A Five-Step Strategy for the New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic creates a number of extraordinary challenges for leaders and their teams.
Are you adequately prepared and R.E.A.D.Y. to address the leadership challenges you face transitioning your team as they return to the office, still meeting all your goals, objectives, and deadlines?
Working with our clients, I’ve witnessed a number of disruptive change cycles that adversely impacted leadership, organizational culture, and business performance. The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique workplace issues as businesses and leaders balance the economic health of their company, their customers, and their employees.
As employees return to work:
- How do you and your team become resilient and bounce back?
- How do you ensure employees heath is protected and you and your team break through fear, stress, and confusion when there is no clear roadmap?
- How do you improve team performance, when the economy is uncertain?
- How do you inspire trust and confidence in your team when the economy is questionable?
What is needed most during times like these is leadership.
Exceptional leaders know how to envision the future despite uncertainty, inspire others to take purposeful action, and align teams to perform and achieve. This formula naturally produces outstanding business results.
However, we are experiencing unique times.
To help you and your team find stability in the midst of chaos, and create a pathway for establishing a new normal, here are five steps you can implement to emerge stronger.
Be R.E.A.D.Y. for Change Model™
To envision the future, inspire purposeful action, and align people and processes, use this 5-step process to become resilient, protect employee health, improve performance, and inspire confidence.
Step One: Recognize
Recognize and do a reality check. Acknowledge and admit uncertainty with yourself and your team. Honesty goes a long way in building trust and instilling confidence. It’s not always easy to admit the difficulties and the raw reality, but without admitting the reality, changing and generating confidence becomes much tougher.
Step Two: Educate
Most of us are on information overload, shifting through contradictory evidence, studies, and articles.
- Find trusted data sources. Don’t rely on sound-bites. For Coronavirus data, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center’s map is my trusted source. For the economy, I watch the stock market, Dow-Jones, NASDAQ, NYSE, and Commodities. For sentiment trends I look to Gallup polls. On May 8th the Harvard Business Review published an article, “Which COVID-19 Data Can You Trust?” Finding trusted resources is essential to help envision the future, inspire action and align people.
- Discern truth. Right now, there is an “infodemic”. There are many contradictory explanations on everything. Go on a “pundits news diet” and a Facebook diet. According to a Gallup Poll: 68% of Americans cite social media as a primary source of misinformation.
- Gather contradictory perspectives. Because there is so much noise, it is important to see all sides of the issue. We tend to interpret data to fit our perspective and unconscious bias. Find and listen to information that doesn’t fit your view of the world.
Conducting a reality check, educating yourself and your teams, and becoming adaptable is part of envisioning the future.
Step Three: Be adaptable
- Brainstorm ideas
- Think outside to box
- Learn new skills
What we know for certain is change is occurring. As a result, we have to continually evolve and change as individuals and as leaders.
Step Four: Decide
While each step of the Be R.E.A.D.Y. Model is important, it is essential to apply the 5-D’s of decision-making when constructing the future.
During periods of disruptive change, it is essential to recognize that you need to go through the R.E.A.D.Y. cycle repeatedly to build the future.
- Disclose Recognize and acknowledge your starting point
- Define your problem statement and your future state
- Discuss and debate the ideas for solution
- Decide on the solution
- Create the action steps to move forward where everyone is aligned
- Outline deadlines, accountabilities, and responsibilities
- Do Take Action
Step Five: Say YES
Many times we get caught up in doing the exact right thing. What is critical now is inspired and purposeful action. Not every answer will be perfect. As leaders, you want to generate confidence by repeating the message to learn from mistakes.
In these extraordinary times, no one has a crystal ball. Although we do have some history we can rely on. We know what happens during economic downturns. We can learn from those lessons. We never had a pandemic like this where many individuals have experienced pain and suffering or know someone who has passed-away from COVID-19.
Acknowledge that we will all make mistakes, we won’t always get it right, but what we can do is learn, and adjust.
The Be R.E.A.D.Y. five steps will help:
- You and your team bounce back and build resilience.
- Engage your employees on how to protect their personal health.
- Improve team performance, ensuring your team is positioned well and recognized as an essential part of business recovery.
- Inspire trust and confidence as you and your team navigate this time of uncertainty.
Download our Be R.E.A.D.Y. for Change Model checklist to help you build resilience and be prepared for the new normal.
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