5 Essential Tips for Successfully Leading Your Organisation During the Coronavirus Lockdown

AWA is helping its clients navigate their path through the current lockdown and these are our top tips for senior leaders who are doing the same elsewhere.

Tip 1: Make sure the senior leadership team is aligned on what the new goals are for this next quarter and for the year given the current disruptions.

Leaderships are often not really teams, but instead a group of people with differing agendas and outcomes. If this is the case, hire a professional leadership team coach and facilitator and address the underlying problem of not being a team, or up-skill someone neutral from outside of the team. This is essential now more than ever.

Have a set of clear objectives that everyone can work towards within their respective departments or areas. Make sure these goals are transparent to the organisation.

Tip 2: Update feedback and business intelligence on a daily basis.

Change is happening on an unprecedented scale and at ever increasing speed. Being aware of what is going on in your organisation and the environment that it operates in is essential for rapid decision making and the right empowerment of staff.

The biggest hinderance to business intelligence is psychological safety of staff. When people do not feel safe you won’t get the right information until it is too late. The biggest trap for senior leaders is to assume that everyone feels as safe as they do. This is rarely the case.

Creating this safety has to happen at a local level and is best served by managers having good facilitation and coaching skills throughout the organisation. Many large organisations now offer professional coaching classes (like AWA’s coaching class) for their staff through HR training programs.  

Tip 3: Create clear inspired informed communications for staff

Do not assume that because there is a huge amount of information in the public domain that everyone is informed or has the same opinions. Generating clear information for staff and customers is vital at any time but even more so in this time of uncertainty and fear.

Show a cohesive and balanced approach with a people-first agenda and help guide your staff through this challenging time.

Tip 4: Beware of bureaucracy and processes that no longer work when everyone is at home.

Your staff need to have the right equipment and be able to get mobilised quickly around new objectives. They may need to collaborate and work with different people, in different ways, and utilise different skills they have not used before.

Current rules, regulatory interpretations, and security measures may hinder this effort and create longer timeframes then that which is required to succeed in the online world. Re-balancing these priorities is likely to be a critical step in mobilising around new objectives.

An example is what tooling your organisation needs to allow collaboration in real-time with a completely remote workforce. Can you rapidly get new tools to pass security testing or issue usage guidelines so they can be used immediately without exposing any sensitive information? Without the right online tooling, your workforce is dead in the water.

Make sure you have a clear policy for online work.

Tip 5: Untangle the organisation into smaller networked teams

This is a larger program and a necessary step in the move towards agility. This is a great time to form small cross functional teams around new objectives to rapidly iterate on solutions and test with clients. This doesn’t have to be everyone, just a small set of different groups around specific KPIs or business goals.

For example, you may need to protect revenue streams by shifting certain elements online, or even create whole new online products to ensure income of cash in the short term. Creating cross-functional teams with an entrepreneurial mandate and an experimental mindset is a great start towards becoming an adaptive organisation and thriving in this current crisis.

AWA is a coaching consultancy and training company that can help you to mobilise staff online by coaching your senior leadership teams, training your managers as coaches and facilitators, and helping you to organise and create the right structures for success in an uncertain world.

Our highly-impactful, certified Coaching and Facilitation training courses run each month across various time zones, please see our website for dates and details.

You can contact us on +44 (0) 203 369 1125 or email hello@adventureswithagile.com

Simon Powers is the CEO and founder of Adventures with Agile. He has over 20 years’ experience helping very large organisations to thrive in the market and to be better places to work. His approach led him to create our transformative ICAgile Certified Enterprise Agile Coaching training courses, which run worldwide and online. Simon is one of the first ICE-EC experts in the world.