May 4, 2020
During COVID-19, we’ve all been hearing and seeing more about new uncertainties, rapidly changing business complexities, and uncharted situations that we’ve simply never encountered. This reality, across not just businesses, but all segments of society, is well described as a ‘VUCA’ condition - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. It requires a different leadership capability to navigate through the confusion. After this acute crisis management is over, we can shift into a new business reality, emerging stronger and smarter.
As we navigate this new crisis as Leaders in upholding safety, it is easy to take our eye off the ball. For example, we don’t want to divert focus on genuine care and concern for our people and we must continue to role model a strong value for safety throughout our organization. No doubt, everyone is doing what must be done to address the current situation and significant calories must be spent in executing business continuity plans. Perhaps more than ever before, senior management is pushing all available resources to ‘get it done’, whether it be staying the course for production roadmaps or providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
All this much needed attention to crisis management is a major distraction, to say the least. During these VUCA times, it is important to occasionally step back and look at how and why certain decisions are made, from an integral perspective. When it comes to safety, an effective leader will make decisions sourced from how those decisions affect the health, safety, and well-being of each person. In uncertain and confusing times, the following Integral Model facilitates asking deeper, integrally informed questions, from four distinct perspectives. This approach helps think through the ‘how’ and ‘why’ in the decision-making process.
As leaders, one of our many responsibilities is to ensure our organizations continuously promote the safety and well-being of our employees. The Integral Model can also be used to help think not only about our employees in the context of our VUCA surroundings, but in the spirit of health and well-being, about our families, too. From a business perspective, safety practices represent an organization’s way of fulfilling the vision, mission, and ethical obligations that we know are required to keep our employees free from harm and our communities safe. That said, what wouldn’t we also do to keep our families safe? Human life is the one thing that cannot be replaced. For leaders to be willing to do the things that are necessary to preserve our organization and our families, safety must be personal.
Following are some questions to ask your employees, when viewed through an integral lens, that will help keep care and concern a central focus during these difficult VUCA times:
As our focus has temporarily shifted, I assert that our organization’s safety culture will continue to be tested. If safety has successfully been embraced and embedded as a core value, despite the VUCA nature of our world, our employees’ focus on each other ensures that everyone remains healthy and safe, not only for the business, but ultimately for our loved ones. I encourage you to continue to be mindful – and remind others - of keeping our eye on the ball!
JMJ works with clients around the world, transforming cultures to unlock human performance. Contact us today to learn how we can collaborate together to help you transform your leadership approaches, creating an environment for people to adapt, grow and flourish.
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