Best Wishes for a ‘better’ 2021


This period of the year is a time for looking back, but also to look forward, fully re-energized, with new ideas and plans, changing strategies, etc. But, be aware that bright ideas and new initiatives all have a price. Are you prepared to pay that price and turn these into practice as long as needed?

In my case I prefer to just forget 2020. It has not been the year I imagined exactly one year ago. And I am convinced this will apply to many other people... So, no reflection from me personally.

However, I must point out, that you as a manger must always reflect, unless there is no future for the business you are in. In this case, it might also be very worthwhile to review the agility of your organisation, as plans almost certainly did not materialize as you had foreseen at the start of 2020. How did you and your staff reacted and adapt to different circumstances? Did you had to go into crisis mode? And, if so were you in control of that crisis or did the crisis control you?

By the way, my view on managing crises is to keep away from applying the normal process and fierce fully adapt, but in all aspects define a new process, environment instead! More to come in a forthcoming blog.

This blog is about one aspect of implementing new ideas and it concerns communication. This last year has learned us that managing remote organisations has become the new standard.

Will it stay like that, even after we got back control on managing COVID-19?

I think that the extreme will go away. We learned to live the life that our ICT systems promised for years, but organisations were very reluctant to implement. Working from home, or away from your office, has really become the accepted norm for organisations and a default of our working life.

I am sure that for most of you, managers, this had introduced new challenges. If you already had a great trust in your people and used to manage outcome, I believe the change was more natural. In all other cases this change must have been a massive challenge to deal with.

How to you know people are effective and efficient on a distance? How do you coach people on the job? How do you ensure people do not drift away from the organisation and you? How do you recognize people are not performing well or are walking on their toes?

I strongly believe the answer, whatever else you need to do, is "communicate". What do I mean by this? It is not simply sending assignments by email, or responding to chats or other types of requests when your employee has something to discuss or ask.

What I mean is that you have a structured plan for communication with your people (external communication is out of scope). A plan that covers structural direct personal contact on a regular basis (weekly, daily, ...) with every direct report, as well as structural ways to organise different forms of team sessions (pizza sessions, quarterly organisation updates, peer or community sessions, etc). These structural contacts and sessions should preferably be in person, but at a minimum "face to face".

The individual contacts are not intended to just have a regular friendly chat, but are particularly important to consciously observe and monitor signals of changing behaviour. How you do this is highly dependent of personal preferences and the particular working environment.

With regard to the structural approach to organizing various sessions, this current restricted world requires obviously more creativity. As always in abnormal circumstances, I have noticed this has also lead to many new creative and reusable ideas you can learn from or copy. This period is certainly not a reason NOT to do this.

But once you decided you take a necessary structural approach to organise one or more types of team sessions, it is essential that you stick to the approach and follow through, even if you need to switch or alter a format. If you start one or more series of brilliant new initiatives, nothing is more hurtful than to let them go by with the same speed. So, please make sure you CAN follow through in advance!

For now, I wish you all a great and 'better' 2021 and please, if not so already, make communication one of your top priorities!

Btw. if you want to read more about how to make plans for the new year, please read my blogs the same time last year. 

Fred Bosch - About Management and more - All rights reserved 2019-2022