Six Ways Leaders Can Prepare for Continuing Changes and Challenges
Leading is difficult enough in the best of times. Leading in chaotic times challenges even the most seasoned leaders. Now with a new year on the way, it’s time for planning. Some typical planning organizations engage in during these times involve strategic planning, establishing goals, addressing talent requirements, budgeting, and analyzing a plethora of other business needs. The one thing we know leaders can’t plan for is the perfect business scenario. So how do leaders plan in and for chaos?
Even when our world approaches some semblance of normality, there will be more changes and more chaos. Most assuredly, it is going to be a while before normalcy appears and even then, it will probably be different than the normal we knew. What strategies can you lasso from the chaos for continued growth and success?
1. Working From Home
Once, this was a dilemma for many organizations. In the 1980’s movie 9 to 5, while the boss was, err, um, tied up, it was revolutionary to introduce split working shifts. Working from home has been under consideration and resoundingly rejected many times. Now, out of necessity, we know it can work and work well in many cases. While it isn’t for everyone or for every profession, providing working from home options, can be a part of your planning process and using it to your business advantage in attracting good talent you might otherwise lose, is being business savvy.
2. Working Space
Physical working spaces need to facilitate the safety needs employees will require when working in the office. We’ve all seen instances in the past when regular “run of the mill” colds and flu can take a toll on a workplace due to the spreading of germs. Certainly, even the flue can have catastrophic outcomes for some individuals. While I’m not a sage, I dare say that the world may see pandemics come more frequently. It will be imperative to provide all possible safety measures to ensure the safety and health of your most valued asset, your people. We’ve lost far too many already.
3. Check Your Culture
Yes! Culture needs to be included in any strategic planning. This is the perfect time to piggyback on the Working Space paragraph above. Think about how you are going to:
- Help your employees feel they are appreciated.
- Build strong development programs.
- Develop your succession and career building pathways.
- Attract talent with better benefits, and if you are looking for ideas around this there are links in this video https://youtu.be/T1QLX_IDRcE for ideas.
- Increase EQ and this will be important if relationships, communications, and conflict were or are an ongoing part of the day. Take a long look at your mission, purpose, and vision.
4. Serve Your Customers
Your needs are changing and no doubt so are the needs of your customers. Both employees and customers are the focus now. Help your employees understand how they can help the organization by gathering information about customer needs. Of course, you can conduct surveys, but your front line hears the real nitty gritty straight from the customer’s mouth. Help them to listen better, report the information they learn in a timely and cohesive manner, and then allow them to help find and develop the solutions. Everybody wins.
No doubt, travel will still be at a low level. While this is unfortunate for all those in the hospitality industry, they too, will need to find ways to meet their client’s needs. But back to you. Now is a good time to work on client engagement programs. What travel can be eliminated, what can’t, what meetings can be a hybrid? How much face-to-face time do your clients need or want? Where can you invest the money not being invested in travel?
If we thought technology was a large part of our lives before, it is practically consuming our every waking moment now. Do some planning around your needs for it, how to leverage it, and keeping up with it and frankly, I think technology is even having a hard time keeping up today! In researching this blog, an interesting article by Fast Company turned up explaining how technology is changing our lives and society in unexpected ways.
Thank you for reading this blog. For more ideas on handling changes in the coming year, Let's get started