As we begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel, it’s time to take stock of the new behaviors, processes, and structures we’ve put in place to remain productive during a time of remote working and decentralization. We may have been forced into these changes, and to be sure, not all of them were good, but the ability to adapt and quickly introduce effective new ways of working was like an incubator for innovation. What are the positives we can take with us as we’re emerging from the pandemic.
The situation forced everyone to abandon traditional bureaucratic ways and inefficient habits. Without being able to meet together, face to face, we had to become more agile and innovative. Decisions had to be made without all of the information at our fingertips and collaborating became a conscious act. These changes made us more understanding and aware of customer needs.
Now we need to take a look at what has been working well over the past couple of months and bring those behaviors and processes forward into our post pandemic work. Look across the leadership team for suggestions of what has been working and how you can align those new behaviors with the organization.
A big question to address emerging from the pandemic is its effect on the culture of the company. How has it changed and what can the executive team and human resources do to adopt new elements into the culture in a way that is positive for all employees and sticky in the sense that they will last beyond the next few weeks.
A recent article from Korn Ferry speaks to these types of issues. As they see it, there are four ways organizations are emerging from the pandemic, surviving, preserving, pivoting, and disrupting. They outline each as described below.
Survive (Hard restructuring and divestment):
Survivalists are in a crisis state that requires short-term focus on this urgent situation. Clear and effective processes for governance and decision-making will enable organizations to successfully emerge from the crisis. An ‘all-hands-on-deck’ culture and people commitment is paramount.
Preserve (Cost optimization and cash generation):
These organizations need their people to have a clear understanding of their goals and to be adaptable, and flexible in order to achieve them. They are likely to have a culture of focus, urgency, and priority to drive immediate outcomes.
Pivot (Re-shaping the portfolio to drive efficiency and performance):
Pivotors need people who can drive toward an established set of outcomes. The culture should include adaptability, speed and agility to make the required changes to the organization and maximize performance outcomes. People need to be adaptable, agile and outcomes focused.
Disrupt (Creating new market norms and/or business approach):
Disruptors need a strong sense of identity and a well-defined culture. Employees should share attributes and skills that are consistent with that identity and believe in the organization’s aspiration.
Regardless of which area you see your organization, to create lasting cultural change, executives will need to break down any silos and work together across departments. The pandemic has jump-started these changes and it would be wise to build on this momentum. It is a time to lead by example and build consensus with the leadership team. This will help embed the new changes throughout the organization,
If you have questions on building a strong, lasting culture, send us a note. Our executive recruiters help leaders understand how to bring processes, behaviors, governance, and business strategy together to create an environment for engagement, collaboration, and appreciation.