CREATING BUSINESS CONTINUITY DURING COVID-19 AND BEYOND

“Strong Leadership and Making People Safe First is an Imperative—Business Follows”

Today more than ever those leading us through crisis must have strong empathy and compassion first—business at-hand comes second. The human side of life must be addressed first to lead us out of crisis. This begins by addressing the most foundational human needs to survive. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs defines the psychological motivational theory addressing survival—beginning with food, water, and safety—these must be achieved before other needs can be met (Maslow, 1943).


Now is the time every employer and their people need to prepare for when we can all return to work in the new norm—when it is safe for everyone to return.


Building a “scalable” business model just took on a totally new meaning and imperative. This is an opportune time to not only rethink the future of your organization (new business strategy) but to rethink the competencies and talent needed to bring your new strategy to life in a much more agile and dynamic way than ever before.


“Just as the world will never be the same after this COVID-19 pandemic,

neither will nor should your organization.”


“As long as we have learned from our experiences, apply empathy and compassion, and ensure the safety of others first—we will continue to make progress.”


BUILDING CONTINUITY THROUGH LESSONS LEARNED


Rapid Agility—How rapidly organizations and people are able to move from a “brick and mortar organization” to a “virtual organization” is paramount to maintain stability in current COVID-19 crisis and in future uncertain times including when the next pandemic or catastrophe takes place—it is not a matter of “if” it is a matter of “when”.


Inspirational Leadership Matters—The faster an organization’s leadership and its employees can act to keep the momentum and gain stability during and after crisis—the more likely such organization will achieve a sustainable future. It all begins with having the right leadership and the right people in the right seats then a progressive future is possible. Now is the time to be thinking about whether you have the right leadership and people in the right seats moving into your “new norms”. Please be certain—this is not saying layoffs—it is saying restructuring so that you are leveraging your current bench strength and adding new leadership and talent strengths where you are weak or missing what is needed.


Gifford Thompson posits “Inspiration and leadership are inseparable. If you cannot inspire your team to achieve greatness, if you cannot inspire a group of people to follow your vision, if you cannot inspire people by your words and actions; you’re not a leader. You are an average manager at best. Inspirational leaders don’t accept ‘the way life is,’ and they are often uncomfortable if they are not living their purpose, and sharing it with the world. We were all born with unique gifts to share, but we are often thrown off track by taking a job that is safe, and has great benefits but isn’t fulfilling—we may be good at it, we may be the best at it, but it does not bring out the greatness trapped inside of us begging to come out (Thompson, 2020).”


Brandy Schade, Strengthology Leadership Consultant, shared with me during a recent conversation we were having on what competencies great managers possess. Brandy posited “the key traits to look for in a person when promoting or hiring someone into a leadership role are they:


• Motivate every single employee to act and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.

• Have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.

• Create a culture of clear accountability.

• Build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency; and

• Make decisions based on productivity, not politics.


All of these 5 critical traits are also competencies found within someone who has strong emotional intelligence. There is a plethora of studies that show authentic and most meaningful leaders must have strong emotional intelligence.


Brandy also shared with me a Gallop article written by Randall Beck and Jim Harter and published in the Gallop Workplace Business Journal that went into details about these five traits and when organizations measure these traits when hiring their managers, they were able to double the rate of engaged employees, and achieve on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition (Beck and Harter, ND).


“Companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time,

Gallup finds”


Motivating the Troops—What does the military have that the majority of organizations don’t have? Leaders at all levels motivating the people around them. A core leadership competency absolutely a must is the ability to quickly build rapport and trust with direct reports and all employees. This competency also happens to be a core competency of strong emotional intelligence. William Treseder is a thought leader when it comes to leadership and how to motivate others wrote a compelling article entitled “Military Secrets for Motivating Employees” that quickly points out the missing link and reasons why the military is so amazingly great at motivating their troops and what organizations can learn from the military’s success taking people from all over the world with absolutely nothing in common and—depending on the service—has between 6 and 13 weeks to mold them into a functional unit that is capable of executing complex tasks with relative precision.


