In the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, Executives and organisational leaders are facing two key anxieties: how intensely the coronavirus outbreak will impact the economy and what their companies should be doing to best protect and retain their people. Many new leaders are also facing the additional pressure of knowing the way they act during this crisis will establish their credentials as a good leader or a bad one.
The massive scale of this outbreak and its sheer unpredictability are making it challenging for executives to respond and there’s, unfortunately, no how-to guide to get a leader through a crisis. This is because while there can be certain protocols in place that prevent a crisis from happening, each new crisis is unique in its own way, with its own problems and risks and will require a different approach from the one used before.
What leaders need during a crisis is not a predefined response plan but behaviours and mindsets that will prevent them from internalising potential outcomes of the uncontrollable situation we find ourselves in and help them look ahead. The increased focused time made available by at home working and not fighting daily office-related fires, offer a unique opportunity for organisations to get ahead of strategy. And People leaders, specifically, are in a strong position to finally start moving from reactive to proactive talent acquisition and management models.
Whilst editing and restructuring the command-and-control hierarchy across organisations, People teams will be reassessing organisational designs, team structures and the people that fill them. This is the time to be digging deep to look at you 6-18month people strategies and contingencies. Where are the risks and gaps in your leadership structure and how can you proactively approach this to ensure you are ahead of your market on the other side?
In order to get through this epidemic, we need to start thinking differently and collaboratively about how we can best manage and maintain the teams around us. We are already hearing that the most popular interview question from candidates after this will be “what was your response to the coronavirus and how did you ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of your staff during the epidemic?”.
We want all of our networks, clients and candidates to know that we’re here to enable you and your leadership teams to be remembered as organisations that did more than just the right thing during this crisis and we are here to help in any way we can.
We have significantly adapted our daily rate charges and adopted flat fee structures across all mandates to help ensure transparency and project management. We have also launched a pro bono version of our Velocity executive coaching programme to support diverse leaders at this challenging time. For more information on any of this, please reach out.
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