Pay equity, mental health issues, hybridization, digital proficiency, and child care. Like it or not, COVID-19 is redefining corporate culture and company priorities like a boss. And that may not be such a bad thing.
We’re living through a whirlwind of change and while the onslaught has been intimidating, some changes will be for the good. According to MIT Sloan Management Review: “The pandemic accelerated three interlinked types of transformation affecting every industry: the adoption of digital technologies, the development of new business models, and the implementation of new ways of working.”
“Make it stooooop!!!”
That’s what we’re all thinking, wishing, whining, crying, and screaming! No matter what we do, we can’t seem to wake up from this slow-motion nightmare. And the toll it’s taken on all of us is both immeasurable and permanent.
Yet many of Corporate America’s leaders don’t recognize the permanence of this new normal that’s been thrust upon them. And who can blame them! These moguls, commanders in chief, and titans of industry have been stretched and challenged and criticized and defied as never before in our nation’s history. This definitely ain’t what they signed up for!
Many are clutching at straws longing for the old normal by demanding that their employees return to the office. It’s as if this demand—nay, command—will somehow “make it stop,” reboot the world, and set everything to rights. If only.
Again, from MIT Sloan Management Review: “While most executives recognize the transformation imperative, far fewer understand the essential connection between business transformation and culture change.”
Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk seems to have the right idea.
As quoted in inc.com, the pioneering billionaire said this: “Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the ’chain of command.’ Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”
In some companies, the very notion of trashing the chain of command would be the equivalent of lobbing a grenade into the boardroom. But this is a clear indication that in some shops, clinging to old business models won’t work.
“The more things change, the more things change”
That’s not the way Bon Jovi wrote the lyrics to his song, but these are the lyrics we’re all singing now. Everything has changed. Even the way work is conceptualized: as a specific place, during a specific time, under specific constraints, and performed a specific way.
And the Internet has dissolved the walls of time, and place—the when, the where, and the how. The pandemic has compelled work to be reconfigured around the people doing the work—what they need as people, not just as employees—not just the bottom-line.
Redefining corporate culture
Line of sight, productivity, and output: the boss can see the workers. The workers see the boss and work harder. Harder work means increased productivity and more output. This old paradigm almost seems medieval now.
Pivoting. Resilience. They require much more muscle and grit than they did at the beginning of the pandemic. Competition for clients is one thing, but practically bidding for employees?
How do you redesign business models with countermeasures so that everyone is treated equitably? What do you do to make sure no onsite workers are promoted more than remote workers?
This is the workplace revolution spurred by the pandemic—and things won’t be the same when COVID-19 is a distant memory. Leading through change has never been fraught with so many unimaginable variables and risks. You can’t possibly do it alone. Fortunately with Magnovo, you don’t have to.