About the mentor role at MSc Mentor Program, Stockholm School of Eonomics

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on april 29th, 2020 by admin

Johan Mathson, founder at ARC Executive Advisory

“A program like the MSc Mentor Program is stimulating for everyone in a leadership role, not least in terms of learning what motivates and drives other generations.”

What made you sign up as a mentor in the first place?

I have worked for many years with executive coaching (mentoring with business managers). After having experienced how much it is appreciated, I thought it would be interesting to see how my experience could contribute to a younger target group as well. Of course, it also feels extra fun to have contact with my old school as an SSE alum.

What does mentorship mean to you?

I’ll summarise in a few words:

Interest, ask, listen, understand, empathy, support, challenge, accessible and have fun and laugh.

What is the best part about mentoring a student?

It is to help a young and ambitious student, to the best of my ability, develop towards finding a place in the business world that feels fun and challenging every morning.

Have you developed or improved any personal skills during the program?

As a mentor, one can always develop in the two essential tools: Asking and Listening. Hopefully, I have developed further, especially in these two areas.

In what way do you think the MSc Mentor Program will influence your professional career?

A program like the MSc Mentorshiup Program is stimulating for everyone in a leadership role, not least in terms of learning what motivates and drives other generations.

What advice would you give to future mentors?

I would suggest them to answer two questions first:

– What can you offer and how will you go about making that happen?

– What do you expect for your part of the program? How can you influence it?

Source: hhs.se, April 2020

Leading with purpose: How marketing and sales leaders can shape the next normal

Posted in Aktuellt, Försäljning / Sales, Leadership / Ledarskap on april 28th, 2020 by admin

Chief marketing and sales officers have a defining role to play in navigating the current crisis—and in steering their companies’ success in the world that emerges from it.

“Without empathy, nothing works.That quote, from José Andrés, a celebrity chef who also founded and runs the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, highlights the reasoning behind the organization’s mission: to feed the world by being the first food responders in devastated areas. In the COVID-19 crisis, he has quickly mobilized field kitchens to provide fresh and nourishing meals to those in need in stricken parts of the world.

As an exemplar of purpose-led leadership, Andrés provides chief marketing and sales officers (CMSOs) as well as growth executives with a reference point for how to lead in the midst of this crisis.

As the pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives around the world, global economic realities are significantly impacting every aspect of our lives, from how we work and communicate, to how and what we buy. In this unprecedented new reality, the massive changes in customer behavior and business outlook have put growth officers and CMSOs on the front lines. To chart a path forward, leaders must simultaneously anchor on what matters most and execute multiple initiatives well. This means, first and foremost, that they must lead with purpose by taking care of their people, their customers, and their communities. At the same time, they must focus on three horizons to shape the way forward: navigate the now, plan for recovery, and lead in the next normal.

The new reality

Lockdowns have led to near collapse in many business sectors, while also creating significant shifts in both customer and consumer behavior.

While we will continue to see major shifts and swings, we believe the following are already important for marketing and sales leaders to understand:
For the full article.

Source: McKinsey.com, April 2020

Boards in the time of coronavirus

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete on april 21st, 2020 by admin

Boards need to step up their game and guide their organizations toward the next normal.

Never before have CEOs and their teams been more in need of the foresight and seasoned judgment that a well-functioning board of directors can provide. Likewise, never before have boards needed more carefully to balance providing support to management teams operating in highly stressful conditions with challenging them to ensure that they make the best decisions throughout a crisis for which no playbook exists. This may well turn out to be the moment when your board proves its value—or shows its flaws.

In a recent article, our colleagues have called on management to act across five stages—Resolve, Resilience, Return, Reimagination, and Reform—both to address the immediate crisis and to prepare for the next normal after the battle against coronavirus has been won. At the same time, many board chairs and CEOs are looking for guidance on what role boards should play in these challenging times (for highlights, see “Boards of directors in the tunnel of the coronavirus crisis”).

Just as every organization faces different challenges during this crisis—some are reaching new levels of growth, while others are struggling to survive—there is no one-size-fits-all answer for what a board should do. While management teams focus on making rapid decisions to protect employees, address customers’ needs, and communicate with stakeholders, boards need to balance oversight of the crisis response with thinking beyond the immediate challenges. Time is a scarce asset for most board directors, requiring them to make deliberate choices about where they focus their attention.

