Thriving In Crisis

Uncategorized Jul 21, 2020

I've always been a cheerleader for change. I've studied organizational dynamics for over 30 years as a consultant, coach, and leadership geek.  

During this pandemic, I've collected a library of articles on the topic of thriving in crisis. I've listened and observed my clients as they have pivoted their way towards a new future. 

In today's newsletter, I'm combining some of the current research with my own experiences with clients who are finding opportunity in uncertainty. 

McKinsey & Company recently surveyed more than 800 U.S. based employees on a variety of topics related to employee experience during this unprecedented time. 80% of respondents say that the crisis is affecting their daily work lives. No big surprise here. 

What we are learning is that leading by intent vs. default matters more than ever. It is critical that leaders create compassionate cultures concerned about the well being of their people. 

 "Employees in organizations that have responded well (to the crisis) are 4X more likely to be engaged and 6X more likely to report a positive state of well being." 

What can leaders do to build engagement and positive cultures?

Continue your commitment to being a compassionate leader. 

Focus on building and maintaining a culture of trust. 

The McKinsey study found that 92% of employees believe their organizations should be doing more for the overall well being and needs of their workers.

I've seen a bit of a "backslide" in the care and keeping of teams since the early days of the pandemic. In March and April, leaders were mindful of regularly checking in on team members. ZOOM meetings were set up for check-ins and celebrations. This has declined since July.

Leaders need to recommit to creating opportunities to build familiarity, comfort, and trust across their organizations. 

Recognize the ongoing stress employees are feeling around their personal safety and basic needs. 

None of us have a crystal ball about what comes next. And, guess what,  we didn't have one before the pandemic. Demonstrating realistic optimism with your team is critical. Let them know that you are advocating for their needs. Their jobs. Their salaries. Their benefits. 

Remember the Power of Purpose: Focus on Mission|Vision|Values

The McKinsey research showed that "respondents who indicate they are “living their purpose” at work are much more likely than those not doing so to sustain or improve their levels of work effectiveness." These employees also had four times higher engagement and five times higher well-being.  

  • It's time to do the heavy lifting on vision|values|mission and purpose. Effective leaders are asking "has our purpose changed"? Do we need to realign our programs with our new reality? How can we serve our customers and clients differently? Do we need to pursue new lines of business?   
  •  Create opportunities for team members to reaffirm their Individual purpose and contribution to the team.  

"Leaders and managers can help create inclusive and psychologically safe team environments by modeling behaviors that value the inputs all members, encourage individuality and allow members to experiment without fear of negative consequences." 

  • Leaders can commit to providing employees with opportunities to refocus on their own personal mission statement. Recommit to the organizations vision and values. Get aligned! 

We are here to help YOU build that extraordinary future. 

Our  VIVA the Future ( VALUES IGNITED, VISION ALIGNED) program is designed to support your team as they pivot. 

It’s an opportunity to realign Vision + Values + Action  and to RECREATE Your Future

At the heart of impactful organizations is a commitment to shared values. This workshop will allow your team to identify and define its core values. 

Through an interactive session participants will:

  • Identify organizational core values
  • Define and operationalize behaviors that support your values
  • Analyze values against mission statements
  • Align values with mission
  • Address mission drift
  • Create powerful action for recalibrating organizational mission


Contact us at [email protected] for additional information. 


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