response to the pandemic. It is not always easy, nor comfortable. But when I talk to other leaders, these are the actions that are helping us traverse the tough times, look to the future in a positive way and move past second-guessing our own actions. I hope our experiences can inspire other leaders to think and act similarly. Check out my full thoughts on TMCnet, and as always, reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have stories or tips you want to share.