COVID has unleashed the need for companies to change. The pandemic has engaged the warp drive. We have experienced ten years of change in ten months.
More than ever, companies are looking to transform. They seek to survive and thrive amidst this global economic downturn. For some, digitalization is the answer: moving their offerings online. Others are looking to shake off an old business model and embrace a new future.
Big change strives to reset, reshape, and reinvent who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Transformation means more than shuffling the organization chart. …
The Remarkable Story of the Mustang
In August 1943, the cloudy skies over Europe were a place of death. Black smoke bursts, burning planes and dying airmen. At over 25,000 feet, the most vicious air battle in history was unfolding. Massive air armadas numbering hundreds of American B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers, shimmering sliver with gaudy colours, were pitted against swarms of German fighter pilots determined to defend the Fatherland.
At stake was the outcome of World War II. A failure to beat the Luftwaffe — the Nazi air force — and bomb its factories of war would make the D-Day landings a doubtful affair. However, things were not going to plan. Deep raids into Germany to attack vital strategic targets like the ball bearings plants at Schweinfurt had been failures. The U.S. Eight Force had sent 291 bombers from their English bases. Sixty did not make it home, shot down by fighters and flak guns. Another 17 planes landed but so severely damaged they were written off, and 121 others were damaged needing repair. Twenty-six percent of the attacking force was lost, representing 650 airmen out of 2,200 that set out that morning. …
Just last week, I noticed a jet airliner contrails in the sky. A mundane occurrence four months ago: a non-event. Today, somewhat unusual. I remembered I had not seen one for several months. A jolt on how much has changed so fast.
COVID has reshaped our lives, livelihoods and communities. For businesses going back to old normal may never happen.
So much has changed: so fast. Driving past shuttered movie theatres, they seemed so big, abandoned and redundant — dinosaurs after the asteroid struck. In the margins, new companies making everything for masks, ventilators and family ready-meals to go.
All of us need to shift from survival to thrive strategies in the day ahead. Below are three strategies to help you navigate and proposer in the days, months ahead. …
Our generation will see the more discarded plastic in our oceans than the weight of fish in the seas. Our addiction to plastic is literarily clogging up our globe’s oceans.
Plastic is poisoning marine life. Turtles, dolphins, and whales have all been found with stomachs stuffed full plastics, often leading to painful deaths caused by starvation.
The biggest culprit is seemingly the most benign: the plastic bag.
Invented by the Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin in 1959. Remember, the movie “The Graduate” and the young Dustin Hoffman, Sten thought, plastic — the wonder material of the postwar world — would be the answer. A plastic bag, he thought would mean fewer trees felled to make paper ones. …
Leader matter in a crisis. You are an anchor that helps others ride the storm — the compass finding the way forward.
Disruption rocks teams. Unforeseen change can corrode confidence. Fear contaminates certainties.
When the storm blows, the role of the leader is no more necessary. Perhaps a “sure” sale that fell through. A project or account lost, the competition seems to be leaving you behind.
Crisis test cultures. Weathering the storm hinges on trust we have in those above and around us. Our resilience -to bounce back- require to the leader to be realistic in their optimism, open and trusted. …
Like me, you have probably sat through dozens of professional presentations so loaded with vapid jargon that meaning is deliberately obscured. Emperors clothes without stitches. Only to have the words venerated by a leader with the crowd praising its mastery.
While it is tempting to blame the leadership for the dark cloud of conformity, and leaders do set the tone of any given culture, it does not explain the social contagion of bad ideas and the herd mentality.
Conformity is a creative poison. When we muzzle our thoughts and words, the best of us is lost. Bold ideas die. When we follow blindly, the result can be calamitous. …
Like oil and water, innovation and hierarchy do not mix. Rigid, vertical cultures often stifle ideas and stunt creativity.
On the other hand, innovation requires an embrace of new ideas. It means being in sync with your customers. In contrast, big bureaucracies often have an insular mindset.
A hierarchical “world-view” that might have lost touch with its entrepreneurial roots.
Part of the problem is size. As big companies grow, informal communication “picking up the phone and sorting a problem out,” gives way to vertical silos that control and even horde information.
Being bigger also requires a shift away from personal decisions to entrenched procedures. As the web of rules grows the ability to improvise and “think different” withers. …
If you are old enough to know what a mixed tape was, you are probably wise enough to know what it meant when someone gave you one.
For those who are younger, no I am not talking about a Playlist: drag and drop.
No, a Mixed Tape meant something. Analogue. A chunky plastic rectangular, two reels and a chocolate colored ribbon of tape.
You judged whole relationships on songs chosen and the meaning behind them. Do they like me? Is it over? Is it love?
At the end of the relationship, what did you do? People have told me all sorts of strange rituals. Some threw the tape away, others recorded over it, a few burned it to expunge the memories. …
Like sex, we all do it, perhaps not often enough. Laugh!
However, laughter, the giggles or a joke is more than just humour: it strengthens our mental resilience. Having a sense of humour raises us, cracks the tension and enables us to persevere.
We all know that moment; pressure builds, seemingly squeezing us. Options narrow. Burdens seem to become unbearable.
Then a joke. Split second that shatters the iceberg. Makes the world and opportunities come back into focus. Humour is vital in tough times. It is crucial to mastery and resilience. Why?
One key reason is that humour shrinks fears, helps us face what scares us with greater boldness. What makes our fears are often a series of negative past experiences that impose themselves on the present, controlling how we act. …
Optimism is the elixir of resilience. Having a mindset geared to a positive future immunizes you from doubt, naysayers and critics. Belief in a better tomorrow helps you weather the storm of today.
Optimistic people always see the glass half full and decide to spend their time filling the other half. They believe in the end story. Not a happy ending but a better ending.
Why? Resiliency is not being a rock, unable to change. Nor is it bouncing back, as you never return to the same point. …