A business woman holding a tablet and touching a virtual map.

Can redesigning work to accommodate the paradigm shift prove successful?

“The role of leadership today is to bring clarity in uncertain times. The more uncertain things are, the more leadership is required. There is no job description for what you are facing, no rule book… Today’s leaders need to thrive in the face of this uncertainty.”

The pandemic has created great uncertainty for organizations. However, this came on the back of a business context of ongoing disruption and rising economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

Today’s highly dynamic context does require leaders to adopt different mindsets, behaviors and skills. Remote working has required leaders to find different ways of establishing trust, creating high standards, motivating and monitoring performance.

There is no doubt that those in positions of authority have a reasonable concern about failing at this critical juncture. However, if they reframe this difficulty as a creative process that the group should go through together, they will be able to put these worries to rest.

In what stage of the process of redesigning work do you currently find yourself? Are there any measures you need to take again, but this time more deliberately? And do you have a firm grasp on the most important aspects of your work? The activities you take right now will construct the work model that will become your signature, and they will define the agreement you are making with your staff and your consumers.

What Is the Leaders’ Fear?

It should come as no surprise that there are no universally applicable solutions because the flow of labor, people, and information varies greatly from business to business.

Get a grasp on what matters. One of the concerns that executives have is that productivity would suffer if they change work procedures, such as working from home. Will people put in less effort while they’re working from home? Will they struggle as a result of a lack of face-to-face collaboration?

It is natural for leaders to make decisions from the top down when experiencing anxiety and dread. But this only works if the person in charge is completely aware of what has to be done, and most leaders are not at the moment.

On the other hand, putting decision-making authority in the hands of individual managers will invariably result in mistrust and bias among various employee groups, which I have witnessed in many different businesses.

The potential for new forms of labor to be mismatched with the purpose of the organization or its business plan is a serious concern for company leaders. Those who have overcome this phobia have clearly articulated their guiding principles and rigorously evaluated new ideas in light of those values.

What Is the Employees Fear?

Numerous employees have reasonable concerns that new forms of work may become fads that are never truly integrated into the company’s culture or that they will be abandoned at the first hint of a recession or cost cutting.

Another concern that employees have is, “How can I draw attention to myself?” in this competitive environment. How can I bring my manager’s attention to the performance I’ve been putting in? How do I organize my professional life? Who is going to assist me with this?

What Are the Steps of Structural Overhaul?

There is a common belief that the way organization’s function is in dire need of a structural makeover and that the task of figuring out how to move forward necessitates to be worked out by more people than just a firm’s top leadership.  Leaders who have been able to overcome their apprehension and begin the task of overhauling have done so by moving through four essential steps, which are as follows:

  1. Understanding people
  2. Understanding the networks and jobs; reimagining how work gets done
  3. Modeling and evaluating potential redesigns based on fundamental concepts
  4. Ensuring that the overhaul is sustainable by taking action on a large scale

What’s Ahead?

There is no one size fits all solution.   However, it must be recognized that redefining the human dimension of work is not some kind of  “final destination”.  As organizations transform and continuously evolve,  the main strategic focus on work must encompass the organization’s purpose, meaning, and value.  One main point is that listening to the employees and then taking action on the feedback they receive, will be necessary now and for the future.

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