The year 2020 will remain forever etched in our memory as the year that the world as we knew it ground to a halt and we all stayed home for weeks while businesses, schools, churches, government offices and so many other entities locked their doors to the public. Truly unprecedented times.
However, as all of these institutions look to reopen to the public, there should be a time of reflection; do we just resume our routines and programs? (or is that even possible?).
I propose a critical self assessment of all of your “as was” activities, and that you identify the following five things:
- What were we doing that took a tremendous amount of effort and resources, and provided very little value to our organization? What if we stopped doing it? Is it critical to our brand and culture? Apply the Stop-Start-Continue filter to all of your activities. (What should we stop doing, what should we start doing, and what were we doing really well that we should continue doing?)
- What about our brand and culture? Is it the same true reflection of our organization as it was when we started? Can we tweak it and reopen with a fresh perspective of who we want to be to our customers or target market?
- How has a) working from home, b) working digitally (virtual meetings etc), c) on-line content or revenue generation changed the way we will operate moving forward? How will you blend new lessons learned with how things used to be?
- How do you reset your workforce to come back to work in a positive mindset? In recent days as some businesses have opened I’ve asked several people if they are happy to be back at work. A surprising number, actually the majority said “Not Really”. Take time to empathize, be supportive and re-energize your team. This season of uncertainty has left many people stressed and filled with a high level of unrest.
- Finally, how has this pandemic changed you as a leader? It’s easy to sit and wait anxiously and think “I just have to go back to my routines and all will be normal again”. If that’s how you feel, maybe you’ve missed the one nugget of hope buried deep in this situation; I can be better. I can lead better. I can be more impactful to my team and my audience, peers and customers. We’ve all had time to think, spend more time with our families, get outside for more fresh air and ride our bikes and take long walks. Re-organize your routines to allow more of this into your schedule. You will lead more effectively.
The fact is, no one knows what the new normal looks like. World health is uncertain, the world economy is uncertain. Recognizing these issues is important, but we can only impact our own immediate surroundings. Our family, our friends, our peers, our colleagues, our team members; we all have a group of people looking to us for support, guidance and positive reinforcement. Be a beacon of strength to those around you.