When the pandemic first hit, businesses were forced to close their doors and operate remotely as cities around the world were going into lockdowns. This put IT departments into the spotlight as most businesses haphazardly embraced remote work. Most of them don’t even have the right processes, equipment and expertise in place to pull it off but they have no other choice either.
IT teams were responsible for ensuring smooth transition as well as operations after the transition to remote work. This has not only affected IT teams but also IT leaders from around the globe. They are forced to change their leadership styles, team structures and even their work strategies in order to align themselves with the new world.
This not only removed all the barriers associated with the traditional office environment but also offered opportunities for new innovations. Businesses that responded to those changes are the ones that really reap rich rewards while businesses who struggled with it, lagged far behind the competition.
IT leaders learned a lot of lessons during the pandemic and we will discuss that in this article. If you are interested in learning these lessons the easy way then you are at the right place. In this article, you will learn about five pivot lessons leaders learned during this pandemic.
5 Key Pivot Lessons Leaders Learned During This Pandemic
Here are five key lessons that leaders learned during this pandemic that helped them pivot quickly.
Leverage Employee Crowdsourcing For Innovative Ideas
Avery Dennison, a packing material manufacturer leveraged information technology to create a flexible organization that can respond to changing situations in a much better way. They conducted digital ideation sessions to crowdsource ideas from employees who specialize in their particular domain. Fast forward to today and it has helped them to accelerate growth and improve business productivity. You can also invest in the New York dedicated server to boost your efficiency.
Instead of finding solutions to problems like staying in touch with customers during COVID-19, they involved employees who provided them with their unique perspectives and shared unique ideas to get over the problem. Every employee shares their ideas with other employees which allows the organization to grow as a whole. All the ideas were ranked on the basis of value and effort.
By conducting this exercise, the company managed to generate 390 new ideas. Once they have all the ideas, they sit together with partners and business units to put these ideas into execution. This led to better products and services, improved customer experience and highly efficient processes. After sifting through all the ideas, they finally implemented 31 of them in production and more than one third of these ideas reached completion stage.
Reflecting back on it, Nick Colisto, CIO of the company said, “With agility and experimentation, we can rapidly test ideas, iterate quickly, and launch minimal viable products and services that improve experiences relating to our customers, factories, employees, and products,”
Eliminate Chain of Command To Improve Decision Making
Organizations that follow excessive hierarchy ranks and have departmental rigidity struggle when the pandemic hits. Why? They could not collaborate the same way as a flexible organization could do in a fully remote work environment. That is why it is important for organizations to loosen their chain of command in order to pivot quickly and efficiently. More importantly, it can also aid with decision making.
Angela Yochem, Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation and Digital Officer reflected back on it when she said, “I found myself trading calls and texts with colleagues at all levels of the organization, at all hours of the night, in the early days of the pandemic — a welcome change, and one that allowed us to be proactive in the face of challenge. Everyone recognized that we were all in this together, and there was no time to be standing in a ceremony when someone two or three levels up the org chart had information that was needed immediately.”
Automation Give You More Room For Innovation
As remote work becomes a reality, more and more businesses are using automation to automate their business processes. Whether it is developing automated workflows for finance or automating onboarding and onboarding processes for the human resource department, automation has given businesses more room to focus on innovation and freeing them up from mundane and repetitive tasks.
Although, it is hard to evaluate the true impact of automation just yet but we will see it make a much bigger impact in the future. Thanks to automation, you can bring new products faster to the market by removing roadblocks and streamlining existing processes and workflows.
Bridging The Physical Divide By Making Meaningful Connections
Irrespective of how good you are at what you do, you can not do everything alone. You need support from your team and key stakeholders. That is why it is important for IT leaders to make meaningful connections. If you have these connections, you might have navigated the troubled waters of the pandemic but if you don’t, you might have struggled.
Just because your team is working remotely does not mean that you can not communicate with them. In fact, you should increase the frequency of communication and inquire about their wellbeing. Follow it up by updating them about the latest situation and ask them for updates on tasks they are working on. This way, they will feel that they are still a part of a community instead of feeling lonely.
Nothing Can Beat Face To Face Interaction
Switching to remote work through a servers in Spain might have done wonders for one department but that does not mean that this will happen with other departments as well. Your marketing meme accelerates productivity could have gone up due to remote work but it could have an opposite effect on your IT team’s productivity. Employee burnout and work related stress can negatively impact your IT teams when they’re working remotely.
The lack of visibility, high turnover rate and increasing cybersecurity attacks does not help either. That is why it is important to arrange a face to face meeting where you can provide them the direction and motivation they need to achieve their goals.
Which leadership lessons did you learn during this pandemic that helped you to adapt? Let us know in the comments section below.