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From Crisis to Momentum: Returning to the Next Normal

With only 10% of executives having done “extensive” planning for return-to-office preparations, there is an urgent call to action for leaders to start immediately. The trust of employees’ and the financial recovery of organizations’ is weighing heavily on the decisions that are made right now. There’s no room for error. We have to get this right.

Join senior leaders from Daggerwing Group, a global Top 10 change consultancy, for practical and human centered advice on building a robust plan that will earn the trust you need from your people to get them focused and engaged.

In this 1 hour webinar you’ll learn about:

  • Preparing for the future of work
  • The external drivers that are transforming the world of work
  • Our approach to navigating the complex path forward while building trust with employees


This transcript was automatically generated with artificial intelligence. It’s in the queue to go through a review with human eyes!

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:31:01

All right. Good morning. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining our webinar. My name is Michelle Mahoney. I lead Daggerwing for the North American team. And with me I have my colleagues Chris Thornton and Lauren Keller. And they will be will all be facilitating this conversation today. So thanks again for joining us. Just a little bit on the obligatory one slide about about us.

00:00:31:01 – 00:01:01:12

If you’re not familiar with Daggerwing, we are a change consultancy and we have been around for about 20 years. We are global and our purpose is really about bringing humanity to work during times of transformation and change. And we do that by taking really kind of human centric change approaches through a sort of psychological human insights lens. And that includes, you know, things like culture restructuring, new strategy and whatnot.

00:01:01:12 – 00:01:37:07

So that’s just a little bit about who we are. But let’s let’s get to the conversation at hand. My first slide, we want to emphasize that this is a conversation. This is an evolving conversation. We actually when we had the idea for this webinar a few weeks back, it was really going to be focused on the more immediate return to work approach that, that and that that our clients and I know so many of you are working on right now, which is really more limited to sort of returning to work in a physical workplace.

00:01:37:07 – 00:02:10:15

So we started there and but as we’ve been digging, as we have been having conversations with clients, with our team, looking out at what’s happening in the world, we realized that we what we really wanted to do was start a larger conversation about what is what’s happening during this time, which I love to call the Covidien era, and how the changes and massive drivers that we’re seeing happen right now are going to be impacting our clients and the world, really the world of work.

00:02:10:19 – 00:02:31:17

So this is I’ll just say this has been ongoing. This is our initial thinking and we want to continue this conversation over time. So if we move on to the next slide. Chris, thanks. Yeah, I think these are this we all want to get just get back to normal is a sentiment that we had heard a lot more.

00:02:31:17 – 00:02:59:13

I think that maybe you’ll all agree in the beginning, but as time has gone on, I think the conversation if we go to the next slide, has really been shifting to there is no going back to normal, that the changes that are happening right now, many of them are here to stay. Many of them voluntarily. There are things that are happening that I think people are telling us and the culture is telling us that we want to keep.

00:02:59:15 – 00:03:29:05

And so what we’re trying to do is really make sense of that in this conversation. So what will what will be the things we carry forward and how are they going to impact us in the future? By the way, if you have any questions throughout the this conversation, we do want to be bringing them forward. We’ll have some specific questions and polls, but just things that come up, we’ll be monitoring that and the chat box as well.

00:03:29:05 – 00:03:47:20

If you have any questions and comments. Again, really want to be hearing from you and your reaction to what we’re talking about. So we go on to the next slide. Yeah, and just to emphasize that, I think that a lot of us as as we went into this was thinking, you know, this is the moment. how long is it going to last?

00:03:47:20 – 00:04:11:00

Four weeks. Six weeks. And and then you know, what’s going to happen after this moment? I think we’ve quickly become to realize this isn’t a moment. This is happening over time. We know from a lot of data and experts out there that this could be anywhere from six months and likely to last for this particular moment related to COVID for at least a couple of years.

00:04:11:02 – 00:04:33:00

And what we’re seeing here is that that we want to be thinking even beyond that into the future because of the impacts that are happening now are going to continue. So if we move on, I don’t have to tell any of you that the change that’s happening right now is it’s truly unprecedented. Just a few kind of quotes from different perspectives.

00:04:33:00 – 00:05:07:11

We’ll be continuing to talk about this. But, you know, over on the left with Heather McGowan, who is a futurist, will come quote again. But she says even the very survival of a company in the age of coronavirus is dependent on a culture that can withstand seismic disruption. We’ll talk a little bit more in a bit about what that seismic disruption really starts to look like and but really thinking about the culture that organizations really need to have or your cultures that have really been tested throughout this time.

00:05:07:11 – 00:05:29:12

And in the light of this massive change, I think probably everyone on this call has seen the statistic that about half of Americans and as you look even globally, that that statistic seems to hold up pretty well. Want to work continue to work remotely after the pandemic ends. Obviously, when we’re all thinking about what what does that mean for the world of work?

00:05:29:12 – 00:05:55:02

And having started out with how do you have virtual meetings, How do you create virtual communities? And now it’s moving forward to like, well, what does this really mean for managing teams with how we structure our team, with our workflows and processes? And then we we really wanted to emphasize on the bottom right too. I think this is I was at a virtual meeting and not meeting with Brené Brown, but she was speaking.

00:05:55:02 – 00:06:18:05

I was one of the people watching her. And Brené Brown said, We haven’t even begun to assess what the psychological impact of this time is going to be on people. And it’s going to take a long time to really understand, understand it. There’s much more being written and talked about with mental health and the impact that that is going to have on organizations.

00:06:18:05 – 00:06:38:21

And already organizations are rising to the occasion to address that. And we’ll talk about that. So we’ll talk even more about what’s happening in terms of the drivers right now that are going to impact us. Let me move onto the next slide. We wanted to just kind of get a sense from you and and a little poll here.

