“And those who choose to ignore it, I think, COVID will end up having the same effect as did the idea of an online presence for retail.” —Tim Yeomans, Executive Vice President at FiredUp!
There are times in history when a fundamental shift occurs that changes the way we do things forever. Like in 1936, when Alan Turing invented a device to help decipher encrypted German messages during WWII. His Turing machine became the basis of modern computers and the way we solved problems would never be the same. The same shift occurred with the printing press or when the Wright brothers lifted off the ground for the first time at Kitty Hawk.
Lots of people hoped that 2021 would signal a shift, to go back to the way things used to be. But the reality is, that isn’t possible.
COVID universally changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we interact with each other. It showed what our technology is capable of and challenged almost every aspect of the way we do business. So, if things can’t go back to the way they were, what should we expect for the future?
Continue Questioning Paradigms
A client of FiredUp! is a public sector entity that typically throws a huge job fair every year, where hundreds of people gather to check out new opportunities. It’s a massive event that understandably couldn’t happen as usual during COVID. Instead, they decided to make it virtual.
Instead of hundreds of people, thousands attended. They joined virtual meetings and connected with recruiters digitally. None of them had to get on an airplane, book a hotel room, or rent a car. Suddenly, our client had a pool of applicants that was far more robust than it had ever been before.
How COVID Reinforced a Better Bottom Line
The pandemic created lots of challenges, but also opportunities, and many saw the potential of digital workspaces almost immediately, including:
- Less overhead for office space and facilities maintenance
- Better retention for talent with more flexible work-from-home schedules
- Focus on quality of result not the quantity of seat time
COVID forced organizations to question, evaluate, and decide what’s really necessary and what’s possible. Leaders who are forward-thinking can embrace that change and capitalize on it but only if they focus on creating a great culture first.
Culture Unlocks Opportunities for Big Changes
Without great culture, values, and norms, organizations don’t have the ability to challenge paradigms. Why? Because exceptional culture is the cornerstone on which great change is built.
Imagine a gymnast at the Olympics who has no problem doing six flips off the uneven bars but has never learned to stick the landing. Or, picture a race car driver with all the skills in the world, but he never changes the engine oil.
Big, creative change that comes from questioning core paradigms demands a solid organizational foundation. It’s what people rely on when things seem uncertain. It’s what you base your plans on when you aren’t sure of where to go next.
As FiredUp! CEO Chris Ihrig says, “If we’re not clear about those things, then the reality of it is that we’re probably limited in that venue. If we’re going to be very clear about those things, then the potential becomes unbelievable.” Focus on great culture and anything is possible.
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Author, Speaker, and Change Agent.
Chris leads a dynamic team of passionate change agents who are dedicated to partnering with organizational executives to create cultures that inspire, engage and ignite the best in people. Our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.