Leading In a Hybrid World
Celebrating the Bond, Collaborating to Bind, Aspiring to Beget
Obstacles do not block the path. They are the path.
A simple Zen proverb with a powerful meaning sums up the transition that the world of work made during the pandemic and now does during the rebound. We have moved from mostly physical to mostly virtual to currently experimenting with the hybrid model at work.
While organizations continue to experiment with the right mix of the Hybrid Paradox that will suit their business, this research aims to create a reflective path for leaders. To create something new, it is said that you need to begin with what you know. Therefore, reflection through your Self leadership, Team leadership, Network leadership, and Business leadership practices during the pandemic can define your new hybrid mix.
Context to our research study:
Leading themselves, their teams, communities, and managing to drive collective results, was a juggling act during the Covid crisis. Leaders dedicated themselves to making a difference through their resilience. Their resilience is what motivated our team at Global Coaching Lab to help them reflect, and share their moments of celebration, collaboration, challenges, and how they successfully achieved results. Every leader we interviewed was committed to sharing their experiences and adding their perspectives to the collective pool of insights within this study.
This white paper report is not prescriptive but promises a reflective journey on behaviors that emerged during the pandemic, and how they can make a difference to your leadership, in a hybrid world.
The SIX PERSPECTIVEs framework to help you reflect and lead effectively in a transformed hybrid world.
The deep internal reflections of people
What people did to cope with vulnerability
The physical changes in people and environments
The rise of empathy and trust
The visible elements on how people got things done
The types of results people achieved
A brief synopsis of our findings
We have delved in detail into several indicators. To make it more palatable, we have given below a summation of the findings mentioned above. We have divided these as per the six levels discussed to enable easy understanding.
In our journey from the known to the unknown, we have uncovered differences in personality traits and behaviour changes in people. Personality traits changed and even companies made of brick and stone took on a human form to support their people. Managers and employees extended their relationships to support each other’s families and people connected on a deeper level. Most importantly, the pandemic brought out hidden perspectives in people that made them work towards a mutual goal and bring success for the whole team.
Indications and Implications Derived
We believe that this study will be truly useful when we engage in conversations that catalyse change. We are happy to facilitate a 60-minute session in your organization, to present the findings and discuss the behaviors that can help your leaders thrive in a hybrid world.
For a customized engagement that will give your leaders a map to navigate the hybrid terrain, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covid Crisis – Some Reflective journeys
What is missing in remote work is the human element. As a manager I had to help me team members redesign their identity. In Singapore, people have deep connection to their place of work as it gives them an identity and a sense of pride and achievement. Some may proudly say they work at the Marina Bay Financial Centre or they work at One Marina Boulevard. Not attending physical office has led to a loss of identity for my team members. It has taken a toll on their emotional as well as mental well-being, resulting in some productivity loss. As their manager, I had to help them re-create their sense of identity and safety for them and help them accept their homes as offices.
As a sales professional, I used to travel all week and probably stayed home only during the weekends. But, during the lockdown, things changed. I was homebound. I was not used to sitting in one place. So, I used to walk back and forth in my room and my family members had to be empathetic and accommodative. We all had to learn to stay with each other and manage the situation. As a leader, I encouraged my team to take some time off from work. We also asked the team members to pick up 1 or 2 industries, each of them was comfortable working with and they delivered 1.5 times the business they otherwise brought under normal circumstances.
I had to work with everyone equally and welcome inclusivity irrespective of the biases and differences I held against them. I had to leave any unconscious bias I had toward my team members and stop showing favouritism to my team members. Beliefs and biases had to take a back seat for empathy and interaction to be successful. At an organizational level, we set guidelines and expectations towards this.
One thing that the pandemic has made people realize is “Family First”. When we were young, we didn’t realize what our parents used to be busy with. But now since people are working from home, they cannot turn a deaf ear to whatever is happening around them. The kids can see what their parents are busy with, understand their liabilities and commitments. So, life and work have become mutually inclusive.
I also contracted COVID. When I recovered, I wanted to join immediately but I was asked to take 2 more weeks off and my forecast was also dropped. This was a huge relief for me as there was no mental pressure. I managed to deliver 20% more than what was expected out of me.
There can be no creativity if one is working for 12 hours a day. Therefore, I am constantly gifting books to my team from which they can learn new things. Following is a list of books I have gifted my team members, during the pandemic: The Green Brain – The Whole Life Plan, Game Changers, Ultralearning, Limitless, Business Model Generation, Becoming Supernatural. I also advise my team to get adequate sleep, energy, exercise, and proper nutrition. I have even given them a nutrition chart to follow daily. I believe that unless a person gets input, they cannot be creative. So, I gift them books on creativity, especially the ones that promote clarity in thinking.
As a brand, we leveraged the pandemic to reposition ourselves and create an emotional connection with our audiences. The pandemic taught us to think differently. There was an enhanced focus on trust and accountability to stay relevant and relatable. The bottom line was an increase in loyalty and trust for our organizations and the overall brand.