After the storm
Reflections for after the storm
It is what it is. Fact. The first days after the disruption, called a pandemic, are over. The first essential measures were taken, crisis communication was carried out, fears and resulting aggressions were intercepted, and now?
Have we learned from the emotional, economic and organizational crash?
Have we recognized the people who have outgrown themselves, overcome their own fears, who have taken responsibility for themselves and others in a powerful and sensitive manner?
Have we learned to stay emotionally close despite real distance, learned that things will continue – even if we don’t necessarily know how things will continue? And where to go?
Leading in uncertainty
..is more a question of attitude than mastering technology. They’re already part of our everyday lives anyway. Dealing with imponderables in all areas of life and work still needs some practice – especially where work and private life have been a comfortably controllable habit, even for managers.
Previous experiences should reassure us and remind us that after the crisis mode, everyday life will return, the infections will subside and we will forget the days of rigidity, the then hectic acting, stabilizing, re-structuring. At some point. Will it be the same this time? I don’t think so. We are called upon to learn, to reflect, and to adjust to something completely new. Quickly. The experience is too deep this time.
It doesn’t affect any of us individually, but all of us. During the past few days I have had many good conversations with my clients and have been able to guide them through the first phase of change.
The crisis management.
Taking a breath, picking up entrusted employees with all their fears and resistances, conveying confidence in dealing with the situation together. Structuring work, realigning work from home, in partially empty offices and in zones where people meet, setting protective mechanisms in motion for everyone, setting rules, and always showing attitude.
What is important to think about, hygienically, legally, contractually, socially, and to communicate clearly again and again? How can logistics and communication be organized differently than before, how can they be exchanged with each other differently, how can joint action be found?
Who has shown leadership on this day? Did the employees convey strength in not knowing and compassion for their exceptional situations? Who listened, gratefully accepted opportunities and initiatives? Who remained emotionally (halfway) stable?
The management of habituation: soil for the present and seeds for the future.
The state of emergency becomes daily routine. It is now essential not to let up, to observe, to reflect, to learn and above all to lead. If employees are allowed to become accustomed to the status, they have resigned themselves to the new rhythm, to external immobility, internal worries, the changed daily routine, to restrictions. Is now the right time to realign oneself?
Yes, exactly. But where to go and how? Exciting, highly reflective conversations with my “clients”, my small, sworn community, create the ground for the now and the seed for tomorrow.
Despite spatial separation – for us in Toccaverde with international orders and daily “remote work” usually efficient – we are getting closer. Skype conferences are managed, rules set up, results documented in a virtuoso manner.
Now the communities of destiny are forming, which will later become new teams – and this beyond the experience that IT workers already have today. Now natural common tasks, alignments and those effects arise, for which in former times common Heurigen tours (for non-Viennese: after work parties) and climbing garden had to be arranged.
Now the first reflections germinate without nostalgia – we are much too busy with the now for that. The new makeshift routines show the qualities of the individual. The new form of communication and documentation gives us a new security from the feeling of still being able to control. What experiences regarding our own management style, the composition and qualities of the entrusted employees can we draw from this and how can we use it for the future? Exciting insights about adapted leadership behaviour in a remote state jump into a new self-conception for important, priority, senseless, meaningful, new needs.
The management of the future new: Making friends with the certainty of not knowing
What is still valid in the future, which the – mostly self-appointed – experts let us know through all channels? What can we rely on, what can we not rely on? Systemically oriented managers are already preparing today for the uncertainty of tomorrow.
A significant change in attitude also affects linear process-oriented managers
- Control and micromanagement are useless instruments for even the rosiest of prospects. Admitting partial ignorance opens the door to new, necessary orientations.
- Trust is the order of the day – trust in oneself and in the knowledge and potential of others.
- A new clear communication helps to create a common understanding of corporate goals, for the use of new management techniques and technologies.
- Milestones give way to a shared vision of a desirable outcome…
We at Toccaverde, especially in our remote workshops, are already experiencing today how reassuring it can be to take a short break and think about the future despite the daily management of the exceptional situation: we all need a light at the end of the tunnel.
At least an outlook gives certainty that things will continue even after disruptions. The future begins right now. Actually, everything is the same after all? Is it? Write us your thoughts on this. And if you like, we are here for you in remote coaching or moderation of meetings and workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com