00:06:38:23 – 00:07:11:03

And in terms of kind of where you are at really from a from from your perspective, really focusing more on work and how do you feel in your job, in your role? How prepared do you feel to handle the next few months up folks there? Yeah, How All right. One more minute. I say it’s are people change it.

00:07:11:04 – 00:07:31:17

People might be changing their answer so it looks like you know a few of you feel confident on top of it. That’s wonderful. But the vast majority are keeping up and feeling stretched at the same time, and I certainly can relate to it. Some of you, almost a quarter or fifth of you are feeling overwhelmed and a couple feeling underwater.

00:07:31:17 – 00:07:52:00

Yeah, I think that’s I think that’s that’s that’s pretty pretty normal and pretty much how we’re all feeling right now. I mean, if you’re not feeling stretched at least a little bit, you know, that that that you’re you’re one of the lucky ones. I mean, we’re feeling it in our personal lives and we’re feeling it at work. And I think that this is just going to be continuing.

00:07:52:00 – 00:08:15:03

So what we want to really focus on today is how do we begin to navigate those? And if we go to the next slide. So, you know what our company is focusing on right now so that our clients and and are rightly focused on keeping their people safe in the near term. And that’s really focusing on the immediate kind of return to work.

00:08:15:03 – 00:08:44:10

So it’s all about making sure that people feel that trust, that they feel physically safe coming back to the work workplace, that they feel healthy, and that they feel that organic, that organizations are taking all the precautions needed. And, you know, some of them listed list up here, that is exactly where we should be focusing right now. You know, if you think about Maslow’s pyramid, at the bottom is the issue of, you know, we can’t be thinking ahead until we are feeling safe right now.

00:08:44:10 – 00:09:07:24

And I think that it’s not only physically safe, but but psychologically safe. I think it’s, I think, good news that that over half of employees feel comfortable, are starting to feel more comfortable about coming back to work. And I know that you’re all in your organizations working to increase that number anymore. Actually, don’t think that’s a that that’s such a low number considering where we are right now.

00:09:08:00 – 00:09:37:22

And Michel, that number two weeks ago was much, much lower, significantly lower. So there’s been a lot of change over the last few weeks. Yeah. So that’s what that’s what our clients are really focused on right now and all the communication and trust building that comes along with that. So but we’re we’re going to sort of challenge in this conversation if we go to the next slide is, you know, first of all, acknowledge focusing on the present and this and this reality is necessary and vital and absolutely important.

00:09:37:24 – 00:10:00:06

It can also be a trap. We have, I think, over the last few months become absolutely used and good at moving from crisis to crisis as as new issues come up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on calls with my clients, whether there’s a crisis coming up. We have to jump. It’s it’s it’s almost done it on a daily basis.

00:10:00:12 – 00:10:25:17

And so that’s how we’ve had to operate. And so what we’re trying to think about now is when can we begin to lift our heads and start looking out into the future? And that’s what we’re we’re talking about. If we go to the next slide. And I think that this really kind of sets it all Where we went saw the future of work unfolding over years because a lot of these things we going to talk about have been being talked about.

00:10:25:19 – 00:10:49:18

We now believe that with coronavirus as an accelerant, everything we’ve predicted about the future of work will unfold in months. And I would even posit this was written in, I think, early March. It was already happening. I was listening. I’ve been going to these weekly Gallup updates and they’re featuring real time research that they’re doing about the impact of coronavirus on organizations.

00:10:49:20 – 00:11:14:09

And they had they’ve been fostering this roundtable of theater pros like 450 of them at a time. And one of the women, they told the story of one of the women who reports directly to her CEO. And she said, you know, right before this happened, I presented a few initiatives, including virtual working, and the CEO and I agreed that this was going to be a three year transformation.

00:11:14:11 – 00:11:39:22

It has happened completely in a month since coronavirus. So that’s you know, we always talk about change and work change consultants. This is unprecedented for for sure. So we get to the real thesis of this conversation. What we’re going to do today is really start rethinking the future of work and how we meet our organizations need to change to to accommodate that and what that begins to look like.

00:11:39:22 – 00:12:00:12

And let’s start to just make some sense out of out of the chaos and what effort to start that conversation. I’m going to turn it over to my colleague, Chris Thornton. All right. So there are four drivers that we’re focused in on, on how work is transforming. I want to talk a little bit about those and then Lauren is going to share how she’s experiencing some of these things real time with one of her clients.

00:12:00:17 – 00:12:19:14

So these aren’t the only four, but these are the big four that we’re focused in on. As you’re starting to think about how do I think about the future of work? Where do I even start? Because it can be so overwhelming. So number one is organizations will be valued and are valued beyond shareholders. It’s not just about those shareholders, it’s about employees and others.

00:12:19:14 – 00:12:39:20

We’ll get into more details on each of these. Consumer behaviors are changing fast, sometimes overnight, sometimes within a week. But those behaviors are changing so fast. How do you keep pace with that and how does the organization keep pace with it? The third area new capabilities, mindsets and culture are here. What are you going to do about it?

00:12:39:22 – 00:13:09:02

And then the fourth one purpose has proven supreme over and over again. Lauren, do you want to talk about your client? Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, as Chris and Michel mentioned, you know, we’re already beginning to see these drivers really transform the way that companies think about their work. I mean, Michel mentioned a moment ago that the challenge a lot of companies are facing right now is whether or not to send their employees physically back to the workspace.

00:13:09:04 – 00:13:36:24

And and that decision is ultimately going to significantly impact the type of experience that their employees have and the necessary minds that shift and culture shifts that are going to have to happen. To give you an example of of what this really looks like in real life, I’m working with a client whose physical workspace, meaning the actual office in which their employees go to work is a foundational component of the company’s culture.

