COVID - Leadership in the New Normal

As we begin a new month under lockdown, the economic future remains shrouded in uncertainty. There are some glimmers of an easing of restrictions in the not too distant future, and we have seen other countries begin to relax controls and allow a cautious return to work for some sectors. Avoiding a second spike in COVID-19 cases whilst enabling some sort of economic recovery has become the new dilemma.

As businesses come gradually out of hibernation over the coming months, we are likely to witness the formation of a totally new economic landscape. As business owners, leaders and managers, we can either simply observe and try to adapt; Or we can make decisions and take action that will influence exactly how that landscape takes shape and what will become the new “normal”.

Many businesses have had an adaptation to digital technology forced upon them by the coronavirus restrictions; largely affecting how they communicate or where employees work from. Even if you don’t think your own business model has been affected, consider how your customers may have been disrupted and their customers further down the supply chain.

By recognising early on and predicting where changes may need to be made instead of playing the reactionary game and waiting to see what happens, we can be ahead of the curve and shape the future instead of having to mould into it.

As you think about the changes you’ll need to make, be creative. Just consider how close we are to seeing driver-less cars on our roads or having our Saturday night take-away delivered by drone.

You may have to re-skill some of your staff; maybe all of them. In addition to working with new technologies, you should consider how your team will deal with the changes generally and provide support so that you apply the correct management practices and maintain your advantage.

Remember that our own Leadership training is available online (we’ve already made that change), funded for SMEs in Worcestershire, Bristol and Wiltshire and at a reduced price for other areas. It includes modules that will help with change management as well as collaborative working and we have options for all levels.

There may be some difficult decisions to make too; and with them some challenging conversations. For some, online conferencing software might make this easier to deliver but it will probably have a negative impact on the person on the receiving end. A face-to-face meeting in person will always be the best option, observing guidelines on social distancing of course.

Finally, remember your duty of care to employees. Whilst you look forward to a brave new world there will be those who are less able to face change and the challenges it presents. Furlough will be a stressful situation for many, compounded by uncertainty. The loss of the regular routine of work will possibly have an effect on mental health and even though your staff are at home and being paid, you still have responsibilities over their wellbeing.

We’re running FREE wellbeing sessions for furloughed workers and employees who are still working, delivered via Zoom. Your employees are welcome to attend although we do have a limit of 100 attendees so it will be first come-first served. Go here for the details.

In the meantime, for further help and support in the management of your future business, please call us as usual on 01452 331331 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.