Colin Yeow - Jul 21, 2020

Returning to a New Normal - What's Next For Leaders?

As we begin to return to normal life, the question that is begging to be asked is – “What normal are we returning to?”

For most businesses, this pandemic has disrupted the way we operate in a more permanent way.

Goals for 2020 would have changed rather drastically; strategic plans would need to be relooked, and the way we communicate and connect as a team might have morphed. We too, may by now, have discovered new ways of serving our customers and are reviewing “traditional” ways of doing business.

But how do we ensure we’re taking a holistic approach as we navigate this change as leaders?

One way to do so, is to adopt the Whole Emergenetics approach (WEapproach) – a framework that allows us to take into consideration the various preferences of the way individuals prefer to think and behave.

As we gradually return to work, we invite you to consider 7 sets of questions, guided by the WEapproach, that might help us thrive again quickly in this new reality.

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What is the vision for the company in five or 10 years?

Don’t assume that what you had envisioned before is still relevant. The business environment, your competitive landscape, customer needs, and market demands may have all changed.

Dream about what possibilities might now be present that may not have been in the past. What possibilities lie in the near, mid- and long-term future?

What are some benchmarks or milestones that need to be achieved to realise the vision?

Rework your SWOT or SOAR analysis. From the vision that is in your mind, work backwards to form objectives, benchmarks and milestones.

Do not let the current realities constrain you. Adopt an aspirational attitude as you set these objectives, benchmarks and milestones that will help you achieve the vision. Don’t forget to include metrics to measure your milestones too!

 

What do we need to continue doing? What do we need to stop doing? What do we need to start doing?

Decide what the next steps are by simply deciding what to STOP doing; what to START doing; and what to CONTINUE doing. Use your objectives, milestones and benchmarks as a guide as you go about making these decisions.

What is the impact of this plan to our stakeholders?

Rally your stakeholders – team members, shareholders and even vendors – around your vision, strategy and plan! Take an intentional approach as you transit out of the pandemic. Consider the impact these changes might have on each person. Who might be affected, and how?

How do we communicate?

Recognise that everyone prefers to be communicated to differently. How you communicate may not sit well with some but will be appealing to others.

Choose to communicate changes and plans to your team in a way that resonates with them. Some may prefer a one-on-one where they can discuss their thoughts safely, while others may prefer a large group debate and discussion.

How fast or slow do we proceed?

Fast is not necessarily better. Sometimes, we need to pause or move more cautiously and intentionally. At other times, we need to move at speed. Business agility is key. Put some thought about varying our pace for different projects so we do not burn out, or end up responding too slowly.

What do we need to be loose or tight on?

While it is good to be focused, we need to remain open and learn from the rapidly changing environment. Pivot when necessary, and revisit certain decisions along the way. Decide as you lead, what areas you want to be tight on, and which areas you can be loose on.

We hope these 7 questions will get you started as you return to a new reality and lead your team into navigating the new normal.

Returning to a New Reality - A Guide for Leaders download

Written by Colin Yeow