Make this your “Finest Hour”

Make this your “Finest Hour”

We’ve been hearing from leaders who, with people throughout their organizations, are working around the clock to survive the current crisis. During these turbulent times, we want to share some insights into the conditions that can enable an organization not just to survive but also to thrive.

Over the last 60 years, we have seen many examples of organizations that respond to crises in exceptional ways.  In most cases, people act with unprecedented initiative, impact and esprit de corps.  Even decades later, people remember these times as their organization’s “finest hour”.

What do these organizations do that makes such a difference? 

In a crisis, most organizations know to focus on the essentials, what it takes to survive.  Unfortunately, only a few go beyond this and make this a time to thrive. 

It may seem counterintuitive to aim to thrive during a crisis, but this is exactly the time to do so.  In a crisis, the case for change is clear to all – no need to create a burning platform.  And as the response by others to a crisis has demonstrated, the potential for transformation exists in every organization.  The secret to success is in learning how to tap into that potential.

Three big shifts stand out as fundamental to making this happen in your organization:

  • The “essentials” include people.  In addition to a focus on survival essentials such as financial results, the commitment to an organization’s people takes center stage, especially when tough decisions have to be made.  
  • Work itself is transformed.  The definition of success is tangible, measurable and clear to all,  as is the urgency to deliver those results now.  In such an environment, people collaborate, innovate and achieve in ways that seemed impossible before the crisis. 
  • The Leader’s role is very different.  Leaders deliver exceptional results through others, especially in times of crisis.  To do this, leaders are more visible, communicate more frequently and fully, and ask—even demand—great things of people at all levels of the organization.   

Finally, amid all the emergencies, stressful decisions, late nights and early mornings make sure to take care of yourself so you can be your best for everyone else.  

What are you doing to make this your organization’s finest hour?


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