With more companies battling the coronavirus by encouraging people to work from home, the way that we lead and manage transformation also needs to evolve. In this episode, Oliver Banks explores the tips that you need to effectively manage change projects and programmes from home or remotely.

Listen to this podcast episode to discover:

  • 10 easy to action tips to make sure you lead your transformation effectively whilst working from home.
  • What’s the single biggest impact action that you can take.
  • The 3 skills and mindsets that you must turn to in times of crisis.

Working from home – how it changes transformation

With the coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic now stretching across the entire world, it’s having a major impact on the world of business too. In retail, it’s impacting shops, distribution and offices as well as all other businesses and personal lives too.

Key changes that we’re seeing as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Europe and the rest of the world take on this virus crisis include:

  • Less working at the office. But more working from home.
  • Less meetings. But more conference calls and video meetings.
  • Less visiting stores and DCs. But increased focus on getting the job done.

Also, it’s not a good time to be launching new changes or trials. Finances are becoming squeezed at a corporate level – which inevitably will negatively impact availability of money and investment for key transformation programmes. We are also seeing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being put to the test.

If we zoom into retail, we’re seeing some stores and categories have huge peaks – surpassing the usual busiest times of year. Simultaneously, in other categories, we’re seeing footfall and revenues decline significantly. We’re also seeing a huge shift to ecommerce – particularly for grocery home shopping / online food deliveries.

How to lead transformation when working from home

There were 10 tips shared to help you lead a team effectively. Please share your tips in the comments below.

1. Support the ongoing operation

You have to keep the wheels on the bus! Keep the ongoing operation working effectively. This will continue to keep the businesses head afloat in hard times of crisis.

2. Continue to network – internally and externally

When you’re confined to working from home, it’s easy to become isolated. Don’t let this happen.

3. Don’t let your transformation progress stop

This is especially important if you have to balance an operational “day job” and a major transformation project and programme. When in times of crisis, like this, it’s important to maintain an element of balance. Whilst it would be easy to focus on the operational side of your role (as per tip #1!), if you let your transformation stop, you’ll find it hard to rebuild momentum when things do return to normal.

4. Communicate status

Communicate what is going on so your transformation stays front of mind. If you don’t, your initiative and hard work will fall off the radar. Then, when things do return to normal, you’ll have to work extra hard to make up for lost time and reinvigorate your stakeholder support.

5. Plan for business continuity

It’s critical that you are collaborating and working closely with your team to ensure that you understand each other’s work. If either of you become ill – or get hit by the proverbial bus – then you’re better prepared. When you’re working from the same location, you’re more likely to pick up this by the very nature of co-location. When you’re working remotely, it just won’t happen unless you make an intentional decision to do so.

6. Boost personal productivity

This will become increasingly important as you continue to consistently work from home. There are plenty of top tips – here are a few to get you started. Please share yours in the comments below.

  1. Create a consistent routine. This will help you to train your brain to stay focused.
  2. Set boundaries. When does work start and finish (or you’ll never stop!).
  3. Explain the rules. Help to avoid distractions from children, your partner etc.
  4. Get changed. Staying in the PJs doesn’t put your brain in the right gear for effective work.
  5. Clear the clutter. Having domestic chores visible will distract you.
  6. Get outside. Fresh air and exercise will help enormously.
  7. Move locations. If you can, working from another location will kick start your brain into thinking differently.
  8. Eat healthily and drink water. Yes, yes. I know, I know! Buy some healthy snacks to avoid the temptation!

What else – do share your ideas and tips to build home productivity tips.

7. Plan to get clear trial results

With extraordinarily unusual patterns of footfall, sales and even product mix, any trials that you currently have in place will be severely distorted. If you haven’t already – consider how these will be affected and make sure that you’re explaining this to the rest of your team (who you’d normally explain to in the office or in a meeting).

8. Forecast long term changes as a result

With the coronavirus having such large implications, make sure that you’re using your time to think strategically. How will your business change? How will your transformation change as a result? Start thinking about this now as it’s less likely to come out as a discussion point in video meetings.

9. See how your business could serve the world

French company, LVMH, have set the standard by stopping perfume production and switching to hand sanitiser production to serve the wider country. Think what resources that you have in your company that could help serve and support the world.

10. Demonstrate Empathy + Collaboration + Communication

Finally, blending these 3 mindsets or skills will make you a great leader in times of crisis – whether you’re managing transformation remotely from home or you’re co-located in an office.

What are your tips

Either share a comment below or reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter to share your tips.

Alternatively, send an email to oliver.banks@obandco.uk to share your ideas or if you’d like to talk strategy about how you can best lead transformation remotely.


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