The Leaders’ Edge
Congratulations! You’ve survived or thrived another year of profound change and challenges faced by you, your team, organization, family, and friends. We hope that during the last few weeks you remained healthy, enjoyed the holiday(s) with treasured family and friends, and made time for revitalization to embrace whatever change, learnings, and growth we will experience in 2022.
The Challenges We Face
Organizations, communities, schools, individuals, and families have been increasingly weathering fast, and more complex change resulting in challenges for people including, but not limited to:
- Mounting global competition sparking demands for greater and faster innovation with reduced cost after continued, fatiguing squeezes to do more with less;
- Rapidly shifting reliance on technology and social media within our workplaces and at home;
Information overload impacting individuals’ ability to grasp understanding as well as develop knowledge and skills to make effective and timely decisions;
- Acknowledgement of rising diversity across a broad spectrum of differences and unconscious biases with calls for significant change in organizational values, policies, and practices amidst heightened frustration and angst;
- Increasing levels of addictive behaviors and misdemeanor/felony crimes;
- Political positioning and disputes;
- Continued generation and surges of Covid variants requiring ongoing global pandemic safety measures including regulations, protocols, and significant shifts in staffing and work arrangements to constrain transmissions, hospitalizations, and deaths…
And at the same time, we’re striving to safeguard and build organizational brand, fiscal strength and employee retention, resilience, and performance. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, our vibrancy is worth fighting for!
Crucial Competencies for 2022
For many, year end transition to the New Year manifests poignant reflection on where we’ve excelled and where we have opportunities and commitment to grow. In this incredibly challenging time to succeed, each of us will need to:
- Carefully examine our rapidly changing landscapes to see today’s accurate reality;
- Operate with high levels of integrity, honesty, and transparency while living the values of organizations with which we choose to affiliate to build greater levels of trust;
- Be keenly aware of stakeholders’ needs and sensitivities to become leaders that employees choose to follow;
- Ensure our minds are open to hear and consider new perspectives, approaches, and innovations and openly discuss why we may conclude they will or will not be our best option… building staff knowledge, understanding, and sense of being valued;
- Keep our strengths (and egos) ‘in check’ to avoid their becoming our blindspots and foibles; and
- Focus on what’s truly important in the midst of escalating distractions and information overload to make prudent and timely decisions in a pitching sea of ambiguity and change.
Choice: Strengthening or Deteriorating Brand
While facing trends of organizational disengagement and conflict, leaders and HR will need to be super-vigilant in support to customer facing staff for the near term. Today’s stressors on people infuse powerful emotions. And, the potential for collision in the delivery of service is at an all-time high… challenging brand strength. Individuals charged with providing customer service are sensitized to and guarded for their emotional and physical wellbeing. Simultaneously, customers with work and/or family issues are seeking more timely, attentive, and caring service. With focused, expert support, brand driven customer bonds can be strengthened through exceptional people interface to yield greater market differentiation as well as customer appreciation, retention, and referrals… while competitors may experience greater struggle.
Never has the time for advancing the value of human resource/talent management been more crucial to the success of organizations. Needs for innovation, collaboration, emotional intelligence, and resilience are what we consider the ‘heartbeat’ of an organization… and, fundamental outcomes of work we’ve been doing in DEI and customer service excellence for more than 25 years. Change is inevitable. Growth is a choice.