Fact 1: A rising tide lifts all ships and a harsh storm impacts all ships.
Fact 2: Not all ships are impacted to the same degree, good or bad.
Fact 3: Which ships are impacted and to what degree has more to do with choice than chance.
Fact 4: Those that proactively take action have the greatest chance of thriving.
As a leader, you must start with being the calm within the storm by laying out a clear and exciting vision for what must be accomplished.
Unlocking your team's creativity and adaptability starts with building trust. This is the foundation to a great team.
On a foundation of trust, developing capabilities like creativity is just like any other exercise or training. You can use the 5D stages to ensure that you keep the facilitation focused at the learning, discussing, and debating stages. Don't forget to provide great feedback along the way.
Keep the team away from the final stages of Deciding and Delivering long enough to truly stretch their creativity. Too often, teams quickly jump to action and focus on what they already know instead of stretching themselves to look at all possibilities.
Look around right now and you will see many examples of people and businesses simply taking things as they come along and waiting for what happens next.
At the same time, you can also see some great examples of innovation in construction, restaurants, schools, wineries, etc. A few businesses and people are experimenting daily with trying to figure things out. The truth is that 90% of the things they try won't work. The other harsh truth is that they have the stamina to keep going and to continue trying new things daily.
If we assume that this shut-down phase of COVID will last about 12 weeks, then those that try something new each day--even with a 90% failure rate--will develop 8-10 major improvements. The best learn from their failures.
- Will they be tired from working 7-days per week and 16 hours per day when others are sitting at home? Yes.
- Will they have have materially improved themselves and those around them in the process? Yes.
- Will they have a much greater chance of thriving in the likely post-COVID recession? Yes.
- Is this a guarantee? No. That's why we must maintain enthusiasm at all times.
Be like Batman and build yourself into who you need to be in order to thrive in all situations.