A quick Google search brings up literally hundreds of articles related to “company culture during Covid-19”. With titles like “Covid-19 Creates A Moment of Truth for Corporate Culture,” this topic is being talked about by everyone from Forbes.com and Inc.com down to individual community business journals.
So, why, amidst all of the challenges that we are facing, is culture rising to the top? I think it’s a combination of factors. First, this new shift in working remotely was not planned. It was not phased or discussed—it was thrust upon most of us. I know of at least one company that left work on Friday, March 13 saying we’ll see everyone on Monday, and now they have not seen each other face-to-face in over 120 days. That’s a huge shift in daily routine, workload, schedule, and more. And it happened over a weekend. There were no studies or focus groups. There were no phased approaches to changing the way people worked. It was sudden. And it was stark.
Second, any crisis puts a strain on company culture. A company’s culture is like their internal compass. It’s how the company will behave and make decisions. And when there are more decisions, bigger decisions, and faster decisions, that culture is going to be tested. And it’s compounded by this particular crisis because we’ve lost all of our face-to-face meetings and conversations wherein companies tend to recalibrate and get back on the same page.
But don’t lose hope. In multiple surveys related to culture and company success, Agility rises to the top as the single strongest core value that translates to success in crisis. Think about it like this, in Agile methodology we follow basic principles.
We change rapidly- perfect for Covid-19!
We inspect and adapt- perfect for Covid-19!
We collaborate and work as a team- perfect for Covid-19!
We communicate frequently and clearly- perfect for Covid-19!
We focus on results, not hours- perfect for Covid-19!
If you’re reading this blog, then you probably already agree that Agile is the key to getting more done. But in the face of Covid-19, we cannot just do Agile. We have to BE Agile.
If your culture is suffering during this crisis, then now might be a great time to consider Certified Agile Leadership. In the newly formatted CAL-Essentials and CAL-Teams classes, we explore the mindset shift required for successful Agile Leadership and how self-awareness, social awareness, and situational awareness are critical for a leadership role (especially during Covid). In uncertain times, Leadership Agility is more important than ever.