00:13:37:01 – 00:14:04:20

They are a highly social and collaborative group. The type of work that they do is not only driven but reinforced by an amazing office space that they share together. So in some cases it’s so foundational to their culture that it’s actually a differentiator for them among their competitors. So consider this What happens if you remove that foundational element of the company’s culture?

00:14:04:20 – 00:14:30:00

What type of experience do your employees have? What it means is that they actually do have to consider strongly how they redefine that foundation in the future and how they’re not only living their culture but reinforcing it in a virtual way. So this is just one small, not so small example of things that we’re seeing right now that we’ll talk about more in a couple of minutes.

00:14:30:02 – 00:14:53:04

Great. Thank you, Lauren. All right. Number one, organizations will be valued beyond shareholders. Daniel Pink. If you know Daniel, he’s a great writer. Al Gore’s former speechwriter recently said, if you’re a leader, the first line of your obituary may be how you responded to this crisis. And while that can sound scary, there’s also a lot of opportunity and hope in there.

00:14:53:06 – 00:15:18:13

I think what Daniel’s really hitting upon is that it’s not just about profit right now, and it actually hasn’t been for a very long time. It’s about what are you doing for all stakeholders? And what Daniel said, I think is echoed last year by CEOs and the CEO Roundtable and the Business Roundtable in 2019 all signed on to an agreement.

00:15:18:13 – 00:15:42:05

So we’ve got leaders from top companies globally, very U.S. centric but globally saying that shareholder value, as you can see on the right, is no longer everything. And they made a commitment that it just as important are what you’re doing for employees and what you’re doing for customers and consumers and what you’re doing for the communities in which you work.

00:15:42:07 – 00:16:11:03

So connecting what Daniel said about what you do right now may dictate how you’re viewed in the future and perhaps forever. How did you lead during this crisis? Why does that matter? That matters because Fleishman HILLARD, a sister agency of ours, released a study just last month, actually in March March, saying how organizations are taking care of employees right now is the number one driver of reputation.

00:16:11:09 – 00:16:33:14

So you’re being watched and you’re leaders are being watched to see, to see what are you doing for your employees? How are you taking care of them? And we’re not going to be pointing fingers on on this call. But look at the headlines. And I bet we’ve all read about a company that just didn’t deliver in the way that it needed to for employees.

00:16:33:16 – 00:17:08:16

What’s really interesting, though, is that we’re hearing a lot about companies that are taking care of their employees, how they’re taking care of their communities and how they’re taking care of their customers. You know, some quick examples. Ally Financial is a great example of what so many companies are doing by increasing their benefits for employees, making sure that they have the support they need and increasing telemedicine, increasing days off, increasing the ability to take time off and care for themselves if they’re sick or taking care of someone within their family who is sick.

00:17:08:16 – 00:17:41:10

So many companies are doing that. That’s great. We’re also seeing companies like Pepsi and Nestlé donate millions of dollars to taking care of their communities through food and and also PPE. And then we’ve seen other companies pivot completely to to manufacturing masks and taking some of their assembly lines that were dedicated toward health and beauty and distilleries and turning those into hand sanitizers.

00:17:41:10 – 00:18:08:11

So we are seeing companies truly step up and get recognition for it. So we want to keep that in mind about doing what’s right, taking care of your employees, taking care of your community. Absolutely critical right now. So stop and ask yourself, what are we doing? And are we showing our commitment not just to our shareholders but also to our people and to our communities?

00:18:08:11 – 00:18:32:22

Connect those dots for people. Because that whole story will mean a lot for you going forward, especially to your employees. Second area for you to think about, consumer behaviors are changing fast. We do work with some food companies and over on the right, you can see that grocery spending skyrocketed right in the middle of the pandemic while other spending, when went down elsewhere.

00:18:32:24 – 00:19:02:13

On the left with that same Fleishman study, 65% of consumers are currently postponing purchases and travel. 52% intend changes to their buying behaviors to continue not just during the pandemic, but for the long term. And we’re seeing companies feel that impact Fitness is absolutely feeling it with companies like Mirror and Peloton skyrocketing, while others like Gold’s Gym feeling the pain of bankruptcy as a result.

00:19:02:15 – 00:19:27:04

The two other areas babies and booze, very important in my house. Baby companies we’re seeing pivot from a baby rental company. Pivot from renting out. If you go to grandma’s house, I need a crib to rent. They provide that crib. Right now, they’ve actually switched to sanitation and sanitizing those baby products to make people feel safe, that their home is safe and that what they’re doing for their children is safe.

00:19:27:06 – 00:19:54:00

And in a study of the area of booze and online delivery for alcohol and wine, that the pipes were always there. They were laid actually many years ago within the last 5 to 7 years. But but users weren’t actually using those pipes in Their emphasis was what was laid is now being used and they’re going those pipes will continue to be used going forward.

00:19:54:06 – 00:20:22:12

So stop and ask yourself, how are we changing and how do we absolutely have to keep up? Michelle Yeah, just a little anecdote here. We have the opportunity right now to be working with an international company on culture evolution right now, which is a very interesting time to be doing that. And I was talking with one of their senior leaders last week and you know, about, you know, where where do they really need to shift right now?

00:20:22:14 – 00:20:49:05

And he said, you know, we have always been consumer first. We have a rich heritage of that. They are a CPG company. And that’s always been at the center of what we do. But we need to take it further now. We need to become consumer obsessed and that means really, really intimately getting to know our consumers, what they’re doing, how their behavior is changing so that we can anticipate and be meeting them where they’re going.

00:20:49:08 – 00:21:13:00

So I think just really to underscore that, especially those CPG companies, it’s going to are consumer facing companies are really going to have to get even more intimate with with consumers and their customers as well. For B and BS, having worked inside of organizations and in internal communications and change role, one of our challenges that we would stop and say is all we really need to hear from customers.

