Supervisor NOTES: Be Strong, Be Adaptive

By Kelly Ethridge

Leaders are finding traditional methods for crafting strategy aren’t effective in today’s rapidly changing and increasingly uncertain world. Why? It takes too long to create, is slow to respond to change and relies on leaders being able to make safe assumptions about the future. So, how can you be a leader that is strong and adaptive during COVID-19? Here are some guidelines:

Start execution as early as possible

The more time spent creating a plan, the less time there is to execute it, increasing the risk that the world has moved on and the plan is out of date. Implementing promptly also helps to show you any flaws in the plan and identify where to improve. Adaptive strategy doesn’t require perfect or complete information to execute; it uses available information to identify the most immediate actions required to be successful.

Respond to changes as they happen

Given today’s highly disrupted conditions, you can’t wait to a year to view strategy. Monitor your business on an ongoing basis, initiate a strategy review whenever new information is available to reframe parameters. The vision that guides an adaptive strategy can still be long-term and bold — but should be continually extended (not changed completely once every few years) to push the boundaries of what the company must do to succeed.

Embrace and explore uncertainty

Uncertainty creates opportunity, so although it inevitably involves accepting a level of risk in some areas, companies that embrace risk and respond quickly to events as they happen are more likely to succeed in an uncertain world. Adaptive strategy in business helps the company to be more successful and can also mitigate risk.

Involve everyone in strategy

A top-down strategy process involves a select few individuals, while an adaptive process is inclusive, engaging and collaborative.  Ideas and insights are contributed from anyone within the organization. This approach increases the enterprise’s ability to create, update and implement strategy and improves the quality of the output.

Being a strong and adaptable leader will help your team thrive throughout COVID-19. Don’t forget, Best Care EAP can be one of your most valuable resources. If you see someone struggling on your team, remind about EAP services.   Helping your team members maintain their adaptability and composure during this time will help with your overall team success.

EAP counseling is confidential and FREE!  Call the COVID Counseling helpline 800-801-4182, or 402-354-8000 or email eap@bestcareeap.org to schedule an appointment.  


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