In hindsight, the early 21st century may be seen as divided into two periods: the time before the coronavirus outbreak and the postpandemic era. That era could be characterized by different consumer behaviors, new ways of working, altered industry structures, and value pools redistributed across existing and new ecosystems. What does that imply for your organization and for your board?

Resolve and Resilience: Support through the crisis

Everyone is looking to an organization’s leaders to serve as role models in protecting people’s health and safety while acting decisively and with purpose amid chaos. The board’s priority should be to support the management team’s crisis response without encroaching on its operating role while also safeguarding longer-term shareholder and stakeholder interests. Management needs board directors to act as both sparring partners and empathetic counselors at a time when many leaders are seeking candid advice and personal support.

Ensure that management adopts a scalable crisis operating model

Your organization likely already has a crisis-response team in place. The team takes care of employee safety, shores up the balance sheet, and interacts with suppliers and customers to ensure business continuity. But that is not enough. The scale of the economic crisis that is unfolding is unprecedented in living memory. Organizations need a crisis operating model that can scale as issues escalate, with a plan-ahead team that develops strategic responses to multiple scenarios across all time horizons. Boards should frequently review and discuss the strategic crisis-action plans that plan-ahead teams develop to stay ahead of the evolving crisis.


Augment leadership capacity

A board can ease the pressure on the management team by reviewing communication plans and reputation-management strategies and engaging with select external stakeholders. Importantly, directors should help manage investor expectations in light of financial decisions, such as dividend cuts and changes to share-buyback programs, that may draw negative reactions. And since COVID-19 may affect board directors or managers personally, establishing clear succession and leadership contingency plans is more critical than ever.

Strengthen decision making by sharing crisis-management experience

Board directors with experience in managing external shocks, such as the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the 2008–09 financial crisis, will be particularly valuable sounding boards for a management team as it crafts response plans amid high uncertainty. Board directors’ insights from earlier crisis situations can help them constructively challenge business-continuity plans, for example, or supply-chain strategies. That said, the current crisis is uncharted terrain for all executives, making intuition and experience unreliable guides and cognitive biases particularly dangerous. As such, boards should urge management to use techniques such as red and blue teams or premortems to ensure that their decisions weigh all relevant factors.

Balance short-term and long-term priorities

While a board needs to protect all shareholders’ and stakeholders’ interests by weighing key operational risks and ensuring effective cash management and financial stability, it cannot lose sight of the organization’s long-term priorities, even as it focuses on short-term crisis response. Preserving the foundation of the organization’s competitive advantage, such as maintaining investments in a digital transformation or customer-experience improvements, should be a key point of board attention.

Return: Lead into the reconstruction phase

As business conditions start to stabilize, a board should strive to lift management’s ambitions and position the organization to ride the waves of uncertainty rather than be overpowered by them. The severity of the disruption of this crisis suggests that the path out will feel more like a reconstruction than a recovery. Boards can add value by pushing early for scenarios and robust plans to be prepared for the reconstruction phase.

Engage on major decisions

As employees start coming back to work, a board should confirm that effective health and safety protocols are in place and continue to oversee management’s integrated action plans. Some decisions are more complicated than they at first seem—for example, a government stimulus package may seem like a boon, but it can dilute shareholders’ equity and come with unexpected strings attached. The board should also closely monitor the management team’s evolving plans (such as slowing down new-product introductions and capacity expansions or accelerating resource reallocation) to ensure, for example, that these decisions do not overly weaken the balance sheet amid challenging capital-market conditions.

Catalyze a strategy review

Many organizations will have to rethink their product-market focus, customer engagement, or pace of technological innovation. During this period, a board should encourage management to undertake a broad strategic reevaluation that could entail embracing some bold moves. It can foster this process by requesting regular, joint strategy sessions with management to discuss various alternatives and scenarios.

Review the operating model

A new strategy may require a broad review of an organization’s operations. The board should trigger the discussion, share external perspectives on the operating models of comparable organizations, and provide constructive challenges. It should also encourage management to match critical talent to key strategic initiatives, especially new leadership talent that may emerge during the current crisis.

Help manage shareholder and broader stakeholder commitments

Maintaining an ongoing, open dialogue with key shareholders and other stakeholders should be a key board responsibility as business conditions change. Managing interactions with governments and regulators may be particularly vital at this time, especially if an organization receives a stimulus package or other public assistance that entails commitments. Major investors, including activists, may also offer ideas for repositioning the organization for the postpandemic era that the board and management should consider.

