The mood in the air of waiting for things to return to normal is not an option for game-changing leaders.
They are preparing for an operating environment that is likely to be dramatically different from the one we knew before the global pandemic.
What will guide their future strategy?
During the global financial crisis, Glen found that having a clear purpose statement for the organisation, was the light on the hill that guided their actions.
He did not just develop it in isolation and post it on the wall; he spent a lot of time co-creating it in sessions with his broader team so that people at all levels of the business owned it. He reaped the benefit of a clear sense of purpose, not just in the good times, but also during a period when many of his industry counterparts were thrown into panic.
A recent HBR article, Shift Your Organization from Panic to Purpose, supports Glen’s experience. The authors, Scott Goodson, Ali Demos and Charles Dhanaraj suggest that during this post crisis period, “(re)activating your purpose can provide stability to your people and forward momentum for your business.”
They outline four steps.
✳️ Step 1: A meaningful pause
Ask how we could act consistent with our stated purpose.
✳️ Step 2: Overcome purpose inertia
Inertia makes it hard to activate purpose where it hasn’t been active before.
✳️ Step 3: Bring purpose into the future
For example in March, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote a letter to employees asking, “…to stay grounded in our sense of purpose and remain true to our identity…”
✳️ Step 4: How and where to act
They outline three core spheres of action:
❋ Reframing capabilities — e.g. Ford and Dyson are redeploying their factories to make ventilators.
❋ Reframing operations — e.g. Millions of students and teachers around the world had to shift from classrooms to online.
❋ Reframing relationships — e.g. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called on CEOs to take a 90-day “no lay-offs” pledge.
🙋 How is a sense of purpose guiding you and your business post COVID 19?
Best regards, Brian
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