Strategies to Drive Results in 2021
Jennifer Eggers, Andersen Alumnus and Founder and President of
It is with a sigh of relief, a bit
of trepidation and a great deal of hope that we usher in 2021. In a sense,
everything has changed and, in another sense,, not much has changed at all. We
hope this will be the year brings and end to the pandemic that can feel like it
has a strangle-hold on our organizations, but the reality is that we are a long
way from the confidence to say we are all fine. Whether we like it or not, we
return to work in the same environment we left, but hopefully, with a bit more rest,
a lot more hope and more preparation.
So the question is, what do leaders
and organizations need right now to launch into 2021 and set our
organizations up for success this year? We learned a lot last year working with
hundreds of senior clients and what we’ve discovered is that there are 3 things
that are absolutely required…and a couple action steps to take immediately.
2021 will likely continue with a high degree of disruption. We know that
adapting to disruption and driving growth in a landscape of rapid disruptive
change require organizations to have 3 things:
- Clear alignment on strategy. Most leaders say they are
aligned, but are they really? Research tells us that a full third of
senior managers cannot select their organization’s strategy from a list.
If you asked you team, even in their own words, would every one of them be
able to clearly articulate where you’re going this year and a clear set of
priorities that drive it? If they can come close, it might be OK, but what
happens when disruption hits and in the heat of the moment decisions need
to be made? Do they look to you or are they able to respond as one?
Putting in the time to align around strategy, clearly articulate it, and
ensure every team member knows where they fit in ensures that the right
decisions are made, investment priorities are clear and eliminates the
infighting, hidden agendas, silos and jockeying for resources that can
waste time and derail an organization facing disruption.
- Intentional leadership
This may sound like a cliché, but if 2020 taught us anything, it was that
the leaders who were intentional about providing excellent leadership won
the long game. As the world switched to working virtually, it was easy to
disconnect and provide less leadership. Leaders who were strategic in
finding ways to engage their teams have teams that are closer and more
collaborative today than they were before the pandemic. Those who did not,
in many cases, have struggled to maintain productivity and dealt with
greater burnout and disengagement. A new year provides a chance to reset
around leadership strategies that keep teams engaged and collaborating
even though they might not be in the office for a while. These may include
daily check-ins, weekly one on ones, team building lunches or whatever it
takes to remind people that they are a part of something beyond their
couch and laptop.
- Organizational resilience. We are rapidly approaching another
year of disruption. A few weeks ago every client I had was lamenting the
level of burnout and fatigue. As we reengage leaders going into 2021 after
a brief break and before things go full speed ahead, we have a chance to
focus on building the resilience we will need to drive growth and prosper
in the new year. This is the time to start talking about what it would
take to become more resilient individuals, teams, and organizations. Our
book, Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back (How leaders and
their organizations can build resilience before disruption hits) presents
a clear framework you can use to do this. Building resilience is about our
(or our team’s) mindset and the choices we make. Mindset is about being
authentic and choosing our attitude and choices are about getting clear on
our purpose and how we define success. Underlying all that are our core
beliefs. Working through the framework as a group creates alignment and
will build the resilience you need to ensure that people have some extra
‘margin’ and are on the same page when disruption hits.
We work with leaders and
organizations facing disruption to improve their capacity to adapt so they can
emerge and grow more effectively faster. If you want to make progress in this
area right now, this January, check out our Leadership Reengagement Plan at [insert
link]. There is a lot you can do yourself, but if you would like some help
thinking it through, call us. It’s what we do.
Eggers is an organizational resilience expert who works with leaders and teams
facing disruption who want to increase their capacity to adapt. Known for
facilitating high-stakes meetings with disparate stakeholders, helping new
executives demonstrate visible leadership fast, and creating organizational
alignment, Jennifer is a consultant and senior executive coach. She is the
creator of RapidOD, a revolutionary approach to organizational restructuring
and groundbreaking workshops on resilience and adaptive leadership that ‘turn
everything you know about corporate training upside- down’.
Jennifer is a former Partner at Cambridge Leadership Group and has held senior roles at Bank of America, AutoZone, AlliedSignal and Coca-Cola Enterprises. She is a strategic partner with University of GA Executive Education and an Advance Practitioner in Adaptive Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Her book, Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back is an international best-seller. Find Jennifer online at www.leadershiftinsights.com or email@example.com.