Back to (Leadership) School

Back to school season is now upon us! As we look back on our remarkably hot summer and gasp “where did the time go?” many parents will be frantically scrambling together the ever-growing list of kit needed to prepare their offspring for the new school year ahead. The cost-of-living crisis will also be having a knock-on effect on many families right about now, most of whom will already be juggling the pennies and looking at ways to maintain stability, and to work and save towards a more secure future.

Off into the distance, for the foreseeable at least, fades the memory of schooling kids at home whilst juggling work and maintaining careers alongside domestic and other family responsibilities. Fresh in our memories are the lessons the pandemic has taught us about the importance of resilience, connection, mental health and well-being, and the need to take care of ourselves more. A stronger urge now exists towards developing and nurturing skills which not only help us to survive, but to thrive and succeed, as we learn to adapt to continuous uncertainty. Climate change only adds to this sense of unpredictability, and there is a collective realisation that the world is changing in many ways.

The importance of self-awareness and planning for the future

As individuals and as professionals, we’ve been through a lot over the past couple of years. Many of us across the globe have paused to consider whether our work environments are still in alignment with our individual needs when it comes to our mental health, our sense of purpose, career development, our finances, how our values have changed and whether the places we work are truly reflective of where we want to be.

It’s not selfish to have a wish list like this, in fact, one thing we’ve realised is that because our professional lives are so interconnected now with our personal lives, these requests are becoming an essential requirement in order to not only thrive and succeed at our jobs, but to be happy as a whole.

In fact, those organisations which do not adapt to these needs are losing out in droves to the most capable and passionate amongst our workforce, and also losing existing previously loyal staff, who have now become disengaged. The Great Resignation (rebranded the Great Migration) is creating a global shift in priorities and workplace demands, with potential employees having the upper hand when it comes to choosing individual work conditions (What’s driving the great resignation?). If there is no clear potential for career progression, no flexibility and little in the way of a positive company culture, the best candidates are going elsewhere, to places they feel valued and where opportunities exist to develop their unique strengths.

Planning to succeed and nurturing your talent for tomorrow’s uncertainty

As employers, it’s more important than ever for both potential and existing workers to be able to visualise themselves playing a part in your organisation’s future. Don’t have a succession plan? Well, you may just be in for a nasty surprise around the corner. Understanding the current global work climate and adapting to it accordingly is now becoming essential in order for organisations to thrive. Jennifer Rozon, President of McLean & Company, believes that with talent scarcer than ever, it is an even higher priority for most organisations to have a succession plan, and that it is a key part of any post-pandemic business endurance strategy. One thing the pandemic has cemented, she affirms, is the realisation of just how critical it is to have one. (Succession Planning In Your Post-Pandemic Talent Management Framework).

“Organizations with succession planning that includes active work to retain key talent are in a much better position to weather the post-pandemic churn than others.”
Jennifer Rozon, President of McLean & Company

Understanding how smart organisations operate post-pandemic

With budgets becoming tighter and organisations becoming ever leaner in order to adapt and respond to each external bump in the road, it can be easy to slip into the mindset that your company simply cannot afford to develop its talent right now. On the contrary, the great migration is bringing a sharp realisation that decision makers can no longer afford to procrastinate, and those organisations smart enough to plan ahead have realised that they cannot afford not to develop their people and to provide development opportunities, in order to keep hold of their best talent.

Coaching existing employees on how to become effective future leaders within your organisation is crucial for planning ahead and requires an understanding of how leadership has evolved and adapted since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s important to ensure they are being taught the right skills and behaviours to lead the organisation successfully in the new work age (6 Leadership Paradoxes for the Post-Pandemic Era).

“To succeed in the post-pandemic era, leaders need new skills and capabilities, [and] leaders must be proficient across a wide set of paradoxical characteristics.”
Leinwand, Mani & Sheppard, Harvard Business Review

Learning leadership skills for the new work world post-covid

Leaders are having to learn new sets of skills in order to meet the demands of today’s workplace challenges, as well as having a greater understanding of people’s lives and challenges outside of work. We now know that leading in a hybrid work environment can be completely different to leading face to face, however the way we communicate, collaborate, delegate, support and guide our teams requires an acute sense of self-awareness and an adaptable mindset. As well as this comes the need to listen effectively, build trust within our teams and promote a positive company culture, all whilst nurturing a collaborative attitude towards individual and collective goals.

Off the back of our highly successful Leading for Tomorrow Programme, Greenacre Consult have created a new programme, Learning to Lead, which has been specifically designed for people who are either just stepping into a new leadership role, or who would like to be considered for a leadership role within your organisation. Our tried and tested methods develop critical leadership skills needed for today’s workspaces in a safe, inclusive and collaborative environment, using applied learning, which includes tackling specific real-life challenges that your organisation and your industry is facing.

A holistic business strategy that puts people at the heart of your company culture

The programme teaches participants the extra skills needed to thrive and succeed not only within their work environment, but also that they can take home and apply outside of work. These include self-awareness techniques, trust building skills, wellbeing tactics and collaborative values, which seek to enhance and support your organisational culture, and help your employees to  thrive in a challenging post-covid climate. Building these critical leadership and wellbeing skills for people within your workforce today not only shows your people that you see them and are adapting to their changing needs, but also helps to build and nurture a modern workplace culture which is inviting and attractive to potential future team members.

If you’ve not considered putting your people forward for a leadership learning programme before, and would like to find out more about our Learning to Lead Programme, feel free to contact Daniel Short on 07730 126 444/ daniel@greenacre-consult.com. Cut-off date for applying for the current programme is 9th September and the 2022 programme starts in October.

When you invest in your people, your people become invested in you.

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