00:21:13:02 – 00:21:35:06

Yeah, we should do that. We should do that. The retailer. On listening to customers right now and making sure that the entire organization is hearing it so that they understand why you’re moving or changing as quickly as you are, so that your employees can keep pace with the changes that are happening. Not just sales and marketing and manufacturing, but the entire organization so that they can support those functions.

00:21:35:10 – 00:21:58:14

That’s one thing you can do right away. Third area new capabilities and mindset and culture are here. Punch line is what are you going to do about it? So we’ve got several from two. So before the pandemic, we saw your teamwork certainly was important. But honestly, this is about siloed roles, making sure you do what you do and be able to work together.

00:21:58:17 – 00:22:25:02

What’s happening now and what what will continue to happen is that flexible workforce. One example is we have a great client who opened up their manufacturing lines to headquarters employees, people that weren’t working on the manufacturing lines to say, Come be with us in this in in in our goal to get consumers what they want right now. So you had headquarters employees joining those folks on the manufacturing floor incredibly powerful.

00:22:25:05 – 00:22:47:19

We also see a lot of cross training happen to make sure that we that teams are able to move quickly both toward opportunity and also in case people get sick. So you get opportunity and making sure that the organization doesn’t fail. That’s going to say secondary, that’s going to stay ability to adaptability. We have another client who is part of their behaviors and culture.

00:22:47:19 – 00:23:09:12

We love it. They were really emphasizing ability and performance and that felt right. But as soon as the pandemic hit, they stopped to say, Is that the behavior we need for the long term and the behavior that they feel that they need right now and perhaps forever is about adaptability. How are we going to get stay up with the pace of change and perhaps even get in front of that?

00:23:09:12 – 00:23:36:21

How do you how do you pivot the organization and how do you build that ability within each person? That’s where they’re going to focus from a culture of knowing to a culture of learning. Right now, we’re all trying to keep pace with the massive amount of change that’s happening. This webinar is a great example. As Michel started out where we started two weeks ago, as we were plotting this all out, was about the immediate response and where we are now is about how do we learn and anticipate the future.

00:23:37:01 – 00:23:54:11

That’s what we’re asking you to do as well. We know those day to day challenges are incredibly challenging. They’re requiring a lot of effort. How do you get in front of that and how do you learn about what’s next? We’ll talk a little bit more about how to do that and what you do to why you do it.

00:23:54:11 – 00:24:18:17

That’s all about purpose. How do you stay true to your purpose? And as you already saw, our fourth area is is purpose is supreme. So we’re going to get into that in just a second. But first, what I’d love for you to do is to share in the open response and where you can enter in a question what new capabilities, mindsets or cultural elements are you seeing now in your organization?

00:24:18:19 – 00:24:41:21

Maybe it’s something that already existed and it’s become even more important, or it’s something that, you know, that’s going to be coming next here at Daggerwing. One of our behaviors, cultural attributes, is all about raising the bar, and that’s something that we’ve been doing. But but how do we do that even more as we start getting into a more expected way of working virtually?

00:24:42:02 – 00:24:59:12

How do we continue to raise the bar for our clients? That’s an example that we need to be focused in on about making sure that we are continuing to move our clients forward. So what is it for you? What are those attributes that are standing out for you? Lawrence Going to be looking at the comments that Lauren just cut me off and interrupt as we move forward.

00:24:59:12 – 00:25:26:13

Okay. Yeah. And feel free to everyone attending to just type those in the chat function as you’re as you’re thinking about them. All right. Fourth area purpose has proven supreme. The connection between purpose and actions has become very real during this crisis. Think about what your company stands for. What are those broader commitments that you’re making and how do you continue to show that you are a purpose driven company?

00:25:26:13 – 00:25:57:13

And why does that matter? Because just like the first area when you’re not delivering in the way that you said that you would remember, we talked about the CEO saying that all stakeholders are important when you aren’t delivering on that, it becomes painfully obvious externally and to employees as well. Impact of that good employees, brilliant employees can go anywhere, any time, even with the unemployment levels where they are.

00:25:57:18 – 00:26:28:04

Top talent has a choice and always will. So delivering on those commitments, delivering on that purpose is absolutely important, both for performance but also for retention for your employees. Purpose can also guide decisions. Go ahead, Lauren. I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but the comments that we’re seeing, figuring out how to create a hybrid environment for the future, virtual engagement, using good digital tools to mimic live sessions with employees.

00:26:28:06 – 00:26:51:07

And someone said, I’m seeing leaders embracing their roles as communicators and culture creators, not just acting as managers. Phenomenal. Phenomenal. Yeah. So those are just a few love that. Let’s take a look at how Airbnb, Michelle, you’re going to talk about this, how Airbnb used their purpose to guide some of their difficult decisions they had to make. Yeah, absolutely.

00:26:51:07 – 00:27:17:10

And I think I think, you know, there’s lots of examples of how companies are living up to their purpose and how they’re giving back, which are wonderful. But one of the even I think it can play a role even in when you’re making tough decisions, as we’re probably all pretty familiar with the Airbnb story, you know, taking it back to their business model, what they have decided over the last couple of months after being, as we all know, severely impacted by this crisis.

00:27:17:12 – 00:27:38:15

They have made their CEO, Brian and his team have made the decision that, you know what, we need to regroup, go back to our roots of belonging and connection. And I don’t know, there might be several of you on this call that had a chance to read his letter to all employees. He talks about belonging and connection and returning to these roots over and over again.

00:27:38:21 – 00:28:13:09

That in turn guided their business model decision that they were going to begin pulling away from transportation and hotels and motels and really get back to their basic roots of providing creating connections between the hosts and I. And travelers and and creating that sense of belonging and connection. So based on that choice, they then that determine, you know, sort of who they were going to be laying off in the company, a quarter of the company, which is really, really devastating.

