New paradigm, new approaches: rethinking management strategies
Continuous and ongoing changes persist in our world. Whether it’s the rapid evolution of political and economic structures or the enduring effects of the pandemic, our current environment remains in a state of constant transformation. Instead of settling into a stable state that could be termed as a ‘new normality’, we find ourselves swiftly navigating through an ever-evolving landscape in a post-pandemic world. This environment has significantly impacted the daily operations, strategic planning, and management approaches of companies across the globe.
The digital transformation of human activities is accelerating and shaping our daily lives. We have access to much more information to make decisions, without necessarily having the time to analyze, reflect, and use them for our arbitrations. However, as managers, it is our responsibility to set strategic directions and make the most informed decisions in our eyes. In this field, we are undoubtedly witnessing a true revolution.
Here are some insights to assist you, as managers, in reorienting your focus and effectively navigating the realm of hybrid work. In this evolving landscape, it is increasingly essential to prioritize the individuals comprising our teams, placing them at the forefront of our considerations.
Finding one’s bearings
Surprised and sometimes disoriented, many managers and leaders wonder if their priorities and reflexes remain relevant. One thing seems certain, their strategic approaches are destined to become less predictive and more adaptative.
Viewed from this angle, there might be an inclination to reset strategic plans entirely and adopt a more reactive, day-by-day approach. However, it’s important to note that the solutions aren’t necessarily straightforward or uncomplicated. It’s better to take a step back to reflect on the overall perspective before throwing everything overboard. To be able to face new transformative shocks and adapt continuously, it remains essential to be methodical and as well-prepared as possible.
Here are six key steps to consider when preparing to face the music, emphasizing an agile approach to change:
- Visualizing the ideal result
As managers, we need to determine our achievement goals with as much precision as possible by establishing a clear mental image of the expected results. This ideal outcome can be shared with all stakeholders throughout the transformations.
- Assessing your readiness state
For a smooth execution of achievements and transformations, it is essential to first assess the strengths and weaknesses of our teams, as well as our ability to adapt to potential abrupt changes in the context in which we typically operate.
- Moving into the strategy development phase
While keeping our eyes on our business objectives, it is indispensable to involve all relevant teams. Considering the needs and expectations of employees in the development of our strategies ensures a comprehensive consideration of the employee experience in the implementation of our directions. Human beings should always come before tools and processes. Efficiency should serve both teams and strategic objectives.
- Encouraging training and initiative
It’s not just about having the best people on our teams. They must feel fully engaged in addressing challenges with the necessary autonomy to actively participate in developing solutions. At the pace of the evolution of their professional environment, they must also be able to update their knowledge easily and quickly, with a focus on continuous training.
- Executing the plan and communicating effectively
Communication of strategic intentions and expectations toward stakeholders should occur throughout the project’s execution. By knowing the objectives, members of our teams will feel more committed to a common goal. It’s not just about explaining what we want to achieve but also why we want to achieve it.
- Evaluating and improving the strategy continuously
Let’s avoid clinging to our initial ideas. As strategic directions are implemented, we can question the relevance of the solutions in place and how to improve them. It’s the time, or never, to trust the team to generate constructive proposals that will help make the necessary course adjustments at the right time.
And remember that managing is about repetition.
Beyond these six steps, the present economical context compels us to seek new balances in the work methods we aim to emphasize within our teams. It falls upon managers to attentively address employees’ expectations, cultivate new skills for overseeing remote teams, maintain an open mindset, and consistently ensure that employees’ needs are effectively considered in the practical implementation of our initiatives.
Hybrid work: striking a balance
In nearly every industry, the ongoing labor shortage in Canada significantly empowers job seekers or existing employees. This trend is expected to persist for numerous years. Effectively addressing and meeting the needs and expectations of employees has become an increasingly critical challenge across all organizational hierarchies.
The pandemic has significantly hastened the adoption of remote work, fundamentally altering our work settings, yet opinions regarding this shift remain divided. While there’s a consensus favoring the hybrid approach (combining office and remote work) in the foreseeable future, questions linger: What is the prevailing reality? What are the actual preferences of the majority, particularly with the influx of new generations joining the workforce? Does this trend correlate with heightened or diminished productivity? Does it foster greater engagement among employees?
Numerous uncertainties persist regarding this topic, and the solutions probably revolve around finding a potential equilibrium, acknowledging that the impact of two components may fluctuate depending on diverse contexts and job types. Consequently, it’s now imperative for every manager to evaluate the preferred work modes among their team members, considering both collective preferences and individual needs. This dimension holds considerably more importance in contrast to the conventional structure, where this matter seemed largely predetermined.
The shift in paradigm necessitates the acquisition of fresh management skills. Establishing strong connections within teams presents a challenge amplified by remote work. Managers need to exercise empathetic judgment in a manner distinct from traditional methods. For instance, identifying symptoms of mental health issues (like burnout or depression) on a screen proves to be considerably more challenging than in face-to-face interactions. These real challenges will profoundly impact the success of your projects, irrespective of their scale.
In addition to all these questions, there is also the growing importance of DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) and ESG (environment, social, governance) aspects for organizations and, especially, for an increasing proportion of qualified candidates likely to want to engage with you.
PRIOTIZING HUMAN CAPITAL
In summary, it’s evident that strategic management is evolving into a more intricate process demanding a broader spectrum of skills that need continuous updating. Reflecting on these insights, it becomes apparent that strategic orientations should no longer solely prioritize financial profitability. Managing human elements is increasingly recognized as the pivotal factor for organizational success.