Crisis and chaos have a way of revealing who we are, our core beliefs, values and character. A facade is not well maintained under sustained pressure.
The same is true for organizations. Your leadership style and the organizational culture that flows from it reveals itself in all of its glory (or horror) when under pressure.
If the workplace has an authoritarian culture where employees are not trusted and given little latitude to set their work priorities or make decisions—the need brought on by covid (for instance) to enable remote work, will lead you to ramp up intrusive surveillance on your employees in an effort to micromanage and motivate your employees through fear (no, the forced virtual coffee breaks with virtual colleagues doesn’t negate your intent).
If you have, instead, established an interdependent collaborative culture based on trust and information sharing, a crisis will unleash the resilience of this model of operation—adaptive, self-driven, a place where each employee strives to do their best and bring their best towards weathering the storm and achieving common goals
Organizational cultures exist on a spectrum — from reactive (vulnerable to shock/change) to anticipatory and adaptable (resilient).
Resilient organizations are ones that have a clear sense of purpose, places where everyone knows their WHY. In this way, you can, as the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out, “endure any HOW”.
Are you in local government? Eager to align your team to your common purpose? Use this handy leadership tool to build resiliency by aligning staff with their WHY. (Local Governments Golden Circle)
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