00:28:13:11 – 00:28:48:21

But even in the note that he sent out to to the two employees and to the press, basically he I think this is really, like we say here, a masterclass in empathy. He he continually connects back to belonging, connection for people who are still staying and people who are departing. And I think, you know, many of you have probably seen all the things that they’re doing with creating an alumni network for people that are being impacted by this, where people can post resumes creating a network, even among people that are staying that in a commitment that we’re going to help you find a job because we believe in our purpose.

00:28:49:02 – 00:29:11:19

So I think it can guide, you know, there’s a few examples of this, but I think this is a great example of how that that can guide these tough decisions and still create goodwill between folks being impacted and consumers and the public as well. So remember, that purpose remains supreme. Quick note on B2B companies. You’re a little bit special.

00:29:11:21 – 00:29:35:04

A study that came out published in Fast Company in March, there’s a there’s a disturbing disconnect on B2B purpose statements and then how they actually do it. So if you’re in a B2B company, we’ll go into this in more detail in a future webinar, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. But if you’re if you’re feeling like we’re not quite live living our purpose, you’re probably right.

00:29:35:08 – 00:29:55:03

In the survey and the study that was done, 86% of leaders of B2B companies said that they do have a defined purpose, but they haven’t embedded. Only 24% have actually embedded it in the way they work. What that means for you is and if you’re in a B2B company, it’s it’s a special thing to pay attention, to devote extra time to.

00:29:55:03 – 00:30:30:05

How are how is that purpose guiding your actions? Because you don’t have it built into your DNA and the way the organization works, meaning that your processes may not live it and you may not be showing up externally with your purpose guiding those actions. Remember, purpose remains supreme. So suspend extra time there. Jason Andre and friend of Daggerwing hi Jason have has a had a question I thought was perfect for right now and he’s saying are you seeing these same trends playing out in the B2B markets as they are in B to C?

00:30:30:07 – 00:30:55:09

Yeah we are seeing yeah. And I think this answers it to say we think B2B has to play catch up and that they are walking without a safety net underneath the tight rope here as they have to make decisions very, very quickly. Our strong encouragement to them is to devote extra time to understanding how purpose is guiding action to make those connections and do it deliberately and communicate it appropriately to stakeholders.

00:30:55:11 – 00:31:22:02

People can’t understand connections always. They can’t see it for themselves. So sometimes you absolutely have to make that connection for them. Yeah, and I would add to that just saying of the trends that we’re seeing in workforces, virtual workforces, that new capabilities are absolutely true for those companies as well, especially as their customers are often their behavior is is changing quite a bit in this time as well.

00:31:22:04 – 00:32:05:18

Let’s move on. Thank you. All right. Yeah. So, you know, what does this all mean for companies and for the reinventing work in the future? I’m bringing in Daniel. If you look to the right, Daniel Pink, again, he calls this the great unmasking. And essentially what he means by that is that a lot of these issues that I know we’ve been talking about as communicators, as change leaders, as it’s our leaders for for a year, months and up two years have you know it is that the rubber is is hitting the road now and it has unmasked and revealed many issues that were already at play here like do we really need offices is what

00:32:05:18 – 00:32:27:04

are offices for people are rethinking workspace you know you guys I know could come up with even more applications but it’s a new business models are forcing new kinds of interactions. How do we even interact with customers going forward? I could talk about that for another 10 minutes, but we don’t have time. Employer brand is more important than ever.

00:32:27:04 – 00:32:55:08

Look back at the statistic Chris talked about with How are you treating your employees being number one plus new talent is going to be needed in the future. So how are we attracting them? The rise of mental health is being really central and something that companies will have to really bring into how they build into their culture. So all of these things don’t mean to over overwhelm anyone, but it’s it’s going to impact everyone.

00:32:55:10 – 00:33:17:04

So one of the other if we go to the next slide, one of the things we want to do, another open response and by the way, we use these as we’re going to be going forward with this conversation, we want to be hearing about what you’re thinking about. So as you think about all of this, you know what what are your biggest challenges or your one biggest challenge as you think about the future of work in your organization?

00:33:17:06 – 00:33:39:02

If you kind of lift up your head and look forward, we’d love to see those in the chat as well. And we can we can be addressing those. And Lauren, who’s going to be talking with us a little bit in a few minutes, can also be bringing that to bear in the forefront. Right. All right. So this is overwhelming.

00:33:39:06 – 00:33:57:12

We know that. And even as we started to put this together, you know, Michelle and Chris talked about how much this has evolved since we started several weeks ago. So let’s try and make sense of it. I mean, you guys want to know, what do we do with all of this, all of this context and how how do we address it and turn it into something?

00:33:57:14 – 00:34:24:21

And, you know, as you think about going from crisis to momentum or let’s be real this moment to the future, there are really five key areas that you need to address as you develop that plan. With these five key areas, you can really create a very solid plan that you take into the future. We’re going to go into each one of these in a little more detail.

00:34:24:21 – 00:34:53:01

So Chris, if you’re perfect. So the first one is around rethinking the future. And, you know, we talked a lot about culture, We talked a lot about purpose. This is really about rethinking your philosophy and the way that you approach work and making sure that there is a clear connection between that and your future strategy. As you think through this piece are a couple questions that you should be asking yourself.

00:34:53:07 – 00:35:10:23

The first is how will your organization need to evolve? I mean, look how much we believed in the last six weeks. I’m sure that you’re all thinking about the way that you’ve evolved the way that you work. So this is about sitting down and and having the right people at the table as you decide how you need to evolve into the future.

00:35:11:00 – 00:35:32:23

The second piece is what do your employees think? I mean, do you know what they think? Do you know if they feel hopeful or scared or just really uncertain? Employees are a critical piece of your future. So if you don’t know how they feel and you don’t know what they think, ask them. The third piece is around communication.

