For me there has been three stages of pandemic working and corp strategy, we're seeing the shift from stage 2 to 3 around much of the world. How soon you do it seems key. This post is primarily about those with knowledge/corporate/office type jobs Stage 1) The emergency reaction. In an understandable panic, offices around the world closed in a flurry. People grabbed laptops where they could and companies went into rapid survival mode. For many this meant working faster than ever to create new routes to market, to find ways to work remotely, to create new infrastructure to work, new processes & protocols. It was a time of adrenaline, rapid changes, messy construction and coping In some places, rapid change wasn't as essential, but the stress and confusion of what was going on, was palpable. In this period of 4-12 months, everything (understandably) was reactive, tactical, immediate, forced & typically from the back foot. People did their best to cope. For companies and people surviving was the goal and hanging on. Stage 2) Was normalization. Generally most companies implemented solutions in the first 2-12 months, and what started as an emergency reaction, became a more sustainable approach to settling into the new paradigm we'd created. We'd gone from panicky reactions, to everyday smoothing. We started to establish newer and better ways to work, realized Zoom happy hours weren't working, we settled into a new cadence and new processes. While survival wasn't the goal, the period was still based on defense and minimizing problems. It was less about thriving and more managing. Recruitment based on immediate needs, and people leaving, not an investment for the future. This period was about reducing needless change, about making life as simple as possible. Stage 3) Is about Maximization Companies and staff around the world have coped incredibly, but most have ignored the investment & future thinking typically embarked on by companies in normal times. They've recruited and trained people, but only as well as time could afford. They've created new workflows and processes, but based on immediate reactions to the now, not the possibilities of the future. Almost nothing has been done which is proactive, ambitious or risky This is not a criticism, it's understandable Now Companies face workforces that are drained, and rather lost. Few can remember why they joined or what their company is really about. Few feel connected to each other, few feel the spirit of what a company is about & many have seen social skills atrophy. Companies shouldn't necessarily be in a hurry to bring staff back to the office, but they should be quick to bring together people around to create a sense of belonging and pride. They should be fast to set a new future vision & to communicate everyones role and place within that. This is just one of the types of session I've been making for lots of companies around the world & they feel great to do.
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