Change management is an essential tenet of leadership and one which has been pushed to the limits this year.
Never before have leaders had to contend with such change and uncertainty; some have thrived while others have struggled with the ever-changing status of their team and their organisation.
But to be a successful leader, you must be able to embrace change – Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Dealing with change is something that all leaders must overcome at some point, but the pandemic has highlighted just how essential this skill is right now, and as we move forward into a post-Covid world.
As the ongoing Covid situation continues, and as leaders come to terms with the fact that uncertainty is here to stay, how can you make a success of dealing with continual change within your team?
Here are the ways that leaders can make a success out of ever-changing circumstances.
Remote work has its benefits and drawbacks – it can cause a reduction in productivity but an increase in innovation. Even once we have a vaccine, many organisations are looking to move to a more permanent remote working model. But the best way to enjoy success amid continual restriction is to provide a flexible approach to working.
Some employees with long commutes will be much happier to work from home; others might need the environment of the office to get their best work done.
Flexible working doesn’t necessarily mean remote working; it means the ability to adapt to the changing needs of your team.
But this is easier said than done – it’s not realistic to expect offices to stay open to accommodate an entire workforce who may or may not want to work from in the future.
Plan as best you can now for changes that you know will be permanent – are there team members who want to work from home for good? Will you be expanding your team shortly? If so – what working arrangements will you be able to offer them?
Be Responsible with the Changes You Make
It can be tempting for leaders to have knee-jerk reactions to big changes.
As the Chartered Management Institute states, “leaders and their organisations will be judged on their ability to navigate challenging circumstances responsibly – that means, not just triaging their organisations but looking at how they do so”.
It might be a reality that your organisation has to make redundancies or go through restructuring – now is the time to be a responsible employer, even in the face of adversity and the pressure of uncertainty.
Since the start of the pandemic, the success of businesses is coming down to the way it has handled the Covid crisis. It’s not a case of pleasing stakeholders or customers and employees – looking after customers and employees will directly protect the interests of stakeholders.
Many organisations don’t have an exit strategy for the post-Covid marketplace, as we are still very much in a position where we don’t know how long it will be before things return to ‘normal’, and what this new normal will look like.
But there are things you can plan for:
- Put support at the heart of your strategy – helping customers, helping staff and working with the government to keep your business moving forward in a safe way.
- Put a plan in place for the coming months, with contingencies and always be flexible and expect changes to occur.
- Make sure you have access to the resources you might need in the event of further change – will you need to make changes to your team or ways of working? Invest in new technology or systems and equipment?
Finally, let’s look at the importance of changing your mindset to one which embraces change.
Adopting a Growth Mindset
Change – both good and bad is a part of life and business that we must accept, and yet so many leaders are resistant to it, particularly with the events of recent months.
Yes, the pandemic has been catastrophic for some sectors and dealing with the uncertainty has created many challenges. Still, leaders with the right mindset can cope with these difficulties.
It takes a growth mindset to view change as a positive – yes, even change which at first seems problematic.
Leaders with a fixed mindset will always view change as an unnecessary disruption; they will be resistant to it and not be able to seek out the opportunity which change presents.
Do you see change as a challenge and find it hard to stay positive when things are changing around you?
It is possible to alter your mindset from ‘fixed’ to ‘growth’ – and here’s how:
- Make an effort – be mindful that changing your mindset will require you to be aware of your thoughts and to challenge them.
- Focus on the positive – there is always a positive to be drawn from most situations, it’s about seeking it out.
- View challenges and opportunities – even a major problem offers a chance to grow – those who are never challenged can stagnate personally and professionally.
- Be OK with imperfection – perfect doesn’t exist, imperfection is authentic. Remember that ‘good’ is ‘good enough’.
It’s a tough time for finance leaders right now, with the ongoing Covid restrictions causing uncertainty.
In times of change, you must have the best team possible in place.
If your organisation is lacking finance professionals to help you through the coming months, we can help. Get in touch with me on 01282 930930 or contact me here to find out more about how we can help you find the accounting talent you need for the post-Covid landscape.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.