Treseder posits “The magnitude of this task is difficult to grasp. It’s hard enough to get one teenaged male to do something (ask any parent), let alone dozens of them. Crammed together. Sleep-deprived. With weapons… On top of that, these young men and women are sweating or freezing for less than minimum wage. The bottom line, the Army, Navy, and Air Forces are good at motivating people because they have to be because military life is hard and you can’t pay people much. You may ask them to die, and you have to know they’ll accomplish the mission anyway.”


A common thread can be found amongst the best leaders—whether Spartan hoplite, a Japanese samurai, a Turkish Ghazi, or an American soldier—the ability to have empathy and an understanding of human nature. Napoleon demonstrated unparalleled insight into human nature when explaining the medal to his critics on how soldiers need glory, distinctions, and rewards. Treseder concurred “Things should be earned, never given. (Treseder, 2014).”


Team Engagement & Productivity—Brandy Schade, Strengthology Leadership Consultant, People who have fun and do what they do best on a daily basis are 6x as likely to be engaged. Teams that focus on strengths every day are 12.5% more productive. High levels of employee engagement increase profitability and productivity by approximately 20%.


Paul Zak wrote about “The Neuroscience of Trust”—and found that “building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance. (Zak, 2017).


Shifting Mindset—It is not just about what an organization wants and needs to survive vs. become extinct—it is also important to address what leadership and employees need to thrive. A relevant survey by the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (SEVS) used to evaluate the extent to which the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) employees are motivated. Here are a few of what was most important:


• Importance of their jobs and connection to their organization’s mission

• Understanding their jobs and performance feedback

• Encouragement of individual development and the importance of a healthy work-life balance

• Feeling empowered, appreciated, paid fairly, and having opportunities for growth

(Saacks, 2016).


Assessing Your Bench Strength During COVID-19 and Beyond—Virtual recruitment and virtual hiring now should be your “go-to” resources as you take a critical view of your current leadership and people and identify the gaps in strengths necessary to drive the future of your organization in the new norms.


Hiring Virtually—Leonel DeLeon, an expert in retain executive search placements, wrote an article recently entitled “Cost of Getting ‘Hiring Wrong’” and as I was reading it, I found the timeliness of his article to be even more profound because of what we are now experiencing and the entire world is dealing with during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Leonel further posits a few of the advantages of embracing virtual hiring practices, I have found are:


• Access to a larger pipeline of new talent—Global Reach with Local Touch

• Attracting a robust pipeline of more highly-qualified candidates—Breadth and Depth of Reach

• Leveraging technology, reducing time to hire, and making consistently good decisions with on-demand and live video interviews—Means Deploying Talent Much Faster Within Just A Few Days Vs. Weeks or Months.

• Enabling rapid screening of candidates and helps narrow the funnel to assess the most qualified, “best fit” candidates for each position—Finding Best Fit Faster

• Reduces the cost of hiring and increases better decision making—Mitigating the Risk of Hiring the Wrong People

According to a recent Gallup study “Bad managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year and having too many of them can bring down a company. The only defense against this problem is a good offense because when companies get these decisions wrong, nothing fixes it. Businesses that get it right, however, and hire managers based on talent will thrive and gain a significant competitive advantage (Beck and Harter, ND).


Leonel further shared in his article a recent survey from The Conference Board who have been conducting Executive surveys since 1999 shows that the world's top chief executives view the following as their Top 3 concerns in 2020:


• #1 concern is the risk of a recession (we are in a bad recession right now)

• #2 attracting and retaining talent (COVID-19 has caused organizations to layoff and freeze up combined with complete chaos especially when it comes to making hiring decisions), and lastly

• #3 competition and staying ahead of the curve while remaining relevant to their customers and employees (companies’ worst nightmare just became real)


Executives in 2020 also feel unsettled by trade uncertainty, political instability, and more intense competition from disruptive technologies (multiply this fear tenfold today as the pandemic has brought the US economy to its knees).


