Before Covid-19, leaders and organisations were already in crisis, struggling with the need of transformation.
For business leaders, Covid-19 has accelerated unprecedent change, addressing one general question - How do we move forward in such a unique and uncertain circumstances? Businesses are experiencing unimaginable disruptions, to the point where some are worried about their survival. With so much out of our control, we feel the urge to exercise as much control as possible over the events that unfold, using every tool available in our organization to bring a positive outcome and for that, people will look to leaders for guidance and reassurance. For business leaders, Covid-19 has accelerated unprecedent change, bringing one fundamental question: How do we move forward in such a unique and uncertain circumstances? Can Creative Leadership really make a difference, out there?
In a recent article of Boston Consulting Group, analysts described how in a moment of economic downturn and crisis, the companies that are able to reinvent themselves and find new ways of growing will be the winners in the years after the crisis. Thinking outside the box and creating new concepts and solutions are a “must-have” nowadays in our organization in order to meet consumer needs, to brainstorm about relevant communications and optimize touchpoint experiences.
Charalampos Mainemelis, visiting Professor at Porto Business School and Director of the SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership at Alba Graduate Business School, clarified this in our Beyond Now Webinar “Crisis isn't good for divergent thinking but is a good time to provide good solutions to the problems”. Because it’s a leader responsibility to determine the most reliable, up-to-date information from trustworthy news sources, radiating stability and optimism. It is important to be open, to be receptive to change, to have the right mindset, but for CharalamposMainemelis, "It all starts and ends with this one basic characteristic which is really great leadership".
Successful crisis leadership requires goals setting. A few targeted priorities set early in a crisis provide a leader with much needed signposts to help address difficult issues. They help the leader make difficult choices in a manner that aligns with their long-term goals and values. Priorities ease the chaos of crisis while providing clarity, both of which are necessary to ensure that the leader is effective. “It's important that this goal is challengeable but also doable. The leader has to make sure that the person assigned to the goal has the skillset to do it because if they don’t, they will start feeling scared.”
Creativity thrives in challenging environments, and Charalampos Mainemelis predicts some changes are going to happen within organizations leadership. In the future, we will see more collaborative leadership models, bringing managers, executives and staff out of silos to work together. In collaborative workplaces, information is shared organically, and everyone takes responsibility for the whole.
In times of crisis companies must remember their role. It is not to turn profit, it is to bring prosperity. It is to get the whole community rowing in the right direction. And great leaders know exactly their role and what an enormous responsibility that is.