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How we’re doing more than pressing the reset button

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Does this sound familiar? You have a problem with your technology that you can’t fix, so you call an expert who 9 times out of 10 tells you to reset your device by turning it off and then turning it back on again. 

If only it was that easy when it comes to resetting how we go about working in this new and challenging world we’re all living in! 

But for many, that’s exactly what we’re doing – turning the old way off, turning the new way on, and expecting the reset functionality to magically work. 

But unlike technology, if we are ever going to work together and run our businesses in this new world, we need to take a step back and not reset by rebooting, but do so by readjusting, modifying and changing what and how we do things.

In Josh Bersin’s article titled ‘The Big Reset: Making Sense Of The Coronavirus Crisis’, he explains that resetting means looking at new tools, rules and norms, which is exactly what we need to do if we are ever going to make things work. 

I like to describe this resetting process as similar to looking through a different lens (often I have people put on 3D glasses to make the point). And although it may be a bit scary and uncomfortable at first, it’s the only way we can see things differently to create a plan and path by which to get things to work.

We need to put on these ‘new glasses’, and question, challenge and see things differently so that they’ll work on a robust and ongoing basis.

To illustrate this, let’s use the obvious example, working from home. Now I’m not going to get into the details of how to work from home, I’ll leave that for the experts, but let me just say that when it comes to this important new way of work, the worst thing we can do is to merely reboot and think that people will magically have the skills to work from home. And it’s not just our people, but our processes. We need to take a step back and explore everything we do to communicate and collaborate, looking at them differently by questioning and challenging each and adjusting, refining or even tossing parts away to make it all work and fit together.

Here are just a few questions you may want to explore:

  1. How will we update each other and share information? – e.g. if you had monthly face-to-face update meetings before, does the format and timings need to change?

  2. How will we ask each other questions or ask each other for help? – e.g. how will we create a culture and processes for this to happen when you can’t see each other, and at times, the nonverbal cues?For example, I was on a Zoom call the other day with over 30 people on it, and got more and more frustrated as it was impossible to get a word in. We finally all started waving our hands to the leader of the call to let them know we wanted to chime in with a point or question.

  3. How will managers lead differently? – e.g. do my managers need new skills and additional support to be able to manage a remote workforce, especially one going through such challenging times?

So in ending, let me suggest that you embrace the change and put on your new set of glasses and start looking and acting in different ways. I promise you that it’s not going to be easy, and I promise you that you’ll make mistakes. But it is the only way forward, for your business and for your people.


About the author:

Debra Corey is a highly experienced and award-winning HR leader, world-class speaker, three-time author, and was recently named one of the top 101 global employee engagement influencers. She’s had a varied career, working for global companies such as Gap Inc., Honeywell, Merlin Entertainments and Reward Gateway, where she’s developed and delivered HR strategies in a rebellious way, pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo to truly drive employee engagement. In 2019 Debra founded her own company as Chief Pay It Forward Officer, where she’s inspiring and helping others to bring out their inner rebel and drive business change.

Over the course of her career, Debra has been fuelling the employee engagement rebelution through a variety of ways, including speaking at events and leading workshops around the world, teaching professional courses and writing. 

An accomplished author, Debra has published three books, the first one about employee communication strategy and best practice (“Effective HR Communication: A Framework for Communicating HR Programs with Impact”), the second one which talks about why and how to be an engagement rebel (“Build it: A Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement”), and her latest book which focuses on company values as a strategic and effective business tool (“Bringing Your Values Out to Play”).


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