Viewing Posts by Kavitha Gunasekaran
The world that we are facing today is so rapidly changing that leaders need a whole new range of skill sets, mindset and heartset in order to survive in this ‘Age of Flux’. It is not only required to change rapidly and adapt to the situations at hand but also change for the better being forward looking rather than resting on past laurels or basing decisions on what worked earlier. There exists an incessant need to – Change fast, Change FORWARD! So how is this possible? Let's look at some strategies.
Such an eclectic approach with changes to the skill set, mindset and heartset might possibly be a game-changer and augur well for leaders to Change FAST and Change FORWARD and constantly stay ahead in facing challenges of the 21st century workspace.
Today the most widely seen and heard term is ‘the NEW normal’ that is believed to be a very disruptive change, emerging from the Covid-19 crisis. What is this ‘NEW normal’? What relevance has it got to our way of being in general, at the workplace, home-front or at the societal level?
This article is aimed at helping us address key issues that arise in a crisis, including facing the new reality, being our true authentic selves at work and home, leading from our true north (holding important things that really matter), digging deep for the root causes and adapting to the new normal.
A crisis comes when we least expect it. So it helps if we are proactive and start predicting the probable risk scenarios, however far-fetched they maybe. The current situation has undoubtedly taught us important lessons in Risk and Crisis management:
The world today is beginning to embrace the Ubuntu philosophy. It is often translated as "I am because we are," or "humanity towards others," in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity."
According to Michael Onyebuchi Eze, the core of ubuntu can best be summarised as follows:
'A person is a person through other people' strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am.
Major learnings in overcoming the anxiety barrier and ensuring our emotional well-being when we carry on with our daily activities, stepping out of homes - with masks & with social distancing include:
1. Facing the reality of the 'new' normal and acceptance of the same seems to be the first step.
2. Boosting the morale of all stakeholders in our life, be it personal or professional, is a challenge, however connecting to each one of them on a personal level through genuine enquiries about their well-being and about their near & dear, their families seems to break that anxiety barrier in others.
3. Expressing one's own vulnerability in this scenario seems relatable to everyone
4. Sharing own experiences wherein one had been able to successfully take the mind-off the situation by immersing in absorbing activities be it learning, hobbies etc which resulted in a boost to one's emotional well being
5. Being grateful for the most important things in life - health and relationships
6. Choosing more transformational and/or relational social interactions over transactional ones.
The above could serve as an inspiration for self and our efforts in enabling all our stakeholders to overcome anxiety and face the world in a new light.
In short, predicting the NEW normal by co-creating it seems to be the mantra of surviving this crisis. And finally, let’s remember to live by ‘Ubuntu’ – I am because we are!
The 21st century has redefined several aspects of our lives – both personal and professional. On the professional front, the exponential technological growth and disruptions have completely changed the business landscape. Not only has it changed the way businesses are held these days, but also the place in which the business itself takes place – the Workplace.
The change has pervaded all facets of today’s workplace including its very own structure. Slowly disappearing from the landscape are the exclusive buildings for companies and corner offices for senior executives, welcoming the culture of co-working shared office spaces, mostly with different start ups sharing the same office space. The top co-working companies like Regus, We Work, Knotel are driving the creation of ecosystems that bring together different organizations and startups and create increased opportunities for mentoring, collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation.
The workplace today is very dynamic influenced by the volatility of the business landscape. In these testing times, businesses are making their best attempts to not only sustain their market visibility, but also thrive in uncertain waters. The biggest concern facing companies today is a disengaged workforce. The need to be proactive as well as competitive has also led to new-age businesses coming up, that have re-defined the rules of business and the workspace.
What businesses are facing today, is a workforce comprising of employees spanning across three generations – Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z. The dynamics of such a diverse workforce is definitely the most important thing to be factored in, while taking measures to improve productivity and scaling up of businesses. Given the distinct times from which the people have started their careers, given their priorities from loyalty towards the organization to work-life balance to craving instant recognition, a well thought out HR strategy is required to be adopted as well as project managers are to be sensitized in order to engage all of the personnel equally without leaving out any of them. A one size fits all approach will never succeed in identifying high-performing individuals or potential leaders to lead new projects or take up higher roles. This fallacy is true for our education system as well as for any type of performance evaluation for that matter.
How to combat the changing dynamics of the workplace of the 21st century:
Hence, all organizations, including the traditional hierarchical organizations that still continue to carry out business as earlier, have the pressing need to analyse their policies concerning the workspace, the workforce, upskilling and empowering managers and have a relook to update themselves to changing times.