Sunday, 29 March 2020

THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON MEANING AND PURPOSE

We are very often defined by what we do. We do not say he or she does accountancy we say they are an accountant. We even define ourselves by what we do. We would not say I do triathlon, but we might say I am a triathlete.

So what happens when what we do or our ability to do it fundamentally changes? How does this affect us and our identity?  How does Coronavirus, lock-down and home-working impact upon our meaning and values?

SOME THEORY

William Bridges wrote about his life and value changing experiences, developing a transition model, when he retired from work. In short, the model identifies three stages people go through as they gradually enter and accept the new organisational landscape. The model mainly focuses on psychological change during the transitions between each stage.

Elisabeth Kbler-Ross in her 1969 book talked about the stages of grief. This has been recognised by many as equally applying to our reaction to change.

Denial  The first reaction is denial.
Anger : When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue
Bargaining : The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid the situation
Depression : "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
Acceptance : "It's going to be okay." "I can't fight it I may as well prepare for it."

Viktor Frankl argued that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

Julian B. Rotter in 1954, came up with the concept of a Locus of control: The degree to which people believe that they, as opposed to external forces (beyond their influence), have control over the outcome of events in their lives

Stephen Karpman suggested in the Drama Triangle that we get to choose a role.

The Victim: The Victim's stance is "Poor me!"
The Rescuer: The rescuer's line is "Let me help you."
The Persecutor: (in this case Coronavirus, or Government or Conspiracy)

OK THATS THE THEORY  WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Many people are valued for what they do rather than who they are. This is partly western culture and as much about how we valued ourselves as how society or employers value us. Under these circumstances being sent home with not enough to do may impact our sense of self-worth. The uncertainty, plus lack of control may create anxiety.

A lack of tasks or content in our day may create boredom or distress which we can resolve by filling with activity which may be constructive (hobbies or chores around the home) or destructive (excessive drinking, eating or social media). Being jobless (or simply without enough work to do) may make us feel useless and thus meaningless leading to depression, aggression or addiction.

A remedy may be to change your mindset from being without work to being on holiday. With a new angle of perception, we may find better pastimes to pass the time. Or to change our role within the existing context from Victim to Rescuer and take part in any of the voluntary on-line or off-line efforts to help people.

Frankl argued that we cannot simply be happy, any more than we can snap out of being depressed. The challenge instead is to find meaning, a reason to be happy: A cause (or a person) to serve.

My view is that it is better to be the captain of your ship rather than the crew of someone else and therefore better to pursue meaningful tasks to your own ends of none are forthcoming from your boss, spouse, family or community.

Irrespective of your view of fate or control, there may be moral obligation upon employers to find meaningful things for their colleagues to do. Not just for their occupation and mental health but also to maintain the link, loyalty and sense of belonging that is essential to a functioning community or a successful business.

GET IN CONTACT

If you to discuss these ideas or anything related to people, process or change please get in touch.

Tim HJ Rogers
Senior Consultant
Mob 447797762051
Skype timhjrogers
Twitter @timhjrogers

REFERENCES AND LINKS

William Bridges transition model
https://www.toolshero.com/change-management/bridges-transition-model/

Elisabeth Kbler-Ross stages of grief
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

Viktor Frankl
https://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/080701429X

Drama Triangle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

Locus of Control
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control



Thursday, 26 March 2020

IF YOU ARE NOT IN SURVIVAL MODE YOU SHOULD BE IN PLANNING MODE



 Yesterday I wrote I had a series of very interesting meetings today about how the challenges of Coronavirus will impact the short-term (current health and social crisis), medium-term (business and economic crisis) and long-term (changes in vision, values, habits, behaviours and expectations)

Today I read this…

I’m clearly not the only one thinking that coronavirus will have implications for the long-term and for those who are not flat-out coping with the immediate crisis it may be worth investing your time to planning what the future may look like and getting ready for that.

The book Black Swan suggests that whilst it is difficult to predict, it is common sense to prepare.

