Liz's Leadership Insights Blog
It was Friday at 5:45 PM and I was driving in Baltimore’s rush hour traffic. I was on my way to Virginia to have dinner with a client before leading their strategy session the following morning. The sun was shining and all was going well until my tire pressure alert started to flash. “Oh great. Not this again,” I thought. The alert had been sensitive during the winter cold, so I assumed it was the same issue again. Wrong assumption. Ten minutes later, I started to smell that distinctive burnt tire odor. Because I was driving next to a bus, I assumed it was the bus. Wrong assumption again. I pulled over and saw my left rear tire had blown out its sidewalls. I was riding on the rim.
You have no doubt heard or read others proclaiming: “Stop saying: ‘Return to work’. We’ve been working this whole time! And, we’ve been working longer, harder, and in more challenging ways than ever before!” You know what? They’re right. If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that this past year, regardless of industry, profession, etc., we’ve all had to work harder and more creatively than ever before. So it’s simply wrong to now focus on how to ‘return to work.’ Instead, we need to focus on how to work productively and collegially again whether it’s in-person, in a hybrid format, or in a refined remote format.
For most individuals who have shopped for a home, the experience of touring various homes is enlightening. There are invariably homes that we view that are over our home purchase budget. There are homes that are under our budget. And, there are homes that fall within our budgeted range. Typically those well above our budgeted range have more space, higher quality and more amenities than we’ve asked for or had even considered!
As you well know, the most brilliant change initiative will fail if it’s not implemented well. A brilliant change initiative will also fail – or at least not go as seamlessly as it could – if there is no intentional communication strategy – before, during, and after the change. With clear communication before, during, and after, the likelihood of team acceptance and implementation improves drastically. Without clear communication, acceptance and implementation is much more difficult.
“This looks good in general, but there are several items that need to be corrected.”
“As I’ve asked before, how do you know everyone wants to continue to stay on the team?”
“I recommend we tap the brakes on asking the directors to create their promotional videos. Without some upfront coordination, we run the risk of, once again, having incorrect information being conveyed because we acted before we coordinated internally. Let’s first provide the directors with aligned talking points and coordinated calls to action before they get creative on their own.”
…The response to the group was: We’re not tapping the brakes. We’re hitting the accelerator!
“Were you able to validate these numbers beyond Roger’s 16-year-old recollections you shared with me last week?”
…No response to the group but a private message was sent saying, “Let’s not push this further. I’m OK accepting Roger’s word.”
“What are the team’s goals for next year?”
…No response to the group but a private message was sent saying, “We don’t have time for meetings. We have too much to do.”