Co-Authored by Marc Umscheid, CMO, Chief Outsiders and Kristin Anderson, Partner, LeadQuest Consulting
Welcome to the fourth blog in our series on the importance of a more engaged culture in fostering growth at your company (if you'd like to read any of the previous posts, they can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Clearly, a few things have happened in our world since our last blog – namely, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an economic slowdown that has left few businesses untouched, or unscathed.
If you have been following our blog series, you may recall that we have been insisting that a carefully crafted culture goes hand and glove with a high effective growth strategy, – making the case for how your leadership shapes the engagement needed for growth. Though the world may have changed – the fundamental principles have not. How you lead your employees now will indelibly reflect upon your cultural and growth mindset. This is now more important than ever.
With many businesses being forced to temporarily adapt to conserve cash flow, and others working to take steps forward to prepare the new post-pandemic realities, this can be an unnerving time for your teams. It’s also the best time to accelerate that cultural metamorphosis, and to take advantage of expertise if your culture is in need of mending.
The foundational principles of a balanced culture – trust, relatability, vulnerability, and speaking the truth -- continue to be critical. We need look no further than the crisis at hand for an example of such balance. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, have quickly gained praise as voices of reason during COVID-19. Mostly speaking alone, but sometimes together (with often charming and hilarious results, as noted in this New York Times article), the Cuomo brothers have reassured Americans from their pulpits – offering direct and true advice and counsel, delivering messages in a plain-spoken and relatable way, and never being afraid to show a level of vulnerability that comes more from the heart, and less from the head.
Someday, the COVID-19 pandemic will be in the rear view – yet the lessons to be learned now are too powerful to ignore. When you emerge from the crisis, will you have shifted the culture appropriately to handle a rapid return to a new normalcy, or will your team feel that you have alienated them during a time when they most needed leadership?
If you are leveraging the insights of consultants to help you manage through the crisis and to a restoration to growth, it’s helpful to take an inventory of what guidance is most valuable to you. To help you ensure you are getting the right advice, we have assembled the following list of questions to consider in guiding your conversation. It is our hope that, with the right trusted advisor on board to help you shape your culture, that you will be well positioned to fend off any risks of a post-pandemic malaise.
Now, the choice is yours – and yours alone. Are you ready to reshape your culture, or will you maintain the status quo – and potentially be unprepared, should another crisis cause you to grapple with existing dysfunction? In this blog series, we hope we’ve been able to provide some compelling reasons to undertake a strategic process to shift your culture today.
Of course, undertaking this process can be difficult to handle alone. We can make the first step easy – both of us are available for a free consultation to discuss how we can assist you.
See below for Marc's bio.
Kristin Anderson is a partner at KLA Consulting where she provides coaching for “leaders at all levels”, guides executive leadership in the development of their organizations culture of consistent high performance, and facilitates customized leadership retreats. Kristin has more than twenty years of business experience and brings a combination of corporate leadership, facilitation, consulting, and cross-industry expertise. She has held several senior leadership positions establishing a deep knowledge of the challenges of leading organizations during periods of growth and transition.