Employee Corner, HR Corner, Infographics

COVID-19 – What We Can Learn from Leading Organizations (Part 2)

Here’s more on what leading organizations are doing and sharing with the world of business that could help smaller firms learn and apply the actions to their own companies to navigate the sea of challenges brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic.

Business in the time of COVID-19

Speed. Quality. Compassion.

Accenture stresses on balancing efforts in responding to the impact on human and business. “The impact of the coronavirus outbreak requires brands to move at an unprecedented speed to serve their customers with quality while caring for their employees with compassion.”

Eight points that businesses can take away from the report about responsible leadership:

  1. Gather feedback from all employees of the organization across departments. Develop a multidisciplinary C-suite “plan and act” center.
  2. Relieve people from unnecessary work, focus their energies in the right direction.
  3. Educate and coach leaders on key elements: stakeholder inclusion, emotion and intuition, mission and purpose, technology and innovation, and intellect and insight. 
  4. Let go of hierarchy: begin working in cross-functional and agile teams, avoid working in silos.
  5. Choose leaders who are compassionate and caring to your employees.
  6. Integrate the company’s purpose and value into every communication and initiative. 
  7. Share stories and analogies with employees, not just data.
  8. Sync leaders throughout the organization; set guiding principles and communication governance.

Collaboration. Integrity. People-centricity. Innovation. Accountability. Ambition.

Bain & Company cannot stress enough the importance of staying true to the organization’s purpose and value. So what can companies do? Reflect on their purpose and values, talk about it and bring it to life for its employees, customers and the larger community.

Bain & Company believes each organization's purpose defines how it manages COVID-19 crisis.

Resilience.

The Harvard Business Review shares 12 lessons, of which, let’s delve into one essential lesson – resilience, a key to managing unpredictable challenges such as COVID-19. Resilience has six common characteristics that should be reflected in crisis response:

1.    Redundancy: Companies may look beyond normal sources for solutions in the short term.

2.    Diversity: Put together a cognitively diverse crisis management team that will have more ideas about potential solutions.

3.    Modularity: As opposed to an integrated system, a modular system – where various units of the organization are combined in different ways, can offer greater resilience. 

4.    Evolvability: There is no knowable right answer for responding to COVID-19, but it is possible to iterate and learn towards more effective solutions, in short keep evolving the response strategy.

5.    Prudence: Whereas one cannot predict the exact future impact of the pandemic, one can envision possible scenarios, maintain farsightedness and develop contingency strategies.

6.    Embeddedness: Companies are stakeholders in wider industrial, economic, and social systems, which are also under great stress, hence it is important to consider the impact of one’s actions on the others.

Wondering where to start? What to adopt, what to skip? Think of the most immediate or most pressing challenges of your organization. You may find the answer. 

Read the first part of What We Can Learn from Leading Organizations here.