The above referenced article make clear that food, medical and office work may significantly change. I agree. I have also observed that despite “working from home” people are struggling to utilise the tools for communication and collaboration but that will quickly change and become the new normal. Thereafter it will be difficult to go back.

Recent books that have influenced me include

How to Fix the Future – Andrew Keen
Utopia for Realists
Life 3.0
Everything by Yuval Noah Harari
Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis - George Monbiot
WTF?: What have we done? Why did it happen? How do we take back control? - Robert Peston
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups - Daniel Coyle
Principles: Life and Work -

I value comments feedback or any suggested reading

TimHJRogers
AdaptConsultingCompany.com

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

HOW WILL CORONAVIRUS CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK, WORK AND PLAY



I had a series of very interesting meetings today about how the challenges of Coronavirus will impact the short-term (current health and social crisis), medium-term (business and economic crisis) and long-term (changes in vision, values, habits, behaviours and expectations)

I may post an article or blog which I hope will be interesting based on those conversations and peoples interest about what we can do now for the future. In the meantime, I welcome comments and observations and happy to take a collaborative approach to predicting and preparing for different futures.

TimHJRogers
AdaptConsultingCompany.com

HOW WELL HAVE FIRMS IMPLEMENTED CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS?



Clear concise communications for colleagues, customers, the public and the media is critical at this time. However for many organization the carefully planned theory fails on execution because people simply are not used to home-working or the new tools or habits they need to employ.

Mike Tyson said Everyone has a plan, until they are hit in the mouth

When anyone has a choice of WhatsApp, Yammer, Email, Zoom, Hangouts, MS-Teams, Skype as well as all the usual platforms we risk confusion rather than communication. What is needed is clarity and simplicity.

People are used to looking at websites, social media, linked-in to find out information  notably about the latest Coronavirus and its impact on people, services and jobs. So organisations need to make sure that they have pre-prepared messages that go through the right (ideally rehearsed) channels that everyone is already familiar with.

If you are interested in a simple guide for Crisis Communications get in touch

Having a communications plan (What, When, How and Who)
Checklist preparing and sending  colleagues communication
Checklist preparing and sending  customers communication
Checklist preparing and sending  a media release
What tools work best for which audiences
Keeping in touch after everyones gone home.

TimHJRogers
AdaptConsultingCompany.com

IT IS RIGHT TO CLOSE PROJECTS, IT IS NOT RIGHT TO ABANDON THEM



Understandably lots of projects are being put on hold whilst the immediate focus is on coronavirus.

However, it is important that you follow the right process when mothballing a project. Note mothballing means stop using (a piece of equipment or a building) but keep it in good condition so that it can readily be used again.

Simply abandoning projects and disbursing the team(s) is likely to create long-term problems. This is especially the case if the team(s) are not your own people but consultants, contractors, suppliers who may have different priorities in 3,6,9 months time or (in the worst case) may not be around at all.

Make sure you have a clear understanding with the people about their role and responsibilities in each of the [1] Stop, [2]Freeze, [3]Unfreeze phases. Make sure that there is adequate documentation and provision for support for each stage and necessary commercial agreements to underpin the agreed plan.

Should you return to the project in 3,6,9 months time it should be easy to unwrap, understand and resume operation and not resemble something wretched and confused that you may abandon in favour of a fresh start (and the loss of the time, money, effort knowledge and asset value)

