Series - Engaging leadership for a new post-covid world

Five: "Change, Transition & Trust"

Ray Atkinson – Henley MBA alumnus & Henley Alumni & Development Board member

Will we handle things differently this time?
Who will deliver the future hopes, dreams and aspirations in your organisation?
Ray Atkinson

“Lean, mean and fit for recession. Heaven help us should a growth opportunity occur – we’d be too depressed to spot it......If we don’t want to impede recovery, management should acknowledge the full impact of the transition that survivors are likely to be undergoing”

Crace J “Fittest Need a Hand to Survive”, The Sunday Times, 12th February 1995

As we prepare for a new Post Covid 19 – Brexit world, will we handle things any better than we did in the 90’s when this quote was written?

Sadly, for many, the consequence of the current crisis has been and will continue to be job losses, which we hope can be quickly replaced by new opportunities. But how much time and resource will be offered to those people who remain in organisations? Sometimes known as the “survivors” of change, these are the people who are fundamental to delivering the future hopes, dreams and aspirations of their organisations!

Here are two extracts from the same period:

“The way a Company handles change communicates a message to employees. The foundation is laid by treating employees with respect”

Lee C “After the Cuts”, Training July 1992

“Tomorrow’s organisations will require values of respect for the individual and trust to be deeply embedded......Building trust is the only basis on which commitment can be generated”

Extract from an IPD (now CIPD) Positional Paper, 1995

Each of these quotes are important for Post – Covid 19 leaders needing to engage their team. Important because they take us beyond physical “change” like the impact of A.I., new organisation structures and leaner processes into the area of psychological “transition” characterised by feelings, thoughts and behaviours. I guess most of us are aware of the Transition Curve and there’s no escaping the fact that we all pass through it whenever we experience any kind of change. Using the analogy of a “journey”, the real issues for organisations are:

  • Getting people on board for the journey.
  • Maintaining energy and engagement on the journey.
  • Arriving at a better place.

Achieving these three goals is critical, given that in today’s dynamic environment our arrival at one destination, after a brief breather to enjoy the view, is usually followed by another journey. An organisation’s reputation for handling change and transition well is key to establishing trust for the next journey.

Although there are many key players on the journey, it is the impact of an ENGAGING LEADER as the Agent of CHange that can really make the difference.

For more information, including our eight key activities or to get involved in more leadership of change discussion around this topic, please email ray@wadenhoeleadership.com.  Mob: 07899796993

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