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WTF is the new normal?

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We keep hearing the ‘new normal’. What is it? What does it really mean?

Is it just responding to the ongoing crisis?

Fires, climate change, floods, pandemics, the disruption we are seeing really is never-ending. I think we have all decided the ‘new normal’ means that with the ongoing disruption, our organisations need to be in crisis response mode the whole time. Of course, it’s needed initially but ongoing it can get very negative. For leaders and teams, it can feel chaotic, almost overwhelming, and even paralysing. You might miss the opportunities right in front of you to set you up for the future.

Our opportunity now

Take what we are seeing right now. There’s lots of innovation all born out of the crisis from people, not just leaders. And it’s not surprising, typically your frontline can see things leaders can’t.  Distilleries are producing hand sanitizer, automakers manufacturing ventilators, and airlines repurposing passenger-carrying aircraft to uplift freight, Telehealth has already had an uptake of over 5.4 million people in record time and schools and universities have had to re-think how they deliver to students and quickly adapt.

The mistake leaders can make 

At this point, leaders can sometimes get the focus wrong. What you don’t want to be doing as leaders is strategising a new business or operating model in the backroom by yourselves, then pushing out a whole bunch of disconnected initiatives that don’t make sense to your people. You won’t get the ownership. It’s what we call a traditional, industrial-age approach to change or ‘push change’.

You need to be harnessing your people power 

Looking forward as we focus on the future, the new normal can be harnessing the power of your people, their innovations and ideas, to keep the momentum going for change. We can learn a lot from social movements. A 2017 HBR article Standford University takes a look at what organisations can learn, how they can harness ideas and innovations from their people, and help people embrace change they have created themselves.

The good news is, it’s about working smarter, not harder. It increases engagement and has a positive impact on your bottom line. We truly believe in the power of people to do extraordinary things.

Click to download our simple tool to help you identify and harness ideas for your future, then book in a meeting to debrief to help you get on your way.

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