Several weeks into Coronavirus and there is a palpable sense of people drawing breath after an intense period of rapid change and adjustment.
The immediate crisis response is mostly in place, service adjustments have been made, cash flows steadied, and staff furloughed.
There is a temptation now to batten down the hatches, to hope that business as usual will return shortly.
For those that do so, there is a risk they will emerge to discover that previous structures and systems have disappeared and that their stakeholders and customers have radically different priorities.
I remain optimistic that there is a better future to emerge from this crisis – one which values both wellbeing and the economy rather than one that seeks to trade them off against each other.
To achieve this will not be easy – and the pull back to “the old ways” will be strong, particularly in the context of a constrained economy.
But to do so would miss a golden opportunity.
We are currently working with many individuals and organisations who are choosing to take this as an opportunity. Supporting them to think differently, identify gaps, prioritise ideas, and test, implement and scale at pace.
One partner described his organisation having been “fearless” in its approach – allowing for the rapid mobilisation of new volunteers to support the most vulnerable in our communities.
It hasn’t been easy, and there will be mistakes and missteps when we move at pace. And that’s OK. Pausing to learn, reflect and improve is a vital part of the process. Here are some questions to consider:
I have heard countless examples of “we have wanted to implement this idea for ages, but this crisis has been the stimulus for it actually happen!”
A common thread to achieving this is a clear sense and connection to purpose which has enabled people to respond deftly. Organisations and individuals have prioritised what customers or beneficiaries need rather than being wedded to structures and processes.
The flexibility that many funders have shown has also helped facilitate this. How can we ensure that this enablement of new ideas continues?
“We are too busy to implement anything new!”
Take a moment and be honest with yourself about what hasn’t been missed over the last few weeks.
What can you stop doing to give your team space to bring forward new ideas to meet the emerging needs of customers?
Obvious, but asking questions is often neglected in favour of assuming we know the answer.
None of us has experienced a global pandemic like this before. So, what if instead of assuming we have the answers we took a more open, enquiry based approach to how our products and services evolve?
To support you and your teams right now, we’ve created a series of interactive workshops and coaching sessions, all based on our acclaimed intrapreneurship programmes and facilitated by our coaches.
We'll help you to harness the creativity and resourcefulness of your teams, develop and implement ideas at pace and foster a long-term innovation culture.
Please get in touch for an informal discussion.
Jane Whitworth, Acting CEO