Resource

Leading the Change

March 24, 2020

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In the current crisis, Business leaders will have to make difficult changes, and pivot to new opportunities, while reducing costs and staff.  This is logically and emotionally demanding. Below are some resources that might be useful against the key tasks. 

Key Tasks:

  1. Make your brand as human as possible by letting customers and employees know the specific challenges you’re facing.

  2. Remind your customers you are here for them. If possible, provide your services in a different way (i.e. take out vs. dining in, providing products online)

  3. Don’t entirely disappear in the process of saving your finances. Save your customers as well.

  4. Stay awake and learn about their problems. You may be able to assist clients in ways that earn loyalty, such as extending payment plans.)

  5. Be present on social media and continuously update your website. Share how you and your team are helping customers get through the pandemic.

Channeling emotions:  You and your team will need a legitimate way to be aware of and express your emotions to so much change.  To improve your understanding of emotions, Plutchik’s wheel of emotions is a good framework to use.   You have an opportunity a process to assure your team is cared for and heard so you can move forward.

Dealing with Endings:  Many initiatives will need to end due to COVID19.  You have an opportunity to learn about how to end things gracefully and get prepare yourself for the stages of grief.

Difficult conversations:  It is difficult to renegotiate or terminate contracts, fire or furlough staff, and tell your team to forego past initiatives in order to reduce cash flow.   If you struggle with having difficult conversations, you may consider reading Difficult Conversations:  How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone.

You have an opportunity to lead with humanity and to assure your relationships are intact for days ahead.  Take the opportunity to acknowledge the humanity of your team, your vendors, your customers, and yourself.  Your business relationships will remember a leader who takes decisive actions and does so with thoughtfulness and kindness.

RESOURCES

Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations – Tips for Leading in challenging times

Please send suggestions to improve this playbook to pandemic@umbrex.com

Contributors:

Huijin Kong

Goce Petrov