JPMORGAN CHASE CEO, Jamie Dimon, says he expects "a bad recession" and financial stress "similar to the global financial crisis" in the months ahead as the U.S. economy reels from the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown measures being adopted to contain it (U.S. News & World Report, 04/06/20).


Leonel DeLeon, is the Managing Partner of Strong Tower Partners, a retain executive search, talent advisory and executive coaching firm specialized in identifying, attracting and coaching exceptional leaders to maximize organizational talent selection and talent management competencies and processes.


In conclusion, now is the time every employer and their people need to prepare for how their business will be conducted in order to thrive vs. become extinct right now and into the future as we all return to work in the new norm. The reality is organizations must build “scalable” business models and scalable hiring practices while leveraging this unprecedented time in global and U.S. history by embracing it as an opportune time to not only rethink the future of your organization (new business strategy) but to rethink the competencies and talent needed to bring your new strategy to life in a much more agile and dynamic way than ever before.


“Just as the world will never be the same after this COVID-19 pandemic,

neither will nor should your organization.”


Sources:

Learn More

Blog

Blog

Leading Virtual Teams

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 4:20 PM

Leading Virtual Teams

Written by Robert Bacon

Editorial by Jane Loya Ryan

Suddenly many co-located teams are now operating virtually due to COVID-19. As a leader this raises new obstacles to delivering on commitments and keeping the team informed. This can be a challenging time for teams beginning to work remotely for the first time. My experience from leading global teams have shown virtual teams can be high performing by managing the challenges of being remote. Below are key areas to address with today’s newly virtual teams.

Create Team Communication Plan

The team will need to have a clear plan on how they will stay connected while working remote. First, the plan should address team and 1-1 meetings, and with input from the team, agree on the scheduled times and tools used to connect. There are many options available to communicate as a team which may be limited by the solutions licensed by your organization. Multiple solutions are likely needed to cover all communication needs and consider the change management needs for new tools. After several weeks, review how the communication plan is going with the team and adjust as needed.

Now more than ever, weekly update meetings are important to keep all team members aware of any changes, as well as to ensure all members get to provide input. Be aware remote meetings can carry a risk of member engagement versus when held in-person. To help ensure member focus, use meeting best practices, and this includes setting agendas and sending notes afterwards with key points, decisions made, and action items to support common understanding across the team.

Ensure the team members have a plan for communicating among themselves. What may have taken five minutes to discuss over the cubicle wall, may take much longer due to not being face-to-face. The team should discuss guidelines on communicating to avoid frustration of a team member feeling their questions are not being responded to in a timely manner. An issue with remote teams is email ping-pong where many responses to one email causes a long chain. A good remedy is the ‘3 Email Rule’ where the sender needs to call the person if the email is not resolved within 3 responses.

Stay Connected

While it was easy to have social conversations over coffee with a team member to build better relationships and a team working culture, it is not as easy to build when the members are remote. Therefore, use the first few minutes of a team and 1-1 meetings to discuss non-work topics important to the team members and see how they are doing. I have found that having a broader connection with the team members can facilitate an open culture allowing a more productive discussion for topics with conflicting views.

The use of 1-1 meetings with each of the team members is critical when working with virtual teams. These sessions support the team member by providing visibility to their work progress and providing the opportunity for discussion on issues or challenges being faced. During a period of significant change in my organization, a team member in another country came well prepared to our 1-1 calls, although when I asked if there were questions for me the answer was no. Then, I changed how I asked the same questions so that I was asking open-ended questions, this invoked answers that had to be more than no. It opened the door to engage in more meaningful conversations as well as uncovering questions they had that normally would not have been asked. Soon, my team member was comfortable voicing concerns on changes impacting him and I was able to ensure that he had the information he needed to manage his responsibilities better.

