Transition work for successfully entering the post-COVID era.
The liminal space in which we find ourselves globally as individuals as well as organisations has us collectively wanting to go back to normal, mourning its loss and asking ourselves – what does the next normal look like?
Liminality, in an anthropological sense, is the period of crossing over from a space in which you are leaving something behind, yet you are not yet fully in something else. A transitional space.
In life, liminal spaces are usually more clearly defined as we move from childhood into adulthood, enter from education into a working life or the transition of personal life from single, to engaged, to married status.
The difference today, in this global pandemic, there is no map. No master of ceremonies holding our hand through the transitional grey.
The result. Ambiguity.
And ultimately, for some as clarity does not appear, anxiety. In a personal and professional sense.
In today’s workplace, as research by McKinsey shows, 66% of all leaders have not crystalized their vision on post-lock down operations. This is cause for concern, not just on an operational level. 47% of individuals feel a lack of clear vision about the post-pandemic world is a cause for concern and this anxiety is increasing stress levels, with burn out and loss of productivity and innovation as a result.
All research points to a shift towards more remote working. The benefits are obvious: saving costs, reducing Co2 emissions and improved productivity, provided there is enough space for personal contact, collaborative discussion and innovation.
Organisations need to begin mapping out.
Further than a redesign of their floor plan:
- What does work look like for their employees in the near future?
- How will it continue to evolve?
- What assumptions regarding work color the decision-making process?
- How will they bring their employees along in the process?
- Drawing together people’s hopes and fears.
- Beginning to relieve the ambiguity.
- Opening outwards in building trust.
You do not need to have the answers. No one does. Initiating the conversation and being transparent that the conversation is on the table, is at the very least, the first step.
A new era. New structures.
An invitation to reconnect, rethink, reshape. Join us: https://new-leaders.academy/en/courses/reconnect-rethink-reshape/
Conceived and written in close collaboration with Emilie van Rappard of Meeting Masters and Sabine Bredemeyer of New Leaders Academy.
Leaders will also grapple with a whole other set of questions about the future of work. For example, how will flexible working hours, reductions in business travel, and new teaming and communication models be permanently incorporated into operating models?