Posted 4 months ago by

Each future is important : re-finding our rhythm

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​By Derren Young

Whether we like it or not we humans need routine, we work within a variety of regular cycles and rhythms, but the usual cadence of our lives has been massively disrupted.

Successful organisations contain in their DNA an ability to innovate and grow whilst meeting the needs of their stakeholders.  During our lockdown the ability to continue to address these needs have been affected and our rhythm is off beat at best.

The most effective organisational rhythm frameworks operate at the macro, meso and micro levels; creating and executing on strategy; setting clear expectations on accountabilities, cascading key messages and seeking engagement; by covering these bases we create the liminal space for innovation.  So how can we re-find the rhythm when the disruption ends?

 Starting with the demands on us leaders - which are even more acute during a crisis.  Leaders must execute on the organisation’s strategy, create sustained value by delivering innovative products or services, drive through change, build critical capabilities and balance complex demands.  As organisational rhythms are usually set top down, starting with the purpose and vision, defining operational plans then engaging partners, customers and especially workers.  I believe re-finding the rhythm needs a more dynamic approach as people, teams, business units come back online.  An effective rhythm is much, much more than regular meetings.

Strategic

In an era of rapid shifts in direction and of accelerated policy decisions, both create and also removes opportunity.  We could be on the cusp of a period of deglobalisation as access to global supply chains becomes more challenging.

Action - Ask if your strategy is still intact, reset your cycle, reporting and working sessions.  Critically define the messaging for all of your stakeholders.

Operational

As strategy adapts are the targets for business units, functions, teams and individuals the right ones? Do you have access to the assets and resources needed to achieve your plans? 

Action – Review financial and people plans.  Consider how, where and when you operate, reset the cadence of your key processes.

Engagement

Rather than driving rhythm from strategy and operational targets, now is the time to also listen to your people and engage them back into the workplace sensitively and patiently.

 Action - How can you help with the consequence of the crisis? Employees may be distressed financially, mentally and physically, our duty as leaders is to care.

 It’s key now to operate at all three levels, redefining and re-finding the right rhythm as we take the next steps towards a new normal.

 Next week, we’ll be thinking about the individual…with that in mind, I hope you are all doing ok.

 Derren is founder and consultant at Each Future, he specialises in people, leadership & organisational development.

This is part 2 of 3 of Derren Young's 'At Home' Series

Find Derren on Linkedin here