Out of the Wilderness

Re-launching the inner-business & amplifying the positives post-lockdown

The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the transformation of many organisations across all sectors, be they public, private or voluntary. For example, new leaders have emerged within teams, while in some situations new styles of leadership have materialised, for example the collegiate style. In other organisations, a shared purpose, shared goals and shared vision have been established, inspiring teams to operate in the best ways possible.

Team engagement and productivity have also increased in many organisations during the crisis, attributed to a number of factors including:

  • greater visibility and pro-activity of leaders and managers, increasing levels of trust
  • stronger support demonstrated by leadership and management teams, including concern around employee health and wellbeing
  • experiencing a shared purpose, for example of employee safety and organisational survival
  • a willingness to embrace and deliver changes quickly
  • a more caring environment, with team members reaching out to their colleagues

Implementing change has often been seen as challenging – a process difficult to lead and manage. Many leaders have therefore preferred to maintain the status quo rather than face the complexities and barriers in their way. Such businesses have therefore remained stationary, their approach preventing significant organisational innovation from taking place. That is, until now.

Change requires a call for action, and Covid-19 has certainly provided this for many an organisation, be it large or small, catalysing significant and extremely positive changes that would have been lightyears down the line before being realised.

Yet, in times of adversity, it is difficult to see and embrace these positives, especially as they are often submerged beneath the everyday conundrums and challenges that the organisation faces.

In times of crisis, day-to-day firefighting dominates, with little time for reflection and subsequent planning.

But now is the time to reflect objectively on the past few months and determine what will stay and what will go, as we re-launch business-as-usual in a new world of working.

With more remote and cross-team working, now is the time to:

  • Understand your crisis response and amplify any gains made
  • Reset your leadership
  • Reignite your teams
  • Relaunch your organisational culture

Coming out of the wilderness, businesses need to be objective, dig deep and ask exploratory questions such as:

  • Where we are now?
  • What have we learnt?
  • What has worked well?
  • What are our gains?
  • What are our challenges?

Looking at the organisation’s Crisis Response, ask:

  • What activities that we stopped in response to Covid-19 and lockdown do we need to re-introduce?
  • What activities that we stopped in response to Covid-19 and lockdown do we want to remove completely?
  • What do we want to keep doing that we started in response to Covid-19 and lockdown?
  • What do we want to stop that we started in response to Covid-19 and lockdown?

Other questions may be:

  • What is our vision going forward?
  • What are our priorities?
  • How do we build on our successes and take them forward?
  • What have we learnt and how do we use this to improve our services?
  • How will we operate as teams across the organisation?

On such a journey of reflection and discovery, best practice is essential to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted in an environment that allows opinions to be shared openly, safely and non-judgementally. Situational bias needs to be prevented from creeping in, so that a true 360 panorama of the organisation is captured.

Then identification and, crucially, effective planning and successful management of the necessary steps to embed the gains and deliver further changes will help enable the business to thrive in the months and years to come.

Fundamentals at this stage include monitoring changes and employing strategies to sustain them over a considerable period of time, to prevent drifting back to old ways of working and losing the gains made.

Taking the opportunity now to embed these changes into business-as-usual operations will help to offer future resilience to the business and an ability to respond to and withstand any storms ahead.

To deliver such success, strong leadership – which has never been more critical than during these challenging times – will continue to remain important, as organisations come out of their lockdown wilderness. Leaders need to keep the vision clearly in everybody’s sights, motivating their teams and steering their organisational ship to a better destination. They need to share their belief and hope for the future, including the great opportunities on the horizon.


Support for your Journey of Recovery

If you would like a helping hand to come out of your lockdown wilderness, please just give us a call or drop us a line to explore how we can support you, or use our contact form: https://www.jfamanagementconsultancy.co.uk/contact/

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Jane Fisher Associates
01904 215 377 07837 024 374 hello@janefisherassociates.co.uk
Jane Fisher Associates Ltd
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NE47 9BD