During 1-1 videoconferences or phone calls I am able to better mentor and coach them through obstacles or challenges they are having in real-time. This avoids delays in getting work done and engages greater performance.

Ensure Clear Expectations and Communicate

This is a good time to re-emphasize or update team’s goals and status of achieving them. The changes in the organization may be causing priorities and direction to change. If so, make sure the team understands the changes and the new priority of work. Using a stoplight scorecard to show goal progress is an effective tool to quickly understand status. If the scorecard is showing adverse results, the use of determining root causes, brainstorming options and implementing corrective actions can support getting back on track.

Your team and potentially your organization are going through significant change. Now is the time to communicate clear, concise, well-tuned messages and keep your team well informed. As updates come from leadership in the organization, help your team understand the impact these decisions will have upon them. Make sure you recognize your team members for their outstanding work, especially during this unprecedented time. This is also a good time to stress the organization and team’s good news as everybody can use a morale boost.

Change is the Only Constant

My organization went through a transformation involving all systems being migrated to a new data center while offering new services to grow the business. These initiatives impacted my entire team of 50 members located across 4 countries. Priorities changed based on new business wins and readiness of the data center. Communicating the impacts and work plans from new client business and current data center readiness schedule enabled the team to understand the priorities and work needs. Coupled with recognizing members for demonstrating the organization’s core values, the team delivered on the projects and increased engagement and performance.

Today’s coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed the way we must conduct business. Organizational restructuring is a must and relocating employees, teams and personnel is an imperative. As a senior leader, organizational restructuring is nothing new to me, although the speed to restructure and the reasons for the restructure are very new. Accepting and embracing change, staying calm and resilient are core competencies all leaders of people must strengthen. If you find yourself struggling with all the rapid change and unknowns, now is the time to engage a proven executive coach to help you navigate through these times and not only survive but thrive on the other side.

Working with remote team members can be challenging, and managing virtual teams brings a new reality for leaders. Remember, to take care of yourself so that you can help your teams overcome their fears and challenges as well. As a virtual team leader, you will need to dedicate more time with your team members collectively as well as individually. Working closely with your team with a plan that ensures team collaboration and clear communications can create engaged and high performing virtual teams.

 