00:35:33:03 – 00:35:55:18

As someone with a communications background, this is really important. It’s always important, and it’s more important now than ever. Rethinking your future is about crafting the story about who you are going forward. And if you can’t communicate it, it doesn’t really matter. So you have to figure out what is your story and then how are you going to communicate it to your people.

00:35:55:20 – 00:36:21:22

The next one and crux of your move forward is about doubling down on culture. So there are there are so many cultural implications to what’s happening right now. And we know that when we talk about doubling down on culture, we talk about identify lying, where your culture is really strong and where it could be strengthened. And when you think about it first, think about what about your current culture do you want to keep?

00:36:21:24 – 00:36:42:19

You know, there are a lot of organic changes that have happened within companies that are amazing, that have strengthened this whole stay at home movement and made it possible for employees to be productive and effective. What are those things that have changed that are really, really valuable that you want to keep? On the flip side of it, what shifts need to happen?

00:36:43:00 – 00:37:09:15

I mean, I can tell you right now I’m working with clients whose employees have never worked from home and now thousands are working from home. What type of mindset shift and behavior shifts are required of leaders and managers and people? I mean, my daughter appears on a conference call from time to time. I mean that I’ve got to figure out how to work at home and change my my understanding of of how I stay productive at work.

00:37:09:17 – 00:37:30:12

And the third is about do you currently have the culture that you need to move into the future? We’ve talked to a lot of companies in the last couple of years who have released, have talked about this idea of efficiency and agility being a really important part of their future culture. How does social distancing guidelines change our notion of efficiency?

00:37:30:12 – 00:37:54:23

If we work in manufacturing plants like Big, big. I’m just going to check the chat to see if there are any biggest challenge and I can talk it through it a little bit. And great comments happening right now. Biggest challenge, what I know you’re talking about this in the second, preparing leaders to embrace the future for the first time in their careers, which is totally undefined, right?

00:37:54:24 – 00:38:19:17

Yes, That is one of the biggest challenges. What is it? I’ve heard that term leaders need to learn how to lead in the dark. That’s that’s new. And it’s not very comfortable, Andrea says. This is, I thought, fascinating, helping to reengage and bring your people when you bring them back. Readjusting to the culture for those who have been on furlough for seven months.

00:38:19:21 – 00:38:44:01

So people have been like completely out of this. How do you bring them back in and get them quickly up to speed with what’s been happening because they haven’t undergone all of this, this massive change right now. So really interesting. Tim says helping leaders look beyond the immediate lane needs myopic and myopic focus and where they need to reallocate budget to address these issues going forward.

00:38:44:03 – 00:39:11:09

For sure, at Great. I think we’re addressing some of that as we talk as we talk and have a little bit more coming up. Chris, let’s move on to the next one. Assassin. This is big. I mean, they’re all big, but this is really big. For those of you who are parents, you realize that you cannot do all things at one time and you’ve really got to assess your situation and decide what’s doable and what can be done.

00:39:11:09 – 00:39:34:00

Now, that’s what we’re talking about with this. You’ve got to determine what needs to change at your organization, and then you’ve got to be really deliberate and purposeful about prioritizing those changes. So there’s lots of considerations here. A couple of them for you to noodle on are that is your current technology is your current technology set up for the future?

00:39:34:02 – 00:40:01:19

Are your current processes and procedures set up for the future? If they aren’t, what might what might need to change? Even us at Dagger Growing, who are really good at working remotely, have relied on technology in a whole new way and gotten so much more nimble and better at it. From an organizational standpoint, do you have right people in the right roles at the right time to be able to move forward into the future?

00:40:01:21 – 00:40:30:03

And if you do or if you don’t, how are you going to be modify in your talent strategy to make sure that you do going forward? I learned. I just want to jump in and say, Tim, to also think about that same principle and apply it to the crisis team that has moved you to where you are today to get through all of these hurdles, get you through the firefighting that you had to do, assess if that is the right team to move you forward as well.

00:40:30:04 – 00:40:59:04

They may not be or some of them may be. So think critically about this team has done a wonderful job getting us to where we are today. Who do we need to to move us forward as an organization? Absolutely. Absolutely. So that the second part of this is that prioritization piece, making sure that you really prioritize the most important things and doing them in a way that you can manage at your company.

00:40:59:04 – 00:41:24:16

Because if you try them all at one time, that really is just that’s just chaos. We recently actually launched our Liquid change diagnostic that helps leaders determine what they need to change and then how to prioritize those changes. So this resonates with you and you are familiar with it. You’re interested, please reach out to us. But but that prioritization piece is really important.

00:41:24:18 – 00:41:50:16

The next the next area of focus is around investing in leaders. You know, we talk about the importance of leaders and their role all the time. And honestly, guys, I’m going to say it. I think now it’s more important than it ever was before. The fact of the matter is, leader behaviors have to change. They’ve got to learn how to effectively and manage virtual teams.

00:41:50:22 – 00:42:10:23

They’ve got to figure out and be comfortable with communicating transparently. And they’re going to have to be able to do it in the dark. And if they can’t do it now, they’re going to have to learn because we’re seeing more than ever that the leaders who lead with empathy and transparency and own it and say, I don’t know, but we’re going to get through it together.

00:42:10:23 – 00:42:34:21

And this is how the leaders of those companies are, the companies that are going to thrive. So think about how are you going to help leaders lead in the dark? How will you help them get outside their comfort zones and ensure that they’re being as transparent as possible? And how are you going to make sure that empathy is something that they practice all the time?

00:42:34:23 – 00:43:02:19

And we can talk a little bit about the importance of empathy. And Chris, we can go to this next slide. This idea about empathy is really important. And we talked about the Airbnb CEO, and if you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend you do because I got goose bumps and I’ve never even stayed in an Airbnb. The leader of the first, the start of every interaction should start with listening, and that is the first step to empathy.

