Liz's Latest Articles
The Vice President of Human Resources called. “I need to create a Strategic Workforce Plan for our company, get our leadership team on-board, teach all managers how to do this, and then implement this thing. How do I create this so it makes sense and doesn’t alienate everyone in the process?” That’s a great question, because the key issue is not “How do I do this?” The key issue is, “How do I get the leadership team on-board with me to design, implement, and use this plan to ensure we have a talented and flexible workforce now and in the future?”
Two prospective strategic planning clients reached out to me this past week. Both organizations have a new CEO, at least two new board members each, at least two new senior staff members each, and both were requesting information on how I might facilitate their plan development during a two-day board retreat. It became quickly apparent, both CEOs were simply approaching their outreach to me as somewhat of a checklist item from their board:
How you communicate as a leader is critical. There’s nothing new in that. However, what I’m finding more frequently is that leaders aren’t appreciating how loudly their silence speaks to their teams and what their silence says about their leadership. Whether it’s a company president, director of regional sales, or a team lead, leaders are staying silent too often. Their silence is not motivated by a fear of crossing a line on political correctness. Their silence is instead driven by a fear of unintentionally influencing their team’s thoughts or behaviors, and potentially stifling their team’s ability to take on new challenges. So instead, they say and do nothing.
The COVID pandemic has changed not only how and where we work, it’s also changed our priorities and perspectives. What used to be a typical day at the office, has become an extended day of jumping between working remotely, home schooling our kids, serving as on-site technical support for our kids and as remote support for our parents, all while monitoring the status of our grocery delivery to ensure the doorbell doesn’t announce its arrival during a virtual client meeting. What used to be a typical day at the office, has become an extended day of jumping between working remotely, home schooling our kids, serving as on-site technical support for our kids and as remote support for our parents, all while monitoring the status of our grocery delivery to ensure the doorbell doesn’t announce its arrival during a virtual client meeting. We are now finding that what used to matter has changed. What we used to have under control, we don’t. What we used to know as givens, are not. And, what used to be typical 3 to 5 to 10+ year strategic planning, has become 12 to 18+ month strategic planning.