Updated: Jul 2
It's all change! There is no normal anymore! We can't go back! The workplace will never be the same! The High Street is finished! It's going to be worse than the great depression!
We're hearing it all and more, every single day and, from an overwhelming number of channels.
As far as workplaces are concerned, the goalposts have irrevocably changed.
Covid-19 has blasted its way through; leaving business owners, managers and employees caught in its jet stream, frantically trying to re-align the axis into a position of normality.
What was once considered the only way, is now being questioned; or forced to change.
You can practically see working style & leadership theories being drop kicked out of the workplace arena; hear the sound as reams of policies & procedures are being ripped up & discarded; and feel the security & familiarity built up over the years being dragged from under our feet.
We don't even have the full reassurance and stability of the law anymore, because that too is changing quicker than the tide. There's anticipation etched on the faces of the legal fraternity as they, along with everyone else, await the next change to guidelines & legislation, and what the impact will be.
The world of HR is blinking in the glare of a sudden spotlight, as it too negotiates a way through an unfamiliar landscape of unprecedented change & need.
Everything's gone virtual, it's a new dimension!! It's life, but not as we know it. (full credit to the writers of Star Trek for that one)
So, here we are, with the goal posts well and truly dug up, hovering with uncertainty, waiting to be re-positioned.
How do we pick our way through the devastation and detritus left by the initial attack of Covid-19? That which has littered our landscape & horizon with invisible risk, and has left us wondering if it really is beating a slow retreat, or is it just regrouping & gathering strength, ready to launch again? Who knows? Who knows anything anymore?
Yet...... Amongst all this; there is still chance.
If we step back, away from the noise for a while; there is something that can give reassurance, and provide a much needed constant. Not to solve the virus, we'll leave that to the scientists; but to build a path through it.
There is something, and it can be surprisingly uncomplicated. It's not glamorous, or even new, it's just good leadership.
A relatively inconspicuous phrase, but when in action; there's massive impact.
I don't mean the loud, chest beating, desk banging, ego driven kind of leadership. That too has had its day.
It's the understated leadership which is stable, firm, encouraging & positive that's needed. Leadership that has substance; and is responsible, considered, reassuring & transparent. Which can take a balanced view of a problem, and then provide clear direction, while helping others onto an understood and shared path.
We need good leadership in our organisations now more than ever; to determine and settle new ways of working, while uncovering new dimensions to create opportunities for jobs and progress.
This kind of leadership is already out there. I've seen it many times, and it's impact is awe inspiring. It just doesn't get the profile of its noisier counterpart. Maybe it's time for that to change too.
Whether a multi-national conglomerate, or a small local business; it's leadership which will help us manage the many changes & challenges ahead. Which will work to build a new and better normal, stabilise the economy, create workplaces of the future and a stronger, more cohesive society.
It's good leadership which will secure those goalposts.