Reimagination and Reform: Stay ahead of the next normal

As businesses will shift focus on preparing themselves for the next normal, some changes adopted during the current crisis may become permanent. This might well have implications for the purpose and overall positioning of the organization that a board should closely monitor.

Reassess the organization’s purpose and value proposition

Our world will almost certainly look different after the coronavirus crisis. Industries and supply chains will be reshaped, value pools will have shifted (some irreversibly), and new behaviors may become the norm. Getting ahead of such trends by developing privileged insights can make the difference between leading or lagging in an industry for the subsequent decade. These changes may be profound enough to require a reassessment of an organization’s value proposition—and even its fundamental purpose. The board should also closely monitor how competitors are evolving and where they are investing (for example, in vertically integrated supply chains to fill gaps left by bankrupt suppliers) and make sure these realignments are factored into management’s long-term plans. By connecting management teams with the larger ecosystem of innovative players (including ones outside the organization’s traditional business), the board can widen leaders’ understanding of shifting business conditions.

Plan for the next crisis

It is never too early to plan a response to future shocks. A board’s role makes it well positioned to ensure that key lessons from the current crisis are captured and synthesized. The importance of remote-working technology and enterprise-wide action plans, for example, can guide new governance measures that make organizations more resilient during future disruptions (including potential later waves of the COVID-19 outbreak). Importantly, a board should challenge the management team to address a critical question: Is the risk-management approach sufficiently robust to respond to another “black swan” event?

Operating the board during the crisis

The current crisis sheds light on the vital importance of a diverse board. A group with a breadth of experience, relevant industry and functional expertise, and a range of ages, genders, and backgrounds enables an organization to assess challenges from a variety of perspectives. Here is how a board can effectively play its role (see sidebar, “Long-term implications for a board’s operating model”).

Reconfirm the board’s role and accountabilities

clear division of roles and mandates between a board and management is paramount to make collaboration seamless and avoid the distraction of unnecessary conflicts. While the level of stress and pressure every individual is facing during the current crisis can be draining, a board needs to remain calm and focused. Some decisions that take years of alignment in normal times may have to be passed in a matter of hours. All this will be difficult unless boards and management teams embrace seamless teamwork, trust, and mutual support. During this time, boards should make explicit that they are fully behind the management teams as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their careers.

Adapt the board’s operating model to the crisis

During a crisis, a board has no choice but to adapt its working mode to the speed of events, requiring directors to invest significantly more time than normal and relax the annual agenda. Ongoing communication between boards and management teams is necessary for quick action on contingency planning, public announcements, strategy development, and other urgent matters. An ad hoc board-level crisis committee can help directors engage regularly with the crisis leader who reports to the CEO. While some of the board’s heightened responsibilities—such as more frequent risk or policy reviews, financial-stability assessments, and governance-structure changes—can be absorbed by standing committees (including those for audit, risk, nomination and governance, and compensation), assessing the crisis’s strategic implications and the organization’s future direction needs to be handled jointly by the entire board, with collective accountability and frequent interaction.

The coronavirus pandemic is, first and foremost, an urgent health crisis affecting countless people around the globe. The scale of change—social, political, economic, and cultural—it may bring is immense. To manage a crisis of this magnitude successfully, boards need to help management balance short-term priorities with long-term goals, actively engage with shareholders and other stakeholders, and support a fundamental rethinking of long-term strategies. Management teams may need boards to extend them a greater-than-normal level of trust so that leaders can rapidly respond to unprecedented conditions.

While oversight and control remain vital, board directors’ wisdom, insights, and experience have never been more important. Boards should seize this moment to step up their game and provide critically needed guidance to their organizations.

Source: McKinsey.com, April 2020
Authors: Martin Hirt is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Greater China office, Celia Huber is a senior partner in the Silicon Valley office, Frithjof Lund is a senior partner in the Oslo office, and Nina Spielmann is a senior expert in the Zurich office.

Boards of directors in the tunnel of the coronavirus crisis

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete on april 19th, 2020 by admin
There are areas that boards and their chairs should prioritize when guiding their organizations through unprecedented uncertainty.
Few boards of directors had a playbook for managing the crisis we face today. Now, even fewer have a clear perspective on when and how their organizations will emerge from the tunnel the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to enter. The light at its end is very dim. Uncertainty is high for most sectors and businesses, with boards and management teams struggling to find solid ground, which makes it all the more vital that boards are deliberate about where they focus their attention.Based on conversations with leading chairs around the world, we recently outlined reflections on how boards can add the most value to their organizations in a major crisis, such as the current coronavirus crisis. These conversations have inspired this summary of practical highlights and, perhaps somewhat provocatively, three recommendations for chairs and their boards to consider.

