Leveraging Cause in Crisis

Thank you to everyone who joined us for today’s conversation around ‘Leveraging Cause in Crisis’. 

A few key themes, which have presented themselves in previous zoom sessions, were brought up again and reinforced, along with a few additional insights and layers added in. 

Our conversation revolved around a few key themes. 

Communication

Communication remains a key focus for all organisations through this time. We spoke about this in our ‘Leading Well in Lockdown’ conversation. Firstly, communication is about sharing information so as to ensure that all staff are kept in the loop as to an organisations strategy and the impact of COVID-19 on the health of the a business. Taking it one step further, communication is needing to be two way so that leaders are able to listen carefully to the needs at all levels of the organisation. COVID-19 may, as we highlighted in our Could COVID-19 Recalibrate Corporate Culture article, be a catalyst for two way communication where we speak with each other as colleagues and fellow human beings. 

Psychological safety

A limitation to effective and meaningful communication is a lack of psychological safety. As we discussed, people need to feel safe to talk. We create safety through a genuine intent to want to listen and discover where people are at, along with acknowledging what we have heard and responding. I am excited about the increased connection that is taking place between people during this time, especially between leaders and their teams. As we humanise each other through this crisis, we in turn strengthen relationships and foster higher levels of psychological safety, especially if a leader asks sincere questions about where their team is at and shares authentically about where they are along the way. 

Collaboration

COVID-19 has catalysed high levels of collaboration. It has been incredible to hear stories of collaboration throughout all sectors; government, NGO’s and corporates. Collaboration is something every organisation has paid lip service to in the past. It is a very basic fundamental which we all know fuels greater levels of effectiveness and yields significant results. Whilst some cultures may have struggled to foster it in the past, COVID-19 is certainly ensuring that is happens now. This is an opportunity to set our businesses up to be collaborative spaces going forward, ensuring that together we maximise the potential of what we can achieve. 

Values

It seems we are coming back to our values over this time, another positive to reflect on. Values are often ‘on the wall’ but not ‘in the business’, with most organisations paying lip service toward what should be guiding principles for ‘how we do things around here’. If you look at your values and reflect on how people are behaving through this crisis, can you see examples of how your values are being lived out? A cause driven culture is clear on what it believes and how it behaves. The opportunity here is to reflect, post this crisis, on how every employee lived the values and focus on how to continue to live them into the future. We have certainly all been reflecting on what we value most. This is an opportunity for organisations to do the same. 

Necessary Endings

We didn’t use this term on the call, but it certainly appears. As mentioned above, a crisis makes you reflect on what counts and what is superficial or unnecessary. We clarify what counts during a crisis such as this. We focus on core activities that will see us through. A cause driven culture does what is necessary to yield long term results and lets go of that which does not count. What can your business let go of through this time? 

Wellbeing

At the end of the day, we all want everyone else to be well. There is a great deal going on around wellness in our organisations right now, as well as on all social platforms. This is an opportunity for every organisation to consider how to maintain wellness beyond this crisis. A cause driven culture looks to create healthy people which in turn have the capacity and energy to do great work. This is an opportunity to shift away from simply a focus on the bottom line, to a focus on creating a healthy business which has at its core, healthy people. 

We look forward to continuing the conversation and partnering with you as we all seek to shape good culture, which we all know is good business.

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