By Andre Barnard, Chief People and Cultural Officer, Inspired Testing
We have become so accustomed to the language of ‘the new normal’ that we have very quickly accepted the reality what we have been dealt. But this acceptance may yet have a bigger impact on our lives than the actual pandemic that inspired it.
Now don’t hear what I am not saying – Covid is very real and many lives, families, communities, businesses and countries have been affected by this terrible and traumatic event – but as with most things, we’re sometimes quick to accept the outcome before we step out for the second half of the game.
What is most real is the fact that the change is the absolute, and if you can’t or are not willing to adapt, you will be left behind. Again we all need to think carefully about every potential change or shift and not get caught up in the urgency of what the world is dictating. For example, in the corporate world we are desperately trying to hold on to our previous ‘in-office/in-person’ culture, engagement and excitement. We are juggling between remote work, office work, or some sort of hybrid arrangement, all of this decided by someone who has no understanding of what our people and business requires – politicians.
Andre Barnard: Our new tomorrow
Could it be that we are all holding on too tightly, and that if we let go just a little we may get the breathing space to move into a place which Trevor Mowad refers to as “Neutral Thinking” space? Here, we get to calm our breathing, look around, and take in and accept the reality, see clearly the direction we need to go, and then put a plan in place to keep moving.
From our experience at Inspired Testing, if we have a clear purpose with strong values that have been properly communicated by the leadership group, then the team keeps moving in a shared direction. We believe that to make way for potential, even in these challenging times, we need to remove the obstacles out of our teams’ way so that each individual can actualise their reality, their dreams and their goals.
Engaging with colleagues online in the virtual world takes much more effort than what it does in person, and for this to be successful we need to get better at managing our energy versus managing our time. The scenario of increased screen time, which equates to increased work time (and which we all know is directly proportionate to increased stress) is what we need to manage by managing our energy better.
Put another way, maintain some balance by occasionally walking away from your screen and doing other things that stimulate your mind and raise your endorphins, change your view and make you see things differently. Time is valuable but energised time reaps better outcomes. To get people engaged at every opportunity we need to take responsibility for our own energy. Virtual meetings, for example, are not only for work-related matters, but more importantly, they’re a time to connect with your workmates on a personal level, so use them wisely.
The world is so much smaller now and we have access to so much more – take advantage of this, approach it with a mindset of opportunity and bring your personal energy to every engagement.