00:43:02:21 – 00:43:25:21

You know, we are learning and seeing studies all the time that people who are quarantined are very likely to develop a wide range of symptoms of psychological stress and disorder, things like low mood, insomnia, stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, like those are real and they’re happening and they’re happening with every person in every walk of life at every company.

00:43:26:01 – 00:43:53:13

So being empathetic is is really, really important. And it’s got to happen from leaders for really all of this to work and particularly the next and final focus area without empathy, it won’t happen. So let’s zoom on to that last one. Yeah, I do want to underscore this. This idea of empathy and listening first without having the answers.

00:43:53:13 – 00:44:24:02

I know there was a question that came up yesterday from one of our participants who wanted to ask the question the before before this webinar saying, you know, we are we have a platform for our leaders to be much more transparent with employers, but many of them are sort of pulling back and resisting because they’re getting such challenging questions and, you know, completely understand for leaders and cultures where leaders are used to knowing the answers and being able to, you know, here’s the answer.

00:44:24:02 – 00:44:53:11

Lead the way, here’s our vision, here’s our next step. It’s really hard on a human level for for any one individual and for those individuals to switch from that to I don’t I don’t have all the answers. But here is our intent and the light that we’re using to lead through the darkness. I think that there’s some real coaching that needs to go on when it gets uncomfortable and when there are challenging questions that help leaders get through it from rote, you know, role playing practice.

00:44:53:15 – 00:45:20:07

What does it mean to have a courageous conversation? Because we absolutely have to allow those challenging questions that discomfort the uncertainty and emotional safety of our people to be coming to the surface right now. It’s unprecedented and that we need to be spending some time on that. So I just wanted to underscore that thing. Yeah. So the last area is around building trust.

00:45:20:09 – 00:45:57:04

Every day. And the truth is, obviously this is harder said than done. And the key takeaway here is trust does not happen by accident and it certainly does not happen overnight. It takes a very well thought through plan to build it and sustain it. We’ve talked about the importance of communication throughout this. And, you know, I talked about it at the very beginning about the importance of crafting your story and communicating it.

00:45:57:06 – 00:46:32:05

Building trust is is contingent upon communicating every day, making sure that you have leaders aligned to the story that you’re trying to tell. And that they’re taking and you are taking actions every day that to prove that story and inspire trust. Ultimately, if you do that, you will have employees that feel safe and supported and not only confident in the future, but a sense of belief in the future of the company.

00:46:32:07 – 00:46:57:22

So, I mean, this is a lot and we know that we’ve built about ten different considerations and thought about about ten different considerations for each one of those. And this is really, as Michelle said, the start of the conversation and to give you some food for thought. And so we’re going to I’m going to turn it back over to Michelle, who’s going to go through a few final things for you to think about.

00:46:57:24 – 00:47:21:01

Yeah, and we have some please, if you have any questions or any or any thoughts, even, please put them either in the chat or the Q&A and we can we can address those before the end here. So as we have a little bit of time. So yeah, sort of just larger takeaway here, just some starting questions. It all starts with conversations that you can be helping to facilitate.

00:47:21:03 – 00:47:44:03

And so as Chris alluded to before, you know, who who what are your leaders think about some of these questions and how can you begin to take them through these questions that get them to start lifting their heads and thinking and help them get out of that day by day crisis mode? Not to say that all your leaders are or that people aren’t thinking about these things, but beginning to put a little bit of structure around it.

00:47:44:03 – 00:48:12:17

So what questions can you ask? Who needs to be part of that, that conversation? Really think about what do we want to keep from from this crisis? What are some things that we’re seeing displayed in our workforce and new scrappiness, new spirit of learning and experimentation that you know what we want to do and adaptability that we really want to drive forward and how do we how do we engage employees in that conversation and leaders that to make sure that we’re keeping those things alive?

00:48:12:19 – 00:48:33:05

You know, we have to say that a lot. You know, what is our purpose in our actions lined up and how can we make sure going forward that they that they really are aligned? I think this is an area we’ve seen some true heroism coming out of companies during this time. If they’ve really put their money where their mouth is and it’s been really amazing.

00:48:33:07 – 00:48:53:04

Is the employer brand reflective of who we are and where we’re going next? You know, for people that are staying in for the four four. But, you know, the talent from your talent strategy perspective, the people that you want to be bringing into this into the future. And then finally, where do we want to focus first? Once all that, how do we begin to prioritize this?

00:48:53:04 – 00:49:26:14

Because this is not an overnight deal. This you know, we can’t keep making three year changes in months at a time or else. Well, I’ll just just crawl under a rock somewhere. So really helping to be part of that of that of that planning. So just some thought starter questions on the next slide we do in invite you, we are actually going to be taking this model and really digging into each of these five areas in a in a series of shorter webinars coming up.

00:49:26:14 – 00:49:43:17

They’re going to be about 30 minutes long every every couple of weeks or maybe faster. We have to get the schedule together, but it’s really about digging into each one of these things in terms of what does what does the future of culture need to look like? What are those? Some of those things that we’ve alluded to that we really need to start taking into account.

00:49:43:17 – 00:50:13:22

So we do invite you to keep the conversation going. Michel There’s a couple of questions. Yeah, and one from Pam. How are you guys? Your clients, on supporting their employees emotional needs right now? that’s such a good question. gosh. I think on a couple of levels. We have been just hitting and reinforcing this idea of empathetic, transparent communications, acknowledging where people are.

00:50:13:24 – 00:50:33:24

There was I think it was Chris I can’t remember which one, Lauren or Chris, whenever you drop the statistic about the impact that this is having, especially even on parents, how can we so helping that one message, you know, that we’re asking people to support that a lot of our clients are giving us like, look, nobody’s going to get an A-plus in productivity right now.

