09.04.2020Executive Leadership Team Update

Thank you for taking a couple of minutes out of your schedule and I trust you and your families are doing well.  It is hard to believe but the summer is just about over however for most folks, it didn't seem to start.  As a result of the pandemic, most were unable to take vacations, spend a day at the beach or have a good old American barbeque.  Being the resilient society we are, we adapted to the new norm and found new ways to accomplish many of our daily tasks. 

Being a technologist, I understand that the one thing that is a constant is change.  Because of the newly implemented protocols, we have seen dramatic changes in the use of technology.  As an example, purchases over the internet have skyrocketed showing a 55% increase.  A couple of products that showed an even larger uptick were purchases of personal protection equipment, groceries and exercise equipment. Companies like Walmart are investing heavily in their digital platform to compete with the Amazon's of the world. 

Through a number of articles and my years of IT experience, I've compiled a set of principles to guide me through a period of turbulence.  I've adapted it for today's challenge and although some of the items are more relevant to technology, I believe any leader can apply these:

  1. Take care of your people.  Your staff is the company's most valuable resource.  Their needs are different today than they were pre pandemic.  Ensure that you support them.
  2. Communicate.  Uncertainty breeds fear and confusion. Equally important is to listen to your staff.
  3. Ensure the technology implemented supports working-from-home.  Not everyone understands the details of technology; help them to understand if they have the appropriate technology to work remotely.  This may be evaluating their ISP bandwidth or recommending videoconferencing capabilities, etc. 
  4. Facilitate the adoption of new ways of working.   As employees are being given new tools, ensure there is proper support for them.  This may include help guides and a knowledgeable support staff to guide them through the startup issues.
  5. Be proactive on security.   As I mentioned in my last update, cyber-attacks have increased dramatically.  Implement the proper controls given the new work environment and educate your team.
  6. Monitor critical infrastructure, systems and processes.   New work patterns may result in process bottlenecks or degradation in system performance. By monitoring throughput, you can identify issues and adjust accordingly.
  7. Stay the course on key priorities.   While there is an abundance of new priorities do not lose sight of the strategic initiatives. The organization still needs you to achieve these goals.
  8. Stay focused on customers.   Bottom line -- never forget who you are servicing.

As some companies are beginning to return to their offices and schools are preparing to reopen, I'm certain we will continue to be challenged.  As the holiday weekend is quickly approaching, remember not to let your guard down, stay safe and enjoy the extended time off.