Categories: Leadership

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

12138 Comments

Reply curry 7 shoes
1:08 PM on April 20, 2021 
I must express some appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this setting. Just after surfing through the world wide web and finding views which are not helpful, I was thinking my life was gone. Existing devoid of the answers to the difficulties you've resolved by way of this website is a critical case, and ones which could have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not encountered the blog. Your good knowledge and kindness in dealing with a lot of things was helpful. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a thing like this. I can now relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for the skilled and amazing help. I will not be reluctant to endorse your blog to any individual who ought to have counselling about this subject matter.
curry 7 shoes http://www.curry7.us
Reply yeezy boost 350 v2
1:05 PM on April 20, 2021 
I simply wanted to thank you so much again. I am not sure the things that I might have used without the entire strategies discussed by you over such a subject matter. Previously it was a difficult situation in my opinion, but encountering the specialised way you handled that forced me to weep with delight. Now i'm thankful for the service and as well , believe you find out what an amazing job you're accomplishing instructing many people through the use of your webpage. I'm certain you have never encountered any of us.
yeezy boost 350 v2 http://www.adidasyeezy350v2boost.com
Reply yeezy 500 blush
1:04 PM on April 20, 2021 
I needed to post you one tiny observation just to thank you very much again for your fantastic advice you've featured at this time. It has been so wonderfully generous with people like you to give publicly all that many of us could have distributed for an e book to generate some bucks for their own end, most importantly seeing that you could have tried it in the event you decided. The pointers in addition acted like a fantastic way to understand that most people have the identical desire similar to mine to realize a whole lot more in regard to this matter. I am certain there are several more enjoyable instances ahead for folks who scan your blog.
yeezy 500 blush http://www.yeezy-500.us.com
Reply bape
11:24 AM on April 20, 2021 
I precisely had to appreciate you again. I am not sure the things that I would've followed without the actual methods contributed by you relating to such topic. Certainly was a real traumatic problem for me personally, however , noticing this well-written manner you processed it made me to weep over happiness. Extremely thankful for your guidance and as well , wish you know what an amazing job your are getting into educating people through your webpage. Probably you've never encountered all of us.
bape http://www.bapehoodie.us
Reply supreme clothing
11:22 AM on April 20, 2021 
I have to get across my gratitude for your kindness supporting persons that have the need for help on this particular theme. Your very own commitment to passing the solution across appears to be quite interesting and have without exception enabled others just like me to arrive at their goals. Your own useful tips and hints entails this much a person like me and still more to my office colleagues. Warm regards; from each one of us.
supreme clothing http://www.supremeshoodie.com
Reply jordan 4
11:22 AM on April 20, 2021 
My husband and i were absolutely lucky when Edward managed to finish off his analysis through the ideas he grabbed when using the site. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be offering points which often some people may have been making money from. And now we fully grasp we have the writer to give thanks to for this. The most important illustrations you made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships you will give support to instill - it's got all sensational, and it's really aiding our son and the family do think this subject matter is pleasurable, which is certainly rather mandatory. Thank you for all!
jordan 4 http://www.jordan4.us.com
Reply bape clothing
11:17 AM on April 20, 2021 
I and my guys came looking at the good key points on your web blog and all of a sudden I had a horrible feeling I had not expressed respect to you for those strategies. These ladies became as a result excited to learn them and already have extremely been taking advantage of those things. Many thanks for genuinely simply kind as well as for utilizing this form of beneficial subject matter millions of individuals are really eager to learn about. My personal honest regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.
bape clothing http://www.bape-clothing.us
Reply kyrie 7
11:15 AM on April 20, 2021 
I not to mention my friends have already been going through the good suggestions found on your web blog and then suddenly came up with a terrible feeling I never thanked the web blog owner for those techniques. The boys came so happy to read through them and already have clearly been taking advantage of them. Many thanks for truly being indeed kind and for picking out this sort of quality guides millions of individuals are really eager to be informed on. My honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.
kyrie 7 http://www.kyrie7shoes.us
Reply yeezy shoes
11:15 AM on April 20, 2021 
I happen to be writing to let you know what a excellent encounter my friend's daughter undergone using your blog. She came to find so many issues, which include what it's like to possess an ideal teaching heart to make other people with no trouble fully understand a number of impossible subject matter. You actually surpassed our expectations. I appreciate you for offering the valuable, trusted, informative not to mention easy thoughts on your topic to Evelyn.
yeezy shoes http://www.yeezy-shoes.us.org
Reply yeezy shoes
10:39 AM on April 20, 2021 
I am only writing to make you be aware of what a notable discovery my friend's daughter obtained reading through your site. She mastered some details, which include what it is like to possess a very effective helping character to have the rest without difficulty master some tricky issues. You really did more than people's expected results. Thank you for offering such necessary, healthy, educational as well as easy thoughts on the topic to Gloria.
