29 May COVID-19: May Insights
Friends, clients, partners, and fellow community leaders,
It has been almost three months since COVID-19 became a daily reality for all of us. As the calendar closes on May, Incite will return to a monthly schedule for releasing these Insight news, updates, and perspectives pieces with you. The COVID-19 marathon will be with us for many months to come, and we will continue to share advice and best practices on how organizations are adapting to the ongoing changes around them.
Despite the challenges this new reality has brought to many of you, we have been inspired by the determined effort and positive approach much of the business community continues to exemplify. The path forward may not be easy, but you have clearly shown you are up to the challenge.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
– Albert Einstein
Three months of operating in COVID-19 has created many questions and opportunities for self-reflection. Three observations and lessons we want to share from May:
- We can still celebrate winning. While many businesses are undoubtedly struggling, there are some industries and individual companies who have found tremendous success. From a mix of innovation, hard work, and good fortune, they have seen positive financial results and significant growth through COVID-19. We have noticed a trend among some of the owners of these companies that they feel a sense of guilt or a need to shrug off their success as simply the result of being in the right place at the right time. Business has and always will be a combination of taking risks, meeting needs, working hard, and yes, some good luck. You can still experience success in a down market, and you shouldn’t be reluctant to celebrate your wins. Stay humble and considerate of others but take a few minutes to feel good about doing well and sharing that success with those in your network.
- Is remote work here to stay? Companies like Shopify and Twitter have announced extended or permanent shifts to remote workplaces. Incite’s experience in working remote is that there are efficiencies – no morning commute, no travel time to clients, more punctual start and end times to meetings, and less unexpected interruptions. However, gains in efficiencies are also offset with losses in creativity and overall effectiveness. It is difficult to feel as connected to your teammates and those random ideas at the water cooler that turned into new innovations for clients are less frequent. There is also something to be said for the power of an in-person collaborative brainstorming session around a whiteboard. Our sense is remote work is easier to accommodate than we expected and can be incorporated into our working environment moving forward. However, it should not be an either/or situation. We believe most organizations will be best served with a dynamic work environment that provides an effective office space combined with the ability to work remote.
- Remember that you are the work. Our friends at roygroup.net shared this concept with us many years ago. The most important project you will ever work on is yourself. COVID-19 has been an incredibly impactful event for most of us. It is a great time to look back and evaluate how we have shown up in this time. Where has our leadership made a difference? What have we been doing well that we should continue to keep doing post COVID-19? Where have some of our bad habits jumped up and derailed us? How can we be more effective moving forward? We would encourage you to self-evaluate and seek feedback from others. You are the work and the project will always be a work in progress.
Our insights from Weeks 1 to 10, along with other valuable resources, can be found here:
Incite continues to operate remotely. We have prepared a return to office protocol to align with phase 2 of the Government of Alberta’s relaunch strategy. Phase 2 is tentatively set for June 19th. Our return to work policy sets guidelines for physical distancing and hygiene practices in the office and allows employees flexibility in choosing to work from the office or remotely. We will share further details with clients and partners in our June Insights next month.