The New Normal – what can we make it look like?

Over the last couple of months we have all been on a learning journey – both personal and organisational. We have learned, firstly, some things about ourselves, secondly about our families and colleagues, and thirdly about our organisations and their business models.

At a personal level we’ve had the opportunity to observe ourselves and our values, and try some new practices on for fit. These may have included a new compassion for others, new habits or routines for both our personal and work dimensions, and for many, absorption of and adjustment to some shocks that will seriously re-arrange our future trajectory.

At a family or colleague level we are likely to have learned something about their relationships with us; we may have re-jigged their importance to us as a result of shared new experiences. We may have been impressed by the flexibility and leadership of some, and perhaps disappointed by the lack of that in others. And we may have re-ordered the fit of work and family into our lives, creating a new integrated whole to move forward with.

At an organisation level, we have seen adoption of new technology, changed ways of working and a more trusting and collaborative work environment occasioned by distance. For some of us our industry or sector may face existential challenge, requiring a radical re-think of scale, product or service offering, markets, process and people.

As the wheels get turning again after lockdown we have the opportunity to strive for a new and better future, rather than settle for a return to the past. I am personally committed to that opportunity because it carries the seeds of a more sustainable, equitable, and just outcome for those who come after us.

If we are going to respond to that opportunity it will take us even further out of our comfort zone than the past few months have already. We can only sustain the personal effort of that if we have the support of others and act selflessly and collaboratively.

In support of a new normal that is ‘better’ than the old normal I will personally continue to travel less, network more, build relationships that support others, share the knowledge and wisdom I have accumulated, volunteer my time and expertise, and be present to those around me.

What will you do to capture the opportunity that is in front us?

In general discussion we take the opportunity to raise the profiles of one another and also potentially suggest those of other colleagues we deal with so we may better communicate with them.

As a manager I am better able to understand what drives my different reports. This enables me to approach each one in a different way which ideally best suits their personality type.

I've worked around some of the personality traits of my colleagues and am more cognisant of these when interacting with them. I've also thought about how I can better interact with others.

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