July, 25, 2022

Be brave and curious

Humans are social creatures, and we need connections to survive and thrive. No matter where you are on the leadership ladder the ability to make connections, establish rapport quickly, build and maintain relationships is key. The speed in which organisations have been able to switch on “virtual” development has been eye-opening and welcomed in the majority of research, however the feedback from the companies I work with strongly indicate that a “hybrid” model is what’s needed.

There has been much talk about remote working, the WFH culture and if offices are even required post pandemic. Some corporates are saying they are rolling out new flexible working schemes. HSBC announced it would cut office space by 40%, Salesforce said it would move to a “work from anywhere” model, whilst some are diametrically opposed.

“I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us (remote working). And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible.”

—Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon

I’m sure all of us have our own thoughts on how we personally wish to operate, and what we think is best for our teams and organisation, however what I’m hearing across the companies I work in is that you aren’t sure how this will be viewed. Do we have enough trust in our organisations to request how we really want to structure our working life, be it full time in the office, full time remote working, a couple of days working from home per week or vice versa? What needs to happen to be able to speak honestly? The fear of the unsaid expectations is real.

If a change in behaviour is required what does it take to create and be an Intelligent Leader, not only of ourselves, but of our teams and in the wider system? Each individual, team and organisation can champion “Behavioural Excellence” and has the opportunity to shape and sculpt its “new normal” into a blueprint that fits not only its values and culture but the emergence of a whole new raft of possibilities. There are emerging opportunities for organisations, not only for their people but to influence the wider system. Leaders of organisations have the opportunity to balance the data regarding business impact/growth and needs post pandemic, not only on the bottom line but the wellbeing and development of its greatest asset, its people.


the ability to give and engender trust in self and others

Connection & Engagement

the ability to give and engender trust in self and others


the ability to give and engender trust in self and others

There are a smorgasbord of opportunities available to support employees’ regardless of if they are remote, office based or a hybrid of the two. Organisations need to develop robust L&D programmes to help retain talent, attract new talent, build or maintain employee engagement and support talent pipelines. They need to build trust, create connection and engagement not only within the organisation but amongst the greater system. They need to develop their leaders to be future fit so they in turn can inspire and motivate people to follow them.

But this is a matter of balance.

After months of uncertainty, we as human beings are craving some sort of certainty and “normality”. I’m not sure we are going to be rewarded with that wish. However, we have an opportunity to create more balance in an ever-changing world. Evidence is pointing towards the fact that a purely virtual way of learning and working isn’t enough to keep engagement high, we need learning and working to be interactive and more “human”.

So how as a leader can we be brave and embrace his new landscape?

  • Quality peer to peer interaction – create interactive and collaborative conversations with an assumption that all participants have the potential to make constructive contributions.
  • Creating space for critical thinking – use objective analysis and evaluation of issues in order to form a judgement.
  • Challenge existing conditions – “Normal” protocol that we perceived was impossible to change have changed, what’s possible?
  • Use our imagination – has the global consciousness woken up? We are all now soaware of how interconnected the world we inhabit is, how can we leverage that notion?

Imagination is key, and through it’s use we have a unique opportunity to craft the development of ourselves, our people and as a result influence how the worldwide system operates. Are you willing to be brave and curious? Let’s start with ourselves and drop a pebble in the pond of consciousness to create a ripple of change and bring things back into balance.

Written by: Charlotte Dennis Co-founder & Director, LeadEQ
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