Leaning into Your Processes in Times of Uncertainty

WOW! What a month…Thirty days ago we were experiencing the emotional highs of optimism, growth, and profitability and now the feelings of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty…
So now what…?
As leaders, we must “LEAN INTO OUR PROCESSES” in times of uncertainty. We have a moral obligation to our colleagues and our organizations to make the concepts of Clarity, Connectivity, and Consistency real and relevant. So, what does this look like in our new normal?
CLARITY – Creating a rhythm and cadence of information flow that puts leaders on Offense, not Defense. In these moments, we can’t operate from a leadership position of Defense. We must drive a system of proactive information flow. Whether it is a daily huddle, weekly meeting, or most likely a video/teleconference as we work remotely and practice social distancing, we must create and execute processes that bind us together both professionally and emotionally. Recently, I was facilitating a PBL® session with a senior executive supply chain team who were not co-located. As they were designing their processes around Clarity, they had a discussion regarding remote folks turning their camera functionality “on” so they would be participating not just in voice but in appearance as well. The team ultimately decided to allow camera functionality as an “optional” component of their process. Considering the events of the last week, I would strongly encourage all of us to turn the camera “ON!” A simple act that drives the personalized presence of our humanity and shared connection. Now is the time we must amplify and accelerate our communication processes to connect us not just organizationally, but emotionally as well.
CONNECTIVITY – The ability of people to know if they are “winning or losing” is never more important in times of uncertainty. While the “Content of Conversation” may look different right now as our metrics have gone a bit sideways, we must remember the health of an organization directly ties to the health of our colleagues. We are in unprecedented times where organizational ambiguity and uncertainty will be the norm for the short term. Keeping people connected to our shared purpose will create a “Confidence of Continuity” even if all we can share is “I just don’t know.” As leaders we must use our processes of Clarity to operationalize how we Connect every member of our organization to our shared purpose by demonstrating to them the Confidence of Continuity.
CONSISTENCY – Even with our processes, we are still humans with the human emotions of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. It is because of these natural human tendencies that we must “Lean into Our Processes.” Let the processes help you maintain the Consistency your colleagues deserve – When our emotions are peaked and we feel like pulling back and circumventing the process, don’t! Use your processes to mitigate the natural pull of personality driven emotions. Let your processes be the stabilizing architecture your organization sees as their safe harbor during the storm. When we abandon or circumvent our processes we send the message that it is “every man/woman for themselves” – Creating a “Way of Work” that is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, no matter the emotional or environmental circumstances will give your colleagues the trust, stability, and confidence they need to move the business forward in this turbulent time.
As we start a new week, with what will sure to be new challenges and emotions, LEAN INTO YOUR PROCESSES with confidence and certitude, always remembering our “Leadership Obligations” to drive Clarity, Connectivity, and Consistency through our words, actions, and systems!
Stay Healthy and LEAD On!
Shane A. Yount, President, Competitive Solutions, Inc.

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