yeezy shoes http://www.yeezy-shoes.us.org
Reply supreme clothing
10:39 AM on April 20, 2021 
I truly wanted to post a comment to thank you for the nice pointers you are giving out here. My extended internet look up has at the end of the day been compensated with good quality concept to share with my neighbours. I 'd repeat that most of us site visitors are very lucky to exist in a great site with very many awesome professionals with valuable basics. I feel rather grateful to have discovered your web pages and look forward to so many more cool minutes reading here. Thanks once more for everything.
supreme clothing http://www.supremeclothings.us.com
Reply lebron shoes
10:38 AM on April 20, 2021 
I am also commenting to let you be aware of what a awesome discovery our child found going through the blog. She realized so many issues, which included what it is like to have an ideal helping heart to let many people very easily thoroughly grasp a variety of advanced topics. You really did more than visitors' expectations. Thank you for rendering the warm and helpful, safe, educational and fun thoughts on the topic to Sandra.
lebron shoes http://www.lebronjames-shoes.us.com
Reply nike sb dunk low
10:36 AM on April 20, 2021 
I simply wanted to develop a simple remark to thank you for the amazing instructions you are giving here. My time intensive internet look up has at the end of the day been paid with high-quality facts and strategies to go over with my relatives. I would believe that many of us site visitors actually are unquestionably blessed to exist in a decent website with so many awesome individuals with insightful ideas. I feel very happy to have seen the webpages and look forward to plenty of more amazing times reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.
nike sb dunk low http://www.sbdunk.us
Reply spongebob kyrie 5
9:59 AM on April 20, 2021 
I simply wished to appreciate you again. I do not know what I would've followed in the absence of the actual smart ideas discussed by you relating to this question. Certainly was a real troublesome concern for me personally, but taking note of a professional fashion you solved the issue forced me to weep over happiness. Extremely happy for your advice and even trust you know what an amazing job your are getting into instructing other individuals via your blog. More than likely you haven't come across all of us.
spongebob kyrie 5 http://www.kyrie5spongebob.us
Reply michael jordan shoes
9:58 AM on April 20, 2021 
Thanks for all your valuable labor on this blog. My aunt loves engaging in internet research and it's easy to see why. A number of us hear all regarding the compelling manner you offer very helpful things by means of your blog and as well as boost participation from website visitors about this issue plus our princess is certainly being taught a whole lot. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You are conducting a wonderful job.
michael jordan shoes http://www.michaeljordanshoes.us.com
Reply adidas yeezy
9:58 AM on April 20, 2021 
I precisely desired to thank you very much yet again. I'm not certain the things I might have followed in the absence of the type of strategies discussed by you directly on my situation. It was a difficult issue in my circumstances, however , noticing a new specialized tactic you processed it made me to weep with fulfillment. I will be grateful for the assistance and as well , trust you are aware of a great job you're providing training many people through the use of your web blog. I'm certain you have never got to know any of us.
adidas yeezy http://www.adidasyeezyboost350.us.com
Reply golden goose
9:58 AM on April 20, 2021 
I needed to post you that little word to finally thank you very much as before for the pretty concepts you've contributed above. It has been simply remarkably open-handed of you to supply openly just what most of us would have offered as an ebook to help with making some money for themselves, specifically considering that you might have tried it if you ever desired. The tricks additionally acted like the easy way to be certain that most people have a similar interest the same as my very own to grasp a little more with regard to this condition. I'm sure there are thousands of more enjoyable periods ahead for people who check out your blog post.
golden goose http://www.golden-gooses.com
Reply kevin durant shoes
9:57 AM on April 20, 2021 
I must show my love for your kind-heartedness in support of visitors who really want help on this important idea. Your very own dedication to getting the solution across appears to be extremely informative and has surely allowed guys and women much like me to arrive at their goals. Your entire informative guidelines signifies a great deal a person like me and further more to my peers. Many thanks; from all of us.
kevin durant shoes http://www.kd10.us
Reply chrome hearts online store
9:57 AM on April 20, 2021 
Thank you so much for giving everyone such a nice possiblity to discover important secrets from this website. It is usually very cool and also stuffed with a great time for me and my office colleagues to visit your web site the equivalent of 3 times weekly to read through the new guides you have got. Not to mention, I am just certainly impressed for the unique ideas served by you. Some 1 tips in this post are undoubtedly the most efficient I have had.
chrome hearts online store http://www.chromeheartstoreonline.com
Reply golden goose
9:56 AM on April 20, 2021 
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extraordinarily spectacular possiblity to check tips from this website. It really is very useful and also full of a good time for me personally and my office peers to visit the blog more than three times every week to read the fresh guidance you will have. And of course, I'm at all times fascinated considering the superb techniques served by you. Some two points in this article are absolutely the most beneficial we have all had.
golden goose http://www.goldengoosesonline.com