1. Don’t increase management’s burden

Your CEO and the management team are under huge pressure to handle the rapidly evolving and potentially escalating issues the crisis is throwing at them. What management needs most from the board right now is a strong mandate to handle short-term actions and directors’ support as it makes difficult decisions. But we see many boards heading in the opposite direction, requesting weekly updates—even though some chairs find these meetings of limited value. Such meetings may, of course, be required for some organizations that face a clear and present danger (such as a liquidity shortage) or an urgent, institution-altering decision (such as accepting a government’s support package). For most, though, these interactions divert precious management time that should be spent on handling the crisis and planning ahead.

Instead, a board should urge management to develop a strategic crisis-action plan that would guide the organization’s response across all relevant time horizons and simply request the same standard reports on the up-to-date scenarios and actions that management reviews. These reports will keep the board abreast of the major issues the management team is working on, what scenarios it is considering, and what actions it is planning to take. If needed, the board can intervene and request more information to stress-test the plans, but even these interactions will then, by definition, be more focused and deliberate.

2. Augment management capacity

During the heat of a crisis, time is precious, and management teams are forced into trade-offs between handling the immediate action plans and communicating with stakeholders. This is one area in which a board can provide valuable assistance. Specifically, boards could take on the task of interacting with shareholders, governments, regulators, debt holders, employees, or major customers.

For example, many boards have directors with experience in serving in government or regulatory agencies. Those directors could pair up with senior managers to meet regulators for discussions of the organization’s pandemic response, giving the CEO much needed flexibility. Likewise, those with deep finance experience, such as chairs of audit committees, could support the CFO in meeting with rating agencies or debt holders. Naturally, it is critical that the board and management team explicitly agree on who engages with which stakeholders for what purpose.

3. Frame the postcrisis strategy

Every crisis has an end. The light at the end of this tunnel will eventually appear—sooner for some than others. The big questions for many organizations will then be, “How will my industry and my ecosystem be reshaped by this crisis, and what strategies should our organization pursue to emerge as a leader?”

While management teams focus on immediate survival or planning for the reconstruction phase, board directors should leverage their experience, professional networks, and industry understanding to outline how their organizations’ future vision, strategy, and corresponding operating model may need to change in the postpandemic era. Developing such a perspective now will enable a board to challenge short-term management actions constructively while providing a foundation for the strategic review that most organizations are bound to undertake in the wake of the crisis.

This big-picture work will help management develop an organization’s posture and broad direction of travel—the vision of the future and the big thematic ideas that will guide its strategic response. Management can then start to pursue that direction when it emerges from the tunnel of the crisis, once uncertainty diminishes and the next normal becomes clearer. This is probably the area where boards can add the most value in guiding their organizations through the crisis. Strategy definition is the job of the management team, but the board can provide a clear and compelling frame to help accelerate the process.

Boards have a special responsibility to guide their organizations safely through this period of unprecedented uncertainty. When you look back at this crisis in a few years’ time, what will you wish you had done as a board member? The decisions you make in the next few days on how you work with, support, and stretch your management team will likely make a big difference to your answer.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can we stay current on the management team’s crisis response without taxing executives’ already-packed agendas?
  • What specific activities can board directors take on to augment management capacity?
  • What should be the organization’s strategic posture for the postcrisis world, and how can we encourage the management team to align all decisions with that broad direction of travel.
Source: McKinsey.com, April 2020
By:  Martin Hirt is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Greater China office, Celia Huber is a senior partner in the Silicon Valley office, Frithjof Lund is a senior partner in the Oslo office, and Nina Spielmann is a senior expert in the Zurich office.

Connecting with customers in times of crisis

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Försäljning / Sales, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on april 16th, 2020 by admin

During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that lead with empathy and genuinely address customer needs can strengthen relationships.

The COVID-19 global humanitarian and economic crisis has forced individuals and companies to rapidly change how they live and work. Many elements of business and life are being challenged; in some cases, the next normal may look very different as new ways of working are carried over into the future. Companies are doing their best to manage through this pandemic—from ensuring an effective crisis response, to managing supply-chain disruptions, to safeguarding the well-being of their employees by adjusting daily working practices.

