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Reskilling for 2021: Cultivating Agility, Restoring Resilience, and Building Trust

“Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”  Albert Einstein

February 2021

As a leadership and team development expert, I follow many publications and podcasts for information about trends. My team and I are always on the lookout for ways to anticipate the needs of our clients in order to better serve them. So, I am borrowing from a recent McKinsey newsletter on the trends that will define 2021.

My favorite point from this article is the admonition to leaders to do more than just “get through” the pandemic and restore their companies for the world we enjoyed before the virus disrupted everything (hence the Einstein quote).

Leaders must instead take on job #1: “recharging their fatigued organizations by actively managing the energy of their workforces, cultivating the quality of relationships, and demonstrating a capacity for resilience.”

Here are 3 key issues to address to recharge your organization along with some suggestions for how to prepare your leaders and teams to not only survive, but to thrive in the new world of work.

Opportunity #1:  Agile Organizations Need Agile PEOPLE

The many and varied disruptive events of 2020 have challenged leaders and teams like never before. And it’s clear that the companies that will survive and eventually thrive must cultivate agile people before they can become agile organizations.

Pre-pandemic conversations about agility predominantly focused on speed and restructured processes, but post-pandemic actions need to also be focused on developing the people capabilities of agility and resilience.

In fact, agility may be the number one critical competency for the 21st century. Building an agile organization starts with developing emotionally intelligent leaders and teams. This Insights Paper from Wiley’s Director of Innovation and Research Mark Scullard, delves into the psychology behind the agile worker and how building EQ is essential for success today.

We work with leaders and teams using the Everything DiSC Agile EQ assessment and Everything DiSC training and facilitation solutions and Agile EQ facilitation to help build capability within organizations of all sizes and from all industries.

Opportunity #2:  Restoring Resilience and Transforming Your Culture

It is critical for leaders today to understand what is required of them to lead their teams through change and uncertainty. Company culture has been more of a focus over the last decade and 2020 has only accelerated its importance.

As a corporate refugee myself, 2020 heralded a hug exodus of top talent from organizations whose cultures did not allow them to thrive as human beings.

This trend is particularly prevalent amongst women leaders whose insight and perspective corporations cannot afford to lose. One of the keys components of a change-ready and resilient culture is psychological safety. We define a psychologically safe culture as one in which people truly feel safe to: be fully themselves, express dissenting opinions, and to be authentic and transparent in their communication.

In an era where the world is far too complicated and complex for any one individual to have all of the answers, it’s more important than ever for people to be encouraged to speak up, share information, contribute expertise, to take risks, and to work together for the common good.

Leaders often fail to realize the impact of their leadership style and behavior on creating a culture of inclusion, innovation, and learning or not. We facilitate programs on “Being Resilient in the Midst of Change and Uncertainty” as well as provide expert Leadership Coaching.

And now, we come full circle to the importance of trust.

Opportunity #3:  Solving the Trust Crisis

Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer shows the level of trust in institutions is at an all-time historic low. Ironically, the report also states that the majority of people believe business is the best institution to solve problems and to make the changes necessary for us to cope with the ever-changing VUCA landscape.

Your leaders and teams are undoubtedly made up of trustworthy people but are leaders really trusted within your organization? Since trust is the foundation upon which successful teamwork MUST be built, isn’t it worth ensuring that your organization measures and moves the needle on the level of trust within your organization?

We work with remote as well as in-person teams to increase the level of trust and team effectiveness using the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team process as well as the Trust Inside tools and methodologies to dramatically increase the levels of trust throughout an organization.

For help on these and other people issues in your organization, contact us at 404-327-6330 or laura@lauraadavis.com. Please visit our website for more information on how we can serve you.

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