3 Strategies Organizations Need To Succeed In 2021
It is with a sigh of relief, a bit of trepidation, and a great deal of hope that we usher in 2021. In a sense, everything has changed and, in another sense, nothing has changed. We hope this year brings an end to the pandemic that can feel like it has a strangle-hold on our organizations. The reality is, we are a long way off from confidently saying we are all fine. Whether we like it or not, we return to work in the same environment we left. Hopefully, we are more prepared with a bit more rest and a lot more hope.
The question is, what do leaders and organizations need right now to launch into 2021 and set our organizations up for a successful year? While working with hundreds of senior clients this past year, we discovered some action steps every organization should take immediately.
2021 will likely continue with a high degree of disruption. We know that adapting to disruption and driving growth in a landscape of rapid change requires organizations to have these 3 things:
1. Clear Alignment On Strategy
Most leaders say they are aligned but are they really? Research tells us that one-third of senior managers cannot select their organization’s strategy from a list. If you asked your team, even in their own words, would every one of them be able to clearly articulate where you’re going this year and a clear set of priorities to get there? If they can come close, it might be OK, but what happens when disruption hits and in the heat of the moment decisions need to be made? Do they look to you or are they able to respond as one? Putting in the time to clearly articulate your strategy, create alignment, and ensure every team member knows where they fit in clarifies your investment priorities and guarantees that the right decisions are made. Alignment around your strategy will also eliminate the infighting, hidden agendas, silos, and jockeying for resources that can waste time and derail an organization facing disruption.
2. Intentional Leadership Excellence
This may sound like a cliché, but if 2020 taught us anything, it was that the leaders who were intentional about providing excellent leadership won the long game. As the world switched to working virtually, it was easy to disconnect and provide less leadership. Leaders who were strategic in finding ways to engage their teams now have teams that are closer and more collaborative today than they were before the pandemic. Those who did not, in many cases, have struggled to maintain productivity and dealt with greater burnout and disengagement. A new year provides a chance to reset around leadership strategies that keep teams engaged and collaborating even though they might not be in the office for a while. These may include daily check-ins, weekly one-on-ones, team building lunches, or whatever it takes to remind people that they are a part of something beyond their couch and laptop.
3. Organizational Resilience
We are rapidly approaching another year of disruption. A few weeks ago every client I had was lamenting the level of burnout and fatigue. As we reengage leaders going into 2021 after a brief break and before things go full speed ahead, we have a chance to focus on building the resilience we will need to drive growth and prosper in the new year. This is the time to start talking about what it would take to become more resilient individuals, teams, and organizations. Our book, Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back (How leaders and their organizations can build resilience before disruption hits) presents a clear framework you can use to do this. Building resilience is about our (or our team’s) mindset and the choices we make. Mindset is about being authentic and choosing our attitude. Choices are about getting clear on our purpose and how we define success. Underlying all that are our core beliefs. Working through the Resilience framework as a group creates alignment and will build the resilience you need to ensure that people have some extra ‘margin’ and are on the same page when disruption hits.