Customer experience takes on a new meaning against this backdrop. Executives are typically approaching customer experience by creating seamless, convenient and engaging customer journeys; however, the needs of customers at the moment have shifted dramatically towards more essential concerns. A recent McKinsey survey of US consumers found that 64 percent of respondents have felt depressed, anxious, or both over the past several weeks, and 39 percent stated that they would be unable to pay their bills after one month of unemployment.

Leading organizations are reorienting their customer-experience efforts to meet their customers’ primary needs, such as safety, security, and everyday convenience. These actions will inevitably speak louder than words in a world where companies are increasingly advertising a message of “we are here for you.” By consciously providing empathy and care during this crisis, companies can build a foundation of goodwill and long-lasting emotional connections with the communities they serve.

Seven actions to demonstrate empathy for customers

Over the past few months, companies have had to quickly adjust to COVID-19. The first step for many organizations was to stabilize operations and safeguard their own employees. From this position, companies can then find genuine, creative ways to show empathy and emotionally connect with their customers. Many have already begun to take seven actions related to individual safety, security and stability, convenience and ease of use, and emotional bonds and trust.

1. Minimize risk by reducing physical interaction

Society’s first responsibility during a pandemic of this scale is eliminating opportunities to spread the virus, especially among the most at-risk populations. Companies have been minimizing the risk of contagion when fulfilling essential tasks, particularly when they involve vulnerable groups.

Grocery retailers have responded by taking extra precautions, such as extending opening hours for the elderly and healthcare workers as well as free home-delivery for customers more than 65 years old. Many are limiting the number of people who can be inside the store at once and putting physical-distance stickers on the floor to aid compliance. E-commerce and online food-delivery companies around the world are offering new contactless delivery options to eliminate direct physical contact between customers and delivery drivers. Companies offering services that require customers to be in close proximity, such as airlines, are taking measures to reduce risk and ensure the health and safety of both their customers and employees. Of course, this approach requires more stringent standards for cleaning as well as new work processes, such as suspending drink refills or recycling to avoid touching passenger-handled items.

2. Actively contribute to safety by innovating the product portfolio

Companies should ask themselves two critical questions: Do we have a product the world needs right now? Or can we rapidly adapt our product portfolio to provide goods that are urgently needed? In pursuing this approach, companies can use their strengths to provide essential products, even if those goods are outside of their current product offering. For example, some distilleries are using their ethanol supplies to provide materials for hand sanitizers through partnerships with refineries.

Companies are also stepping up to meet the demand for more medical equipment and personal protective equipment. Apparel manufacturers are responding to a drop in sales by producing thousands of urgently needed face masks instead. Some automotive companies are shifting production to manufacture ventilators, for example, General Motors is partnering with a US-based medical device company to produce respiratory care products.

Companies beyond manufacturing are still able to innovate their product portfolio to contribute to safety initiatives. Rideshare companies are looking to use their network of drivers to transport medicine and basic goods, rather than passengers. This effort could provide lifesaving drugs to individuals who are not able to go out to purchase them because of the quarantine or other conditions.

In all of these cases, company leaders have demonstrated their commitment to customers and society. At the same time, they are creating alternatives so they can continue providing meaningful work for their employees despite substantial demand reductions in their core business.

3. Provide pragmatic help to customers in financial distress

Once customers have secured their personal safety, their next concern is often financial. As companies are forced to decrease operations for an uncertain time period, individuals and millions of small business owners face massive income and liquidity issues.

Providing flexible solutions when dealing with financial challenges is now both a responsibility and a huge trust driver for companies. Financial institutions are not penalizing customers who cannot meet payment obligations for March. Telcos are not terminating service or enforcing late-payment fees for customers experiencing hardship for an extra 60 days. And energy companies are not shutting off power for nonpayment; in some cases, they are even reconnecting customers whose service had been turned off prior to the crisis.

In addition, companies are seeking to alleviate unexpected sources of financial stress as events unfold. Travel companies, including most major airlines, are waiving cancellation fees. Families who formerly relied on school lunches to feed their children can benefit from efforts such as those introduced by Burger King, which provides two free kids meals to Americans who make any purchase through the Burger King app.

4. Bring joy and support the emotional needs of customers ‘trapped at home’

Many people are forced to stay at home, and experience all the concerns that come along with having to do so. Companies are acting to make homelife more enjoyable and to also ensure the well-being of their customers.

