During the last year, we have seen tremendous shifts in life and business that we never could have predicted beforehand. And yet, many companies are learning invaluable lessons from their COVID experience, which will prepare them for future unexpected events.
Highly resilient leadership teams are taking the events of the past year and discovering rich blessings in disguise among the hard realities. Here are a few of the practices I’ve observed in resilient teams — is your leadership team doing any of these?
Related reading: How EOS® Keeps Companies Strong During Challenging Times
COVID Round 2?
In many of the Annual Planning Sessions with clients, we conduct a SWOT analysis. In the Threats quadrant, several leadership teams have listed “COVID Round 2.” These teams were thinking about a potential second shutdown and choosing to get ahead of it this time. They’ve begun to learn to take less for granted, keep their eyes on a wider range of challenges, and take a more proactive stance toward potential threats to their business.
This requires a delicate balance. You want to be well prepared for developments you can’t see coming, but you don’t want to become paranoid that every blip on the radar is an oncoming catastrophe.
I.T. Is In
I’m also seeing an Accountability Chart change among these resilient organizations. The IT seat is receiving a greater emphasis in 2021, because of the urgent need to support the virtual technologies of the business. Teams that weren’t ready for remote work or virtual collaboration last year are now putting more emphasis and focus on remote technologies.
The IT seat should be responsible not only for putting the right virtual technology in place, but also for ensuring that your organization is protecting its data properly. Virtual work means that your employees are using their home networks. Your organization has less control over sensitive information in employees’ homes. Be sure you have the Right Person in the IT seat to cover every aspect of remote technology needs.
Company Culture and Communication
Many resilient organizations in 2021 intend to continue remote work even after the pandemic, which creates a need to emphasize internal communication among teams. These companies are upgrading the technology in their conference rooms, and ensuring their people have the equipment they need.
Company culture and interpersonal relationships need special attention. It should be a top priority to find new ways to connect with one another so that it feels like you’re in the office together. This may include daily or weekly standup meetings, or remote social happy hours — whatever you can do to keep your people connected.
Unbounded Hiring Opportunities
Remote working means greater access to the best people, no matter where they are. While your organization may have been geographically restricted in your hiring before the pandemic, you aren’t any longer. Virtual teams make it much easier to find the Right Person for the Right Seat, even if that person is two time zones away.
Many of my clients are taking full advantage of this development, and their businesses are already reaping the benefits of their new hires.
Don’t Mind the Gap
The teams that are really able to embrace opportunity in the midst of losses are the ones that think in terms of the gain, and not the gap. This is a concept Dan Sullivan explores in his free ebook, The Gap and the Gain. The basic premise is that most entrepreneurs and leadership teams naturally focus on where they want to go. As a result, they can experience some depression, because they haven’t arrived there yet — and they wanted to be there yesterday. That’s the gap.
Instead, focus on the gain by looking at where you are now and how far you’ve come. When you can see how much progress you’ve made, it builds momentum, confidence, and positivity to take the next step forward. Learn from the past, let go of it, and keep moving forward.
Resilient leadership teams need to let go of the past, whether it was terrific or terrible. Take the lessons to be learned, celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and let go of it all, so that the past doesn’t dictate your future or restrict your growth.
How resilient is your leadership team? Need some help getting there? Let’s start a conversation!