Great…Reset, Resignation, Re-shuffle, Realization…

No matter what it is called, it certainly doesn’t feel that great right now, especially for employers. It seems that with the social safety net, the realization that working from home IS productive AND rewarding, and there are plenty of jobs out there, people are reluctant to go back to their place of work under the old conditions.

What is a leader to do?

Embrace the Future
There is a saying: “The future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed.” I believe that applies to our current situation. People like Bob Chapman, Jacinda Ardern, Alan Mulally, Chip Tindell, Amy Edmondson, Raj Sisodia, Anne Mulcahy, Drucker, Deming, Schein, Moesta and many others have shown us the way. If you want to come out of this better than you went in, it may be time to heed their words and actions.

In a nutshell here is what they did or recommend.

Create meaning and clarity at work
Have a vision. Write it down in vivid detail. Spread it generously. Let people know why the company is doing what it is doing to make people’s lives better and how each team member can and do contribute to the cause.

Simplify the business
Find the few things that truly matter to your best customers and your engaged workforce. Do those extremely well and deeply. Build a repeatable, scalable and resilient business operating system. Teach it to everyone. There are at least two dozen business operating systems out there. Pick one or craft your own. Stop guessing!

Provide autonomy
Establish the key outcomesfor the overall business and the key sub-outcomes for each supporting function. Provide autonomy to your team to find ways to reach those outcomes efficiently and effectively. Some research from Cornell shows a 3-4X increase in success of autonomous workforces versus command and control.

“Love ‘em up and hold them to the standard”.
This is what Alan Mullally did at Boeing and Ford when he turned each around in the middle of an existential economic crisis for each company and industry – Boeing during 9/11 and Ford through the Great Recession of 2008.

Care for your people, listen to them, support them, grow their skills and knowledge, and leverage their abilities and strengths. However, also set the standards for how we behave, operate and for what we and our core customers value most. Compassionately handle violation of any core principles (i.e., correct behavior and/or exit them if the same tenet is twice violated). Once set, refer back to #3 above.

Predict/create the future
Now that you have created a relatively hands-off environment, you have much more time to do your real job which is to create the future of the business and your team. Please note that this does not have to be done serially. Approximately eighty percent of your time, depending on the size of your business, should be dedicated to these efforts.

My book, Further, Faster goes into more detail on all of the above. (see link below).

I found much of this podcast from HBR on this topic useful. It is titled – One Way to Fight the Great Resignation. Re-recruit Your Current Employees.

There is a better way that gets you further, faster and is easier and more sustainable. The better way is to focus on the few things that truly matter. This change starts with you as the leader, focusing noton yourself solely, but the two most important constituencies in your business—your people and your customers—in that order.

Good luck! Please reach out should you have any questions.

Be Exceptional!

Bill – Certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, PI Certified Partner, 100COACHES member coach

(; For MA companies ONLY, as an approved Training and Development provider, Catalyst Growth Advisors can offer up to 50% off program fees. Click hereto see if you qualify.

Please click here to download or purchase my book Further, Faster – The Vital Few Steps that Take the Guesswork out of Growth.

Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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