The 5 questions all teams must start answering now plus free coaching to help you answer these questions
Our 25 years of coaching both individuals and teams tell us that in times of great change it will be teams that will lead organisations to future success. No doubt you’ll be helping all teams in your organisation with two immediate priorities; making sure the people are cared for and doing what’s needed to keep the organisation alive now.
However, we want to help you prompt teams everywhere, to also spend focussed leadership time on exploring what success in the new post-Covid future will look like and how HR professionals can all best lead to that future. With this in mind, here are our suggestions on how you can best nudge your teams.
We believe this will involve you starting to answer five questions and in a particular way. There’s never been a time when it’s been more important to answer them. We will share these questions with you and offer guidance on how you might answer them, including one hour’s FREE coaching to HR professionals that contact us.
Our plain and simple view of leadership is that it involves just three parts; Future – Engage – Deliver (FED). We want to help you actively carry out some outstanding work in the Future space in a way that helps you Engage deeply and set yourselves up to Deliver.
An essential question for any leadership team at this challenging time is:
What is the organisation we want to build together that will help us succeed in the new world?
However, we must resist the temptation to go straight to design mode and answer this question. First, we need a deeper understanding of the new context we will be playing in. So, there are two other questions you must first address.
Here are the five questions in order:
5 Questions to guide you to a Successful Post-Covid Future
Question 1: What will be the key features of the future world we will aim to succeed in?
That is, to design the organisation that will have the best chance of succeeding in the future, you’ve first got to have a sense of what will be key aspects of that future. These can include consumer behaviour, employee behaviour, government regulation, degree of globalisation etc.
Question 2: What will be the key features of the industry we will be in?
Similarly, you must have a feel for where your industry will be in the new future to have the best chance of succeeding in it. Key aspects can include customer expectations, use of technology, competitor innovation, threats of disruption etc.
Question 3: What is the organisation we want to build together that will have us succeed in the new world?
Your thinking on this question will be much richer after you’ve explored the first two questions. You may need to take a fresh look at your purpose or vision or strategy etc.
Question 4: What is the size of the gap between where the organisation is now and where you want it to be?
You need to be aligned not only on where you want to be but also in how much of a change that is from what you have today. This will need an honest look at current capability, processes, recruitment, culture etc.
Question 5: What will your leadership look like that will powerfully lead you to the future you want?
Your leadership has got you to where you are today but may not be exactly what’s needed to get you to where you want to be. How will you need to grow as leaders to be most effective individually and together in this new future?
These are the five questions we believe any HR team should answer. You can maximise their impact by answering them with the following thoughts in mind.
First, don’t try to answer them by yourself. This changing world is way too complicated and multi-faceted. We suggest you proactively seek different perspectives brought by a range of colleagues. By inviting colleagues to co-design the future with you, this will release untold creativity and start to build that energising sense of ‘we are up to something together’.
Second, please notice that we encourage you to ‘start to answer these questions’. We say this because we are in times of enormous change and you need to be regularly updating your answers to continually refresh your thinking on the focus, shape and feel of your future organisation.
Third, as you’re in a team responsible for only part of an organisation (HR), you will not be able to develop full answers for your part without them first being answered by the top leadership team for the whole organisation. So, if you want to do a great job in the teams you are in, please send these questions to the top team and request their answers to them.
Finally, we are here to help with an hour’s FREE coaching with your teams including the top team to guide them on how to do a thorough and energising job of answering the questions. You have the present to manage and a future to build. We hope these questions will help you support your teams to work together to build a successful and sustainable future.
Steve Radcliffe Associates has been coaching individuals and teams for over 25 years. We have coached the top teams in businesses like Unilever, Boots and First Direct; charities like Marie Curie, NSPCC and The National Trust; over twenty government departments, and many more in the fields of HR, education, health, sport etc. We have been invited into hundreds of organisations like these because we have a simple, proven approach to growing teams and individuals called Future – Engage – Deliver or FED. It is captured in the UK’s number one leadership book, Leadership Plain and Simple, and in our online, video-based version, FED Online.
You can receive a free copy of the audio version of the book at http://www.futureengagedeliver.com/www/downloads/LeadershipPlainandSimple-mb4.zip