By | Ravi Santhanam | Executive Coach – Leaders & Teams
That is right. In just 15 days it would be time to RESTART! These 15 days are your team’s window to get ready and hit the ground running. Are you, setting up your team for success at RESTART?
You know your business best and you are the best judge of RESTART challenges in your business; be it filing the pipeline or bringing back the productive rhythm. That said, a word of caution – this RESTART is going to be even more complicated. Let me explain.
The speed and ferocity of the current global pandemic combined with the large scale and prolonged lockdown, have stunned individuals, communities and societies. Understandably many are fearful for their individual and collective futures. You know the effects of fear; hesitation to act, pessimism and rumour mongering. You, the leader, need to contend with “hesitation, pessimism and rumour” while planning your RESTART.
How can you do that? Here is a short checklist. Please use this as a draft and develop your own checklist.
The RESTART Check List
1) Ask 3 Questions: Ask your team members, suppliers of goods and services and your immediate customers, these 3 questions, right away, over phone, text message / e mail.
- What are your top 3 concerns / worries as of now?
- What top 3 changes you anticipate in our operating environment, as we reopen on 14 April?
- What are the top 3 action, you suggest for us to take when we reopen?
Asking these questions will make your team feel better. They will tell themselves my leader cares about my concerns, and respects me enough to ask for my views and suggestions.
2) Visualise and Share: Go through the responses, internalise and identify Top 5 Concerns, Anticipated Changes, and Suggestions. Share your findings with the entire team as a short and simple document. You should be able to do this in 2 ~ 3 days.
The sharing will achieve two things. It will create alignment around “priorities at restart” and get people to tell themselves “new situations call for new solutions”.
3) Delegate Planning: Create a set of Virtual Cross Functional Teams (VCFTs), as relevant to your business. For e.g. one VCFT could be for addressing employee concerns the other for could be focused on “supply side issues” and yet another could be around “customer related issues”. Brief each of the VCFTs on their task over a video conference and demand considered and detailed action plans in the next 5 days.
Delegating to cross functional groups will have two positive implications. First contributing together will reduce sense of fear. Second, it will foster collaboration and Team Work
4) Decide and Rollout: You as the leader must take the final decision on “RESTART ACTION PLAN”. Decide and roll it out in a Video Conference. Take care to give action responsibility to the same set of people who have been part of the VCFTs, helped develop the plan.
Availability of plan and its ownership by the team will set your team up for success
Your COVID 19 triggered challenges will not all end with RESTART. There will be larger long term issues needing your energy and attention. Here is a sample list!
- Employees will expect much cleaner and safer working conditions. Distance between work-spots, crowding in common areas such as lifts, canteen etc and infection removing capability of central air-conditioning system, will all need a relook.
- End consumers may shift discretionary spends in favour of products and services that are perceived to offer greater safety and hygiene.
- Industrial customers may shift in favour of dual sourcing / local supply chains.
- Share holders will start assessing “resilience” in addition to growth and profitability, while deciding where to invest their money.
A successful RESTART with the full involvement of your entire team, will free up your mind-space and energy, for these larger challenges.