Industry Insights & News
Autumn still feels different and uncertain, and this is certainly reflected in the, often, contradictory commentaries about whether universities are returning to face-to-face teaching.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that managers found it even more difficult during lockdown to deal with underperformance than before.
These words have been said to me so often about the last training course or, the last presentation etc.
I write this from Italy, where I arrived a couple of days after Italy’s Euro Cup final win and Berrettini became the first Italian to make the Wimbledon final.
Our first cohort of 150 people is about to finish our Leading Virtual Teams course. It has been extremely interesting to understand how people work through the course and engage with it.
As I was reading the millionth article that has been written on working from home and whether we want to continue it or want to go back to the office, the words of the big hit song for the Spice Girls, back in the 1990s, came to mind.
New statistics keep emerging about the mental health issues arising from the pandemic. Many businesses have put health and wellbeing high on their agenda.
People have now come to expect their managers to be part of their support system to help them improve their life experience not just employee experience. Moreover, hybrid working enables us to recruit from a wider talent pool, therefore managers are increasingly likely to be managing teams that are geographically dispersed.
One of our recently featured HBR articles referred to an initiative taken by Goodway Group who, to meet the disruption to the management role caused by the pandemic, had created a dedicated role, the team success partner, whose responsibilities included fostering trust and psychological safety and supporting team health.
Hybrid working practices are here to stay. This seems to be the message from the recently published IOD survey of 600 businesses, of whom 60% plan to adopt hybrid working.
As we have now started our release from lockdown, the Change Curve is once again a relevant and helpful management tool for supporting people to transition out of the state we have been in for the past year. I choose my words carefully here when I say transition out.
I was looking back at ‘Strategic Talent Development,’ the book I published in 2014, and was struck by this quote I had taken from A.G. Lafley, chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble: “the CEO has a very specific job that only he or she can do: link the external world with the internal organization”.
“Thank you for such great ideas. I have put them forward for discussion.” ‘Thank you for this excellent idea. We are so fortunate to have someone like you on our team.” And then… nothing. A black hole. This has happened to me personally, the last time, quite recently.
There is evidence that recruitment activity is increasing. As recruitment and selection were specialties of mine, I decided to check out the landscape. With dismay, I found examples of dreary job descriptions reminiscent of years ago, written in formulaic tones and empty words.
Word on the block suggests that, over the past year of remote working, many managers have fallen into one of these traps. Micromanaging, causing additional stress to their teams, giving too much autonomy, leaving people feeling unsupported.
As the vaccination programme enables us to hope for a gradual relaxation of restrictions, we need to start discussing what sort of leadership we want in the future.
Over the past year, I have been involved in a very substantial number of assessment centres and 360-degree feedbacks.
I was struck by an article about how COVID is affecting our mental health and suggesting ten ways to help ourselves. It occurred to me that we also need some tips on how to help our teams keep their spirits high.