Before the corona-time, we actively shared ideas and our thinking with colleagues related to agile organization and self-directiveness. Agile organization thinking is a response to the world that is constantly becoming more unpredictable and complex and by definition also requires a major shift in how we view leadership. One way of describing that type of environment is to talk about VUCA. That term originates from US army and stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity.
Well, here we are now, faced with a massive example of a VUCA. In the middle of a crisis, it is critical for leaders to pause and take time to reflect on what is happening and how have we been able to lead during the past weeks and how to move forward. One could say the time of crisis is a “moment of truth” for us as a leader.
To help to reflect, I listed few ideas on where the focus should be in order us to be “the best versions of ourselves as leaders” during these times of crisis and in the VUCA-world.
- Re-emphasize and concretize and the purpose and the direction. Then walk the talk. Now, more than ever your actions talk the loudest. Your actions will reveal what your purpose and values really are. Your future culture is set today.
- Your perception of human nature becomes visible
- Do you believe that humans can be trusted and are capable of Independent and responsible decision making? Do you engage them actively and systematically to make sense of the situation? Do you keep them actively informed about what is going on, what are decisions and why? Do you make sense of the wold together?
- Do you make sure that any communication towards the people in your organizations is empathetic and respectful? How do you make sure that you utilize all the capabilities across the organization? Also, those that may not have been utilized as a part of the normal business. People do have great powers if you just are able to empower them
- The power of community is enormous. Do you create an environment where people can relate to each other, get support and be supported?
- Are you leading and changing your structures and ways of working in an agile way to be able to respond most efficiently? Or are there still things that should not be discussed or questioned? Have you stripped down the bureaucracy and hierarchy and moved the decision making there where the expertise really is?
It seems that the world is profoundly changing. I do think that there is a great opportunity as long as we get past this immediate crisis with dry feet. It’s a moment of truth for all of us.