TimHJRogers
AdaptConsultingCompany.com



Saturday, 14 March 2020

Coronavirus Things to Do Checklist for your business

BUSINESS PLANNING TASK NOT STARTED IN PROGRESS COMPLETE
Identify a coordinator and/or team with defined roles and responsibilities for preparedness and response planning. The planning process should include input from a wide range of stakeholders e.g. health and safety representatives and trade union officials. . . .
Identify the critical activities undertaken by your business which would have to continue during a coronavirus outbreak on-Island, as well as the employees and other inputs that support those activities (e.g. raw materials, suppliers, sub-contractor services/products, logistics, process controls, security).   . . .
Discuss with your suppliers/sub-contractors whether they have robust Business Continuity plans in place – your organisation is only as good as those on whom it depends.   . . .
Consider preparing an additional pool of workers to undertake key tasks and provide training where appropriate (e.g. contractors, cross train employees, retirees). . . .
Determine the potential impact on your business-related travel (e.g. should international travel be curtailed in certain countries due to quarantines and/or border closures). Note that current planning assumes that domestic travel will not be restricted, although the Government may advise against non-essential travel. . . .
Find up-to-date, reliable information on the Government of Jersey website: www.gov.je/coronavirus   . . .
Establish an emergency communications plan and revise periodically. This plan should identify key contacts (with back-ups), chain of communications (including suppliers, customers and employees), and processes for tracking and communicating business and employee status.   . . .
Implement an exercise to test your plan, and revise periodically taking into account updated advice and guidance from Government   . . .
Implement an exercise to test your plan, and revise periodically taking into account updated advice and guidance from Government. . . .
PEOPLE PLANNING TASK NOT STARTED IN PROGRESS COMPLETE
Guided by advice issued by Government, forecast and plan for employee absences. This could be the result of a number of factors including personal illness, family member illness, bereavement, possible disruption to other sectors for example closures of nurseries and schools or reduced public transport.  . . .
As a general approach to reducing the spread of the infection across the island, assess your business needs for continued face to face contact with your customers/suppliers and consider plans to modify the frequency and/or type of face-to-face contact (e.g. video or tele-conferencing instead of travelling to meetings) among employees and between employees and customers. Whilst there is no intention to restrict domestic travel, the Government is likely to advise against non-essential travel, and this should be taken into account in planning.  . . .
Plan for a likely increase in demand for employees welfare services, if they are available.  . . .
Identify employees and key customers with special requirements, and incorporate the requirements of such persons into your preparedness plan.  . . .
Ensure that you have up to date employee contact details. This includes: Work and home contact information Telephone number Email (personal email as well as corporate email) Next of kin  . . .
Consider your customers’ needs and whether to review your business model and arrangements to continue to meet those needs. (e.g. enhance mail ordering and internet shopping capacities)  . . .
POLICY PLANNING TASK NOT STARTED IN PROGRESS COMPLETE
Guided by advice issued by Government, establish policies for sick-leave absences including policies on when a previously ill person is no longer infectious and can return to work after illness (i.e. when they are no longer showing symptoms and feel better) and agreeing them with trade unions and other professional representative bodies.  . . .
Establish policies for flexible worksite (e.g. working from home) and flexible work hours (e.g. staggered shifts)  . . .
Guided by advice from Government, establish policies for reducing spread of Coronavirus at the worksite (e.g. promoting respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette, and asking those with symptoms to self-isolate).  . . .
Guided by advice from Government, establish the current policies for employees who are suspected to be ill, or become ill at the worksite (e.g. infection control response, sick leave policies).  . . .
Set up authorities, triggers, and procedures for activating and terminating the company’s response plan, altering business operations (e.g. reducing operations as necessary in affected areas), and transferring business knowledge to key employees. This should include nominating deputies for key employees in advance, in case of absence.  . . .
Guided by advice from the FCO (which would be informed by the latest information from the World Health Organization and/or advice from Health Departments), establish policies on travel to affected geographic areas overseas and develop policies on managing employees working in or near an affected area.   . . .
RESOURCES PLANNING TASK NOT STARTED IN PROGRESS COMPLETE
Provide sufficient and accessible means for reducing spread of infection (e.g. provision of hand washing facilities or hand-hygiene products). 
 Consider additional measures to reduce the risk of infection, such as more frequent cleaning on premises, and ensure the resources to achieve these will be available. 
 Consider whether enhanced communications and information technology infrastructures are needed to support employees working from home, tele- conferencing instead of face to face meetings and remote customer access. 
 Consider policy on access to medical treatment for UK staff working overseas, and whether any specific arrangements need to be put in place, and more generally develop policies, based on duty of care, on managing your overseas staff taking into account possible reduced access to consular services  
EDUCATION TASK NOT STARTED IN PROGRESS COMPLETE
Disseminate easily-accessible information about coronavirus (COVID-  ) to your workforce which is appropriate to the stage of alert (e.g. signs and symptoms, modes of transmission when this information is available), personal and family protection and response strategies (e.g. hand hygiene, coughing/sneezing etiquette, contingency plans). This should be based on the information already available on the Government website. 
Ensure that communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate. 
Disseminate information to employees about your preparedness and response plan for your business, including their role in this plan. 
Develop platforms (e.g. hotlines, dedicated websites) for communicating status and actions to employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers. 
Ensure that Government, Public Health and WHO websites are the sources for timely and accurate information (domestic and international).  

