This approach is particularly suited to the disruption we’re facing, which makes extrapolations based on historical trends meaningless. Future-back thinking also makes it easier for leaders to imagine a future where their company becomes irrelevant or their industry becomes completely redefined – scenarios we can no longer afford to ignore.
Giving people the space and freedom to reframe their thinking
No matter how your business is responding to COVID-19, one thing is clear: it’s your people who are keeping the business afloat and your people whose ideas will fuel the future. Given the extent to which the crisis has accelerated transformation, it’s never been more challenging but critical to keep your people at the center of everything you do.
The pandemic is like an enormous reset button for enterprises and governments. So how do we keep people at the center – not just employees but also customers and stakeholders, as well as the way executives demonstrate leadership? One of the things that marks out this pandemic is the fact that we’re all going through challenging and difficult times together. We need to check in regularly, and continue to be sensitive to each other’s needs when so many are working from home – some alone, some juggling childcare, others caring for parents and dealing with other responsibilities.
As part of my role, I lead EY wavespace, which helps companies to reimagine their business and reframe their biggest challenges. Like other businesses, we had to enhance our people’s skills at speed. Previously, our team worked from a network of wavespace centers around the globe; now, we’re working 100% virtually.
Today, no one has the luxury of rolling out a project over three years. Companies need solutions fast. Immersive, structured sessions are one of the ways businesses are finding to bring people together, to brainstorm, explore ideas, inspire creativity, align leadership and build consensus for moving their agenda forward – virtually. Amid the turbulence and disruption caused by COVID-19, these sessions are a positive and human-centered way to move forward.