Are you comparing apples when gathering information or are you getting distracted by a banana or pineapple when looking to make decisions on #yourjourneyahead ?
We’re all looking for positive news at this time. When it comes to finding a world we would like see more of, New Zealand is all too often elevated to the top of the list as an example of why can’t we be like them.
Undeniably decisions have been made that have helped the NZ story, but their situation is far different to that of say the UK. With a population around the same size as that found in the Birmingham Metro area, a land mass twice that of England and it’s location in the South Pacific far different to the travel crossroads/hub of somewhere like the UK, one might suggest that there journey has been an easier one to take than ours.
Key for individuals and leaders alike, is to look to reduce the noise around us. We need to focus on what we can control and influence and then own the decisions we make as we look to remain relevant to those we lead, influence or serve.
I was really interested to read the recent post by Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon about how she and her team are looking to navigate the current lockdown Working practice changes at Channel 4
So much of what Alex and leaders like her are doing to lead their businesses through this period of more unknowns than knowns positively resonates with me. But as a leader/influencer should we be looking to lead with a little more positivity? If we are seen to be pessimistic and down then won’t this potentially negatively influence the mindset of those we lead?
Yes these are undoubtedly challenging times – one look/listen to the news drums this home on a daily basis. But as leaders/influencers, isn’t it our role to suck it up and look to be more positive to those we lead, influence and care for.
I appreciate that for some ‘working in isolation is ineffective, lonely and breeds anxiety’ and we have an obligation to support and protect their wellbeing and mental health. But on the flip side, enforced changes in the way we work have provided an opportunity and empowered many to gain back control and ownership of their lives by not having to fit in with outdated working practices (i.e. having to be in an office when there is little to no commercial reason to be there (full-time)).
Please do not think I’m being critical in any way here of Emma as a leader. For me, Channel 4’s move to no meeting Fridays and daily lunch breaks is all about positive leadership in delivering relevance in the new way of work. But using the planned changes at Channel 4 as an example, I wanted to explore how to ‘sell’ leadership decisions in a different way – i.e more positively!
‘working in isolation is ineffective, lonely and breeds anxiety’ versus ‘as a creative business we want to empower your wellbeing and creativity, so we’re looking to give you time not to schedule things. Time to think, breathe, catch-up and space to be creative.’
With many expecting the current UK lockdown to extend far beyond the mid-February review, the continued world of remote working is here to stay.
Being critical of myself, maybe I’m just naïve in looking to see the world as I do in a more half full rather than a half empty way. What do I know? What I do passionately believe is that as a leader, realistic and relevant positivity breeds positivity in those you lead on #yourjourneyahead
In response to Covid-19, professional service firms have had to adapt to new ways of work that are now the ‘new norm’.
Agility is now a key success factor to the continued relevance of many firms but agility has not historically been associated with operational success of (in particular) accounting and law firms.
Agile firms can quickly redirect their people and priorities toward value-creating opportunities. McKinsey & Company have identified five operating-model dimensions to drive agility:
1. Strategy – a shared purpose and vision embodied across the organisation
2. Structure – a network of empowered teams
3. Process – rapid decision and learning cycles
4. People – dynamic people model that ignites passion
5. Technology – next-generation enabling technology
Considering a clearly defined strategy as a starting point, many accounting and law firms are quick to promote and talk about their purpose, values and vision (story) but rarely truly live to these ideals. All to often leadership teams look to these critical foundations to success as a DIY/tick box exercise.
By failing to get the purpose, vision and story right, they fail (among other things) to ignite and sustain passion within their people and in turn do not have empowered teams. Accounting and law firms tend to focus too much on technology and process because these are within the comfort zone of the technical mindset/competencies of most firm leaders.
Get it right on purpose, values and having a relevant story, your firm will be agile (by creating firm wide engagement and trust towards change) and this will also lead to increasing your reputation and visibility within your market(s) as a firm of choice.