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The great restart

McKinsey refers to it as the ‘great reset’ and whilst there will be many wholesale changes arising from life after the Coronavirus pandemic, we think that it’s more likely that the ‘great reset’ is more likely to represent the ‘great restart’. This leads us on to our next few month’s themes as we work through the aftermath of lockdown and get through the winter months and a potential second spike.

We are moving forward in a mindful way, the best scenario being a combination of hopeful and cautious, but we are going forward and reshaping as we go. A great reset suggests a rigidly imposed new set of parameters but it is unlikely to be that simple. We need to look at our organisations and work out a way from here incrementally, plotting and assessing each new step and moving forward from each point. This represents a restart and an onward journey from there. That’s change and it’s fluid.

We’ve gone through a lot, from working from home, ceasing travel of all kinds, operating out of a virtual meeting space, learning new skills and adopting IT to support our new world – not to mention constant hand-washing, wearing masks, keeping our distance and never, ever coughing in public!

Going forward from here has thrown up the possibilities of flexible working, staggered office hours, a shorter working week and much more. And whilst it has created a catalyst for change, it has also imposed limits in a number of areas. What it gives with one hand, it could take away with the other. Concerns about the economy overarch the part we play individually, looming and omnipresent, influencing our plans and adding a layer of constraint with the potential to limit our ambitions and minimise risk-taking.

How we go forward is dependent on our own attitudes and some sensible navigation. It is steered by the organisations we work within, the positioning of their place in the world, direction and leadership and all of the other moving parts that impact on businesses going forward.

It’s crucial that we factor in the people into all of this. It’s huge. It has the capacity to make or break, especially as unemployment rises and businesses go to the wall.

“… successfully weathering the pandemic will require a people-centered approach to internal and remote leadership. Mike Henry, CEO of BHP, tells us that prioritizing people and building strong relationships has boosted the company’s resilience. He says, “Against the backdrop of COVID-19, there’s a premium on getting out, demonstrating empathy, and engaging with people to understand what their concerns are.”

[Source: McKinsey, 20 August 2020]

Managing our people and keeping the workplace human is the guiding light for us all, from where we are now, to where we move towards. Examining our businesses from every human perspective (employee, leaders, customers, suppliers) could be the difference between success and failure.

If you are embarking on your own restart, keep reading our articles and get in touch if you would like to talk things through. We are looking ahead now and planning for a great restart, helping you to place people at the heart of everything we do.

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