September 3, 2020
September 3, 2020
by Anastasiya Parkhomenko | 4 min read
Many organisations were constrained to rethink new projects, events and workplans that were designed early in the year. Not everything can be repurposed or innovated with ease, and some of us find it hard to re-learn and adapt fast. The following tips will help you move beyond simply getting job done by establishing trust and influence with teammates and peers.
Tech department precisionists may find we don’t know what we don’t know principle challenging at times. In today’ pandemic uncertainty, what we know is likely to change drastically as new data comes in. Leaders probably will have to admit they changed their views more often than they would like to. Whether trying to setup a new digital platform, or managing organisation-wide outages remotely, sometimes from crowded family spaces, your team almost inevitably will have to rework things to get them right. Being aware that most leaders now have to make decisions fast in a chaotic, often avalanched with information of a questionable veracity environment, can help your team feel better in hectic flow of numerous changes.
In most situations, options are almost never limited to yes/no, or do it/don’t do it, if you are creative enough about how your team solves problems. Today, many leaders are faced with the decision of whether to lay off employees and risk losing talent and disrupting lives, or keep their people and put at risk their organisation’s viability. But often there are other, less obvious options to consider, such as reducing full-time work to 70 per cent for a portion of the employees, exploring collaboration and early retirement options for some.
This evergreen tip on how to make better decisions, well described in the book ‘Decisive’ by Chip and Dan Heath, is the opposite of the so-called ‘teenager approach to problem solving’. Creative and non-binary thinking can help your team build lasting cohesion and spare anxiety of premature biased conclusions that often mushroom in the time of crisis.
Once you define how exactly your existing models got stretched and broken by the crisis, it is time to focus proactively on the underlying opportunities and risks. Bring together your teammates along with other functional leaders to set a minimum scenario-planning framework they can use to evaluate significant uncertainties and be ready to respond according to their importance for the future of the organisation.
As the new normal emerges, leaders may need to recall the agile ‘fail fast’ philosophy, trying out several adaptive strategy tools and techniques. As crises tend to reshuffle the cards of opportunities, creating an environment wherein everyone is encouraged to take chances and be open to failure provides employees with self-confidence to try new things and innovate.
Today, more IT leaders are making their way up to the top of the organisation. Besides managing the internal IT strategy, good CIOs proactively engage with the rest of the business to ensure that the organisation will prosper in a technology-led future.
On this front, not only does a smart leader live the vision and build the IT team’s confidence, but also manages resources tightly, making the best out of investments. For example, a CIO can set a flexible IT infrastructure and applications so that costs of IT services can be optimised based on business demand.
More positively, the COVID-19 disruption has caused an acceleration of technology adoption not only for remote work, but also for many other previously overlooked areas, such as evaluating and de-risking the end-to-end value chain. Exploring new markets will open a fresh view on how to deliver value for customers and stakeholders in this new reality.
As crises tend to reshuffle the cards of opportunities, creating an environment wherein everyone is encouraged to take chances and be open to failure provides employees with self-confidence to try new things and innovate.
To conclude, IT leaders will never be able to bring positive change without honing a clear, simple, honest and empathetic approach among teammates, peers, and seniors as COVID-19 situation evolves.