Remember what didn’t matter in this crisis, and dump it for good
It’s always easier to get things done in a crisis because normal rules get suspended. Remember what wasn’t important during this period, it probably never was! Let’s make sure we don’t just reintroduce these unnecessary rules and controls when we can get back to our offices!
Imagine yourself back in the autumn of 2019, before this crisis was even on the horizon. Now imagine that your company put together a working group to look at moving half of your employees to working from home. How long do you think that working group would have taken to get approval and how long would it have taken to actually execute the policy? What kinds of inertia and internal policies would have got in the way?
Now, in reality, how long did it actually take to make that happen when there was no choice?
It’s always easier to get things done in a crisis (indeed I blogged on that very subject a few months ago here). One of the key reasons for this is that the normal rules and policies get thrown out of the window.
So, take a moment to think about which rules, processes and policies have been suspended during this period of crisis.
- Which meetings didn’t need to happen?
- What business controls have had to be relaxed in favour of autonomy and flexibility?
- Which policies or prejudices against remote working were suddenly abandoned?
- What business activities could definitely not be delivered virtually, but now are working that way successfully?
- What other restrictions or guidelines on how you work or do business now seem petty and unnecessary and are widely disregarded?
Take some time to write them down while they are fresh in your mind. If they aren’t important now, then I suggest that they never were! If it wasn’t worth doing in a crisis, why would we bother reintroducing it when the crisis ends?
One of the few positive opportunities to come out of this period is the chance for us to make a bonfire of unnecessary rules, controls and processes. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by or mindlessly go back to the way things were. Make an appointment in your diary to remind yourself to review this in a few months’ time, before you forget how it was.
Also, remember what turned out to be really important. The human elements of creating community, protecting our colleagues and communities and being flexible to both personal and business needs. Maybe some of that is worth taking back into the new business as usual instead.
It’s up to us to make the new normal better where we can.
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