How will COVID-19 affect the science behind workplace strategy? Part 2
3 April 2020
This post is part of a 5-part series. Read Part 1 here.
It is clear that the COVID-19 is going to cause a rapid shift of workplace strategies, so much so, that it will be unrecognisable compared to what has been the norm for the past 50 years in terms of staff engagement and collaboration. The physical space is likely to change significantly.
So, how is the Coronavirus going to impact the science behind the workplace strategies?
Leadership will be shown up as lacking in many areas;
Resources will not correlate to one another and old methods of doing things will not work as effectively as before.
Innovation will rally to accommodate this new way of working and technology will be thrown at the problem. Often, technology is seen as the silver bullet to solve organisational issues.
Culture: The rapid pace of change is likely to cause a lot of trauma not only at the employee level but also management. Customers might be left high and dry. Consequently, culture will be negatively impacted. Under these stressful conditions, management may be unlikely to step in and save the organisation by putting in the extra time and effort required.
Stan Slap, renowned leader on business culture and international bestselling author says, “Culture is the most overused, yet least understood, concept in business. As a result, the potential of what it can deliver for an organisation is underestimated.”[i]
It is clear then that a sound company culture is needed in order to ensure survival. Underestimating the role that a company’s culture plays and the impact it has on leadership, innovation and resources may lead to company failure during uncertain times.
Purpose is more than profit. If the company’s purpose was only focussed on profit then the potential for boosting the company exponentially is lost. Research suggests that purpose should be based on creating deeper relationships with clients and consumers, participating in local communities and creating an attractive work environment not only to attract new talent but more importantly to retain those in which the company has already invested.
Ultimately, workplace strategies must be viewed holistically in order to survive the chaos in which the world finds itself. A useful analogy is a Rubik’s cube: in this game, one has to align the correct colours to each side. Focusing on getting only one side correct will result in the opposing sides of the Rubik’s cube being even more out of order than before. The key to solving the Rubik’s cube is to understand that changes made on one side need to be compensated for on another, in order to maintain and further improve synchronicity of colours on opposing sides. The beauty of the simplicity of the game belies the complexity of the actual skills required by the player to achieve the final goal.
I anticipate that in less than a year from now the way in which individuals and companies work, collaborate, engage with one another and communicate will be light years ahead of the principles that are being used today.
[i] Under the Hood: Stan Slap