00:50:33:24 – 00:50:57:13

And that’s okay. People have children at home, small children. And you know that conflicts in their personal lives where we’re. So how do you how do you manage your work against that backdrop? You know, alternate hours are okay and our fine, whatever whatever you need to do to flex. But also, you know, we don’t expect people to be going above and beyond right now.

00:50:57:13 – 00:51:25:23

And that’s okay. And I think that’s a really important message to be sending to people. I think the you know the listening piece is important not only in those conversations that leaders are having, but also making sure that, you know, from a data perspective, we’re collecting not just, you know, concerns about health and safety, but really where are they right now from a mental health and emotional state and really meeting people where they are and even I mean, even as small.

00:51:25:23 – 00:51:54:02

And then we’re doing things even as small as like tips for, you know, around exercise around, you know, fun things that we can do to create connectivity. I read a really interesting statistic the other day that the biggest driver of agility and resilience in an organization is feeling is is creating a feeling of belonging and support in a community, which I thought was really an incredible finding.

00:51:54:06 – 00:52:14:15

So we’re spending a lot of time talking about how do we create the sense of community. The good news is that some of our clients are telling us that engagement has actually gone up during this crisis and then the data to prove it. I think that is a testament to how organizations are responding and creating that support and community for their people.

00:52:14:21 – 00:52:38:13

I don’t see any other way that that that those scores are increasing like that. That’s been really fascinating to me. The what the one thing I want to add on to that and Michel, I agree with everything you said. The one thing that we think is coming next is, but what’s our future? What does it look like here where I work, we’re experiencing a Daggerwing where we’re getting questions from all levels saying we’re doing pretty good.

00:52:38:13 – 00:53:01:15

But what’s next? That’s why we’re asking you to think about the future of work, because you’re going to have to start to answer what’s next. And it’s not just what’s next next week, but what’s next for us as an organization. So stop and think about where you’re going and focus in on some of the things that we talked about today that’s going to help build that confidence and keep engagement high.

00:53:01:17 – 00:53:29:07

There’s one other question if we have time for. It comes from LAX. Will companies be able to say change takes time from now on? A little bit more there? But I mean, the questioning itself is quite interesting. Yeah, I think I think we’re in we’re in an extraordinary period right now. You know, we used to just say the pace of change will never be slower than it is now.

00:53:29:07 – 00:53:49:20

And it creates anxiety on a on a good day. But you know, what we’ve been experiencing, I you know, I hope it’s it’s not changing at this this pace, but it is going to be we need to go we need to shift a paradigm from thinking that we can manage change or that, you know, we have to embrace change.

00:53:49:23 – 00:54:09:17

Shifting the paradigm from that because let’s face it, we can’t manage this change and it’s exhausting to think we can. So shifting from that to we need to be building muscles that help us constantly navigate change. You know, it’s like when you first go to the gym, the first day, you’re, you know, or when you first start running, that’s even a better example.

00:54:09:21 – 00:54:30:07

The first day you can’t even run a mile. If you’re like me, you’re stopping every few hundred feet to walk. But every day, as you go, it gets a little bit easier and a little bit easier and a little less miserable. That’s really, I think, the muscles that we need to really build to help organizations navigate through change, no matter how much time that it takes.

00:54:30:07 – 00:54:57:06

But but surely it’s been a compressed window. Yeah. And think about where you want to prioritize. You know, the organization that are succeeding right now are those that we’re able to quickly switch into what came next. It took a whole lot of effort and energy and and so if you prioritize every body moving toward keeping them in factory lines open, getting getting product to consumers and staying safe, it takes a whole lot of energy.

00:54:57:06 – 00:55:21:19

And we did it. You can’t require that level of intense energy every day. And in being heroes every single day. And so what we’re asking for you to do is build that plan for what comes next and where you’re really going to focus your energy. Change does take time. It can happen overnight in extraordinary circumstances, but it can’t happen overnight every single day.

00:55:22:00 – 00:55:52:21

It’ll just exhaust everybody. Yeah, well, just as a next step, we will be sending our participants a copy of the slides as well as a recording of this of this webcast following this session today. And again, we do we would love to have conversations with you about what think is happening in any of these spaces. I know that there’s countries that it’s going to be continue to evolve and we’re going to be rethinking lots over time.

00:55:52:21 – 00:56:44:07

So I invite you to be part of that with us. And just thank you for so much for joining us, giving us your time and for participating in the conversation. And I hope everyone has a great rest of your day and rest of your week. Thank you.

About the presenters

Headshot of Michelle Mahoney
Michelle Mahony
Senior Principal

Michelle Mahony is a Senior Principal at Daggerwing Group. She is passionate about helping organizations navigate through transformational change, with an eye towards creating leaders and employees who are energized, rather than exhausted, by the opportunities change creates. Within this context, she helps clients foster cultures that deliver the desired experience for customers and enable employees to thrive, and she co-creates inspiring yet down-to-earth solutions to solve organizational challenges. In her spare time, she enjoys singing 70’s pop songs badly while playing her ukulele, buying old musty records and spending tons of time in the woods and on snowy mountains.

Headshot of Chris Thornton
Chris Thornton

Chris Thornton is a Principal at Daggerwing Group where he works with companies to improve employee engagement by successfully executing strategic communication and change programs. In his previous experience, he led the internal communications function at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the global technology communications team at Pfizer. However, he’s most known for his skills in the kitchen. Chris and his wife were featured in the New York Times for their love of pie.

Headshot of Loren Heller
Loren Heller
Associate Principal

Loren Heller is an Associate Principal at Daggerwing Group. Her background in communications and employee engagement helps bridge gaps between leaders and employees and helps her clients solve their most complex change and communication challenges. When she’s not at work, Loren can be found baking her famous chocolate chunk cookies and spending time with friends and family.