This week on Wundamail Voices, we're joined by Erica Sosna, an award-winning virtual speaker and CEO of Career Matters. Let's find out what she thinks businesses should be doing in the future of work.
What can businesses be doing right now to maintain momentum?
This is tricky as it is not a one size fits all answer. For most of us, taking time to look at the business model, delivery format and customer experience to optimise these, will be money and time well spent.
Even if the business is currently closed or the trade is just starting to pick up, taking the time to reflect on improvement so you can go forward stronger, will always be worth doing - and is often hard to find in a business as usual environment.
What lessons can leaders learn from the crisis? How do you plan to put what you've learned into practice when normality resumes?
There are different kinds of leaders needed for different times.
The book “First Rate Madness” by Dr Nassir Ghaemi sets out the principle that more dynamic and change-friendly leaders are needed in times of crisis and more steady leaders are needed in times of predictability. I imagine that a few leaders are feeling out of their depth right now.
First, know that this is ok.
Second, explore how you might enlist help and support from the wider team to adopt the skills and traits of the change friendly mindset right now.
I guess most businesses did not have a crisis readiness plan for a pandemic. Perhaps those in the healthcare sector did, I”m not sure. Either way, like the oil spill at Macondo, an unprecedented event often reveals a lack of planning until it happens and then we are later able to plan for a repeat.
Companies would be wise to do so. Some have been very grateful to have invested in say, cloud and home working, others have really had to struggle to get up to speed having not made these investments in the past. We responded really fast with a series of free classes to provide engagement and support to our clients and wider community. I feel proud of that work. There was price for me as my maternity was cut short and I had to make some tough choices about feeding baby in way that allowed me to be available to both clients and my family.
I will be sitting in reflection on the advantages and the challenges of responding really pro-actively to a crisis. I”m grateful we have been able to continue working delivering training throughout this period.
Do you have any predictions for how the next stage will play out?
I’ve been working from home for over 18 years so that wasn’t too much of a stretch and we have been in the digital learning space since we began in 2015.
I believe we have yet to see the large scale consequences in terms of unemployment.
I think this will his the administrative middle classes and middle managers most, followed by those just entering the workforce. I think there will be tough times to come. I believe that adoptions of existing innovation in both the way social support is delivered such as Universal Basic Income and the ways that business is done, will be much accelerated.
What's the secret to keeping teams productive through this period of turbulence?
Be real, be kind and keep communication open. We are all in this together and we all have our own unique story and experience of lockdown. Be mindful and sensitive to how the current climate maybe impacting on mental and physical health and take time to check in.
How can we transform business as usual into something else, something better, something that aligns with our evolving values?
I think our common humanity has been truly highlighted through this experience. We do need to re-evaluate making workplaces more human and more flexible, for those with caring responsibilities or for all of our health and wellbeing.
We also want to consider how we use the resources of this planet and the beauty we have seen in this pause, should give us cause to consider how we can collaborate and be more in harmony with the planet in the work we do, the money we spend and the choice we make.
I believe we all can be a force for good - and that this works best when we know what maters to us and what we stand for.
Many of us will be reconsidering what matters most and how we can work in a field that suits us better and where we can make a positive contribution to the world.
I hope this expands the reach of good quality career coaching and career conversations, that can support some of this deeper reflection.
Erica's Career Plan Digital is now live!
We have started the first pilot. The next cohort will begin in October. Life’s too short to feel trapped. Too many of us just fell into our careers so it’s little surprise that things don’t always work out. Your Career Plan Digital gives you the chance to focus on your career and take stock.
Find out more & register here!