Covid19: The ultimate change agent

Whatever the challenges of Covid19, they have brought forward a revolution in the world of work.  That revolution was already coming and there are many who have already adopted it.  But what does that have to do with Corporates? And what does that have to do with conflict resolution?!  This post explores what and how Corporates are learning super fast to disrupt and change.  I have set out a summary below which is explored in more detail in a post I wrote in HRDirector Magazine.  However, what is key is developing capacity to build teams and negotiate effectively is one of the cornerstones for change.

Covid19 has possibly been the biggest catalyst of disruptive innovation in our working practices.  It has happenned in the shortest period in the history of work.  As the return to work continues and the working from home experiment has been a proven success, new options for work are emerging.  They need to be considered.

The lessons

Emotional intelligence from the ground up

The value of staff with emotional intelligence has never been so high.  Particularly during times in which people have suffered the trauma of lockdown, isolation and loss.  The capacity of the workforce to be resilient through these times and manage their emotional state has never been so critical.  What is consistent in the most successsful disruptive innovators is the capacity they provide their staff to do this and become emotionally resilient.

Building a culture of empowered entrepreneurialism

Increased remote working requires employers and employees to grapple with various moving parts.  It required employees to feel motivated as if they were running their careers as a business.  This includes employers feeling able to trust employees to self-motivate, self-regulate, engage and, at the same time, tow the line.  When this happens, targets sometimes replace the importance of hours spent.

Collaboration above competition

In a competitive environment, collaboration feels counter intuitive.  However, as basis of remote working, it has proven to be a vital building block for growth.  The most profound example of this is Open Source.  This term which originated in the context of software development to designate a specific approach to creating computer programs which anyone using the internet today benefits from.  It is rooted in collaboration as are the working practices that flow from it.

Harness the Technology

In the blink of an eye a huge section of the workforce adopted online meetings in lockdown.  Little did many of us know that this was only the beginning.  Once online the technology and potential technology was staggering.

From a training perspective this was particularly interesting with developments in immersive learning suddenly becoming commonplace.  It is striking how effectively subjects such as empathy to be taught and practiced from behind a computer screen.  Equally technologies such as Kona, start to use artificial intelligence to help companies understand the working styles and communication preferences of team members and allows managers to predict and manage interactions.  Suddenly, the unthinkble became normal and it worked.

Becoming more human

For all the pain and disruption, Covid19 triggered a re-awakening of some of humanity’s and therefore the workforce’s most basic of human instincts.  It was that pulling together, that joint effort which enabled such radical swift disruptive change.   What that tells us is that when people are motivated they will pull together and what motivates us is human connection and the lack of it.  Further that technology supports this and does not detract from it.

What is clear is that businesses and the people who work in them are at a juncture.  They can adopt change and learn the lessons quickly.  This means taking risks.  However, the alternative is more risky and closes rather than opens up the opportunities of the new normal.