Not yet fully prepared for Coronavirus, or just want a checklist to confirm you are?

If there is one thing coronavirus tells us it is about the impact of sharing
Using the following guidelines to write your plan will help analyse the risks and so minimise the impacts of a pandemic on your business


1) Prepare for the potential loss of 50% of workforce over one or more waves of a pandemic each lasting 12-15 weeks and occuring weeks or months apart

2) Allow for relocating staff to other sites or home to avoid crowded situations where infection rates will be greater

3) Identify scenarios, eg working normally as far as is practicable, taking account of staff shortages and other related pandemic issues or shutting up shop as far as possible

4) Identify the Pandemic Incident Management Team (and a back up team in the event of team members becoming unavailable)

5) Develop a Pandemic Operating Regime which should become operational during the Pandemic Outbreak phase (or earlier)

6) What will the trigger point be Identify when the Pandemic Operating Regime will come into play This could be when a previously determined number of staff become absent or when the government officially declares a pandemic

7) What are the companys critical processes that will need to be sustained throughout

8) Who are the critical personnel whom the company cannot do without

9) Can other staff be cross-trained to take over in an emergency situation

10) Communication  ensure staff, customers and other interested parties are kept informed of the companys preparedness planning for a pandemic situation and updates are issued regularly

11) Staff welfare  refer to Government guidelines and establish a policy on staff welfare during a pandemic such as how to deal with infected staff, when to quarantine and offering counselling in the event of bereavement

12) Review HR policies with regard to absenteeism, compassionate and sick leave, wages, etc

13) Monitor events as they happen and be aware of government measures such as travel restrictions or quarantines

14) Identify staff who can work remotely, either from home or another location

15) Review IT and telecoms networks to allow for usage by remote workers (and increased customer usage)

16) Video-conferencing and other communication alternatives can be used to allow essential staff to continue working productively

17) Supplies  how will critical functions be maintained if essential supplies are disrupted Check suppliers have pandemic business continuity plans and make sure they are tested regularly

18) Stakeholders  ensure they are aware of your pandemic preparedness planning

19) Travel  establish how travel restrictions could affect productivity and how to deal with employees stranded in other countries where a pandemic has been declared

20) Test and test again  test plans frequently and as they are triggered by alerts Review during each phase and update as necessary


In the comments I will also add some useful links and would invite others to do the same

If there is one thing coronavirus tells us it is about the impact of sharing

If you want help with business continuity planning get in touch

TimHJRogers
AdaptConsultingCompany com
Mob 447797762051 
Twitter  timhjrogers
people projects change leadership lean scrum agile


SOME USEFUL LINKS

Advice for business from Jersey (https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Pages/CoronavirusBusinessAdvice.aspx)

Jersey Government Advice https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Pages/CoronavirusInformation.aspx

Johns Hopkins Map of Cases (including Jersey) https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Guernsey Gov webpage www.Gov.gg/coronavirus

UK gov advice (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public)

Advice from FCO (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-the-foreign-commonwealth-office-puts-together-travel-advice)

UK Guidance for various business sectors(https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance)

Jersey have a daily update on cases (https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Pages/CoronavirusCases.aspx)