Apr 29 Leading Through and Out of the Covid-19 Crisis
There’s a lot being written right now about how individual employees across the globe are having to get used to new and very different ways of working remotely. Millions have had to quickly become familiar with being separated from colleagues, managers, and of course their clients.
What is still unfolding is how the C-Suites of the largest companies are managing through the crisis. But, it’s just as important for anyone with a business, who works for a business or is being asked to fund a business, to gain the valuable insights on how the CEOs of these global companies are leading their organizations through and out of the crisis.
Every CEO anticipates crises. They come with the territory; preparations are made. But what if the crisis you’re now facing is not just a single black swan event, but a flock coming across every part of your business, every division, every location…and if that’s not enough, it’s affecting every client at the very same time, all dealing with similar issues.
Right now, the largest companies are mobilizing capital, human and logistical resources, supply chains and everything in between to deal with an unprecedented situation that has no timeline, no end in sight, and a lot that is still very much unknown.
So, what do they do? How do the C-Suites of the largest corporations operate in conditions where thousands of employees are forced to work remotely, where production has stopped or slowed, where trade has stalled and most importantly, where a strategy put in place for a full year has had to be torn up in the first quarter.
Here are the three key factors senior management will be looking to:
- Instill Trust
A management style and approach that instills trust is particularly important when you have a health crisis, and is key to managing through any business crisis. Trust across all levels of the company, across departments and throughout all ranks is an essential first step. If you gain your employees’ trust early on—or even better, have it to begin with, but that’s a post for another time—you have enormous capital to do the important things that will follow. Changes have to be made, implemented swiftly and without confusion or panic. Being open and transparent maintains trust and makes everything that follows more manageable.
- Move Fast
Leaders in a crisis must achieve agility and speed. The minute new information is available it needs to flow seamlessly and quickly through all levels. Updates from people on the front lines, or working in any part of the organization, or announcements from government national or international health agencies all go immediately into the system. Overall this increases agility and adaptability, enabling managers and employees at every level to take advantage of fleeting opportunities and avoid obstacles while staying on mission.
- Empower a distributed leadership
You want to empower your team members working around the world in various offices or remotely from home, while retaining top level management control. To do that, you need to communicate accountability across your massive organization so people clearly understand what they need to do and when they need to report back.
You also need to have a clear and comprehensive view of all the different initiatives at all the different levels that you are overseeing while managing this crisis.
This is important for two reasons:
- The first is for your team to collaborate.
- The second is to support top management who are ultimately accountable, are leading the effort, and who must communicate internally and externally.
It’s important to ensure that they always have the most important information and that the actions of the team, and any supporting evidence, is visible to them. That way your decision-makers are fully equipped to make the right choices as the crisis management continues and continues to the point where it trends down and you can return to a more normal work environment
Robert Epner is Founder and CEO of ChiefofStaff.com, the only global, cloud-based enterprise collaboration platform that gives management at all levels of an organization a single transparent view of the company. The technology provides full, secure access to anyone involved in decision making, strategy, resource allocation, execution and monitoring. Today ChiefofStaff.com is being used by a growing number of global Fortune 100 companies to support current operations and can also be quickly mobilized for crisis situations that require immediate action from the C-Suite to the front lines.
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