These are challenging times for business but they also offer a real opportunity for true leaders to shine.

Rachel Cutler theGrogroup Ltd. recently wrote: ‘We are not returning to what we know; we are departing from what we knew. If the message is conveyed without ambiguity, with honesty and with a sense that it will be a shared experience, they have a better chance to take everyone with them into this brave new world of work’.

All business leaders need to banish any talk of ‘Norm’ and look to take ownership of their respective new way. Don’t always look to rely on/blame others (i.e. governments) – this should just be seen as a source of guidance and validation that you’re on the right track! The last 6 or so months have radically impacted the way we live and work. Reality is that we are really only in the early stages of Covid-19. Recent news in the UK is that Government/scientists are predicting 3 times more than the current 45,000 Covid related deaths in the coming months. More lock-downs will come so businesses need to develop an agile workforce and working practices and look to new ways and opportunities for their market offering(s).

There is no denying that these are challenging times for business but they also offer a real opportunity for true leaders to shine and bring real value, purpose and support to those around them. #management#innovation#yourjourneyahead

True leaders don’t rely on hindsight

The last 6 months have been transformational for us all, what with #Covid19 and more recently #BlackLivesMatter. Both have hugely negative sides and more unknowns than knowns, which society is still very much in the early tentative steps of understanding and dealing with. The big question must be where were the leaders, whether within government, business, or within the community/society before the outbreak in China and events in the US?

In a world which seems to be made more of followers than true leaders, how will the journey ahead look?

Governments seem to be stuck in a ‘sound bite political arena’ as they seek short-term relevance and electability within their term(s).

All too many within business and society are quick to react to the here and now. We all need to take a step back and ask whether more could/should have been done before they/we were forced to react. Hindsight is always a marvelous thing, but as we consider what the world used to look like we realise that the signs were there. True leaders were making their mark in those days.

Challenging times for all, but there is a real opportunity to make things better within the workplace and wider society, so it’s time to take ownership of #yourjourneyahead

Does your business really get what the new way of work will be?

Does your business really get what the new way of work will be? I recently saw the following guidance regarding potential interview questions that could be used at this time:

1. What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
2. Can you do the job while working from home?
3. Are you willing to eventually work from an office?
4. How have you been spending your time?

If I was the interviewee and was asked these 4 questions, when (hopefully) asked whether I had any questions by the interviewers I would simply say ‘why do you think I should want to work for a business like yours that clearly has no idea of the new working world?’

It’s time for Boards and Executive Teams to lead businesses to the new world post Covid-19

‘Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning’. Wise words by Winston Churchill and as the business world looks to move forward post the imposed lockdowns around the world, Boards and Executive Teams need to influence and lead their businesses to the new way of work. A recent McKinsey & Company article highlighted the need for Boards to coach and advise its management teams and to:

· Take time to recognize how the people who depend on the business feel
· Have aspirations about the post Covid-19 world but build the resilience to make them a reality
· Strengthen capabilities to engage and work with regulators, governments and other stakeholders
· Watch out for non Covid-19 risks and make sure to carve out time to dedicate to the familiar risks of the business that have not gone away

While many challenges remain, opportunities are available for those businesses that have the right culture, strategy and leadership teams and an agility to meet the ever changing needs of the market. Relevance has to be at the core of #yourjouneyahead

Far too many business sectors have delayed decisions that could and should of been made some time ago.

‘The old way of retail has been dying for years and Covid-19 pushed it off a cliff. But a more resilient retail industry is shaping up right in front of our eyes. The future of retail is already here, it’s just hiding in plain sight’ Tien Tzuo

The word ‘retail’ could be substituted by most if not all other sectors (e.g. professional services, property, hospitality etc…).

As a business owners/leaders, what are you doing to navigate #yourjourneyahead to give your business and clients 20:20 vision?

Leadership is limiting the drive to a new working mindset.

Businesses from all sectors have faced many challenges from having to deal with changes in working practices over recent months. The results from an survey recently published in The Wall Street Journal highlight issues that many if not all business have faced.

The majority if not all the issues listed in terms of what have worked poorly can be associated to two key things

1) a lack of business continuity planning and:

2) poor leadership.

It is interesting, and some might say not surprising, that productivity was seen to have improved by more respondents than not. Businesses need to realise that they now find themselves in a new world that demands that they continue their journey to a new working mindset that reflects the ever changing needs of their clients and employees. Businesses simply cannot go back to any state of ‘normal’ if they want to have a tomorrow.

The office as we know it is dead but not gone for ever

McKinsey research shows that 80% of people said they enjoyed working from home with 41% percent say they were more productive and a further 28% said that they were as productive.

Solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom have been widely adopted by businesses after being forced into making workplace change in recent months. While technology has been instrumental in keeping businesses operational, it can only go so far. Key limitations include the loss of that chance conversation/overhearing of a call/discussion or that ‘I didn’t know we did that’ moment.

Businesses must use this moment to break from the inertia of te past by dispensing with suboptimal old habits and systems. A well-planned return to offices can use this moment to reinvent their role and create a better experience for talent, improve collaboration and productivity, and reduce costs.

The need of office space is not a thing of the past but it does need to be different. Workspaces need to provide an agile/change ready environment to be relevant to the changing needs of the new way of work