Families have to entertain their children at home for weeks to come, making access to online content a truly fundamental need. Telcos are providing free unlimited data for the next 60 days to all mobile customers with data plans. Entertainment companies have released content ahead of schedule: the Walt Disney Company, for example, released the family-friendly blockbuster Frozen 2 on its streaming platform, Disney+, three months earlier than planned. New York’s Metropolitan Opera offered free digital shows to entertain virtual audiences, while Google Arts & Culture has paired with museums around the world to curate virtual tours.

Other companies are checking in with their customers to help relieve stress. Meditation and mindfulness providers, such as the Headspace app, will be providing free subscriptions to healthcare professionals and unlocking free content for consumers. Multiple organizations have launched online services that include food delivery and recipes, shared rides, online courses, and traditional financial services.

5. Actively shift customers to online channels

With so many directives around the world to remain at home, companies that previously relied on physical operations have had to direct customers to online offerings.

As an example, since many gyms have been directed to close all physical facilities, they are now offering hundreds of free online home workout courses to all members. Companies offering virtual capabilities, as with Cisco’s Webex, are assisting schools and universities as they transition to remote learning by offering free tools for teachers, parents, and students to support the development of online-learning plans. Italian banks are encouraging the use of digital channels while providing tutorials for online banking. Medical providers are providing care through digital services, such as telemedicine, with health insurers supporting the initiative by offering zero copays.

Companies without online services can find ways to establish and scale online offerings with substantial demand from customers as their needs increasingly turn digital. This shift to online and digital channels has the potential to dramatically increase online traffic post-recovery.

6. Stay reachable and treat customers with care in personal interactions

With physical channels such as bank branches and nongrocery retail stores closed, many customers are turning to other channels for questions and requests that require personal attention and care.

Service companies in telcos and banking are currently experiencing increased inbound call volumes in their contact centers while at the same time having to shift their customer-service centers to remote-working arrangements. For example, a leading European telco equipped 10,000 call-center agents with laptops and tool infrastructure within a week, enabling them to take calls from their homes. Companies that provide customers with additional guidance and support can maintain communication and engagement. Other companies have enhanced options for seeking information digitally; Erdos Group launched a WeChat program in China to offer virtual product consultations. Airlines facing traveler cancellations or trip changes are urging customers whose travel is not within 72 hours to address their needs through the company’s website.

While most companies must address reachability, some companies, such as those in the medical industry, face callers who have significantly different types of questions than they did prior to the pandemic. Another key priority is proactively responding to this shift by training call-center agents to effectively manage these new questions. Cigna has established a 24/7 customer-resource center specifically to help customers with claims related to the novel coronavirus. Companies should reevaluate how to prepare their agents to address these emerging needs.

7. Demonstrate care for the community through company values

Companies can stay true to their vision while showing that they genuinely care about their customers. Actions taken during crises can help build trust and reinforce brand values (see sidebar, “Forming a purpose-driven bond with customers”).

One of the most talked-about company initiatives in Germany came from McDonald’s and ALDI. The two companies initiated a staff sharing plan so that interested McDonald’s workers from temporarily closed branches can redeploy at ALDI stores to ensure that the retailer can meet the currently increased customer demand. Supporting local communities while linking these efforts back to company values is exemplified by companies delivering free, fresh meals to medical workers in the cities they serve. Similarly, sustainable-footwear company Allbirds is giving free shoes to healthcare workers, and pharmacies and drugstores are also gearing up to donate space in their parking lots for medical testing.

The Alibaba Foundation has donated medical supplies to 14 countries in Asia and the United States and will also be publishing a digital handbook to share learnings from the COVID-19 experience in China. Tableau Software has developed a free data resource hub using case data compiled by leading educational and government research organizations to help stakeholders see and understand coronavirus data in near-real time. LinkedIn, through employee referrals, is providing free access to its premium features for a designated period of time to help employees at small businesses cope with the economic downturn.

Public service announcements and other on-brand communication can be used to send messages of unity: for example, Coca-Cola’s marketing has been reminding customers that “staying apart is the best way to stay united.”

All these efforts show a clear care for customers and an obligation to serve on the part of companies, bringing local or international communities together with new knowledge and resources. Every action taken by a company should reinforce what customers already know—that companies care and are willing to invest in helping their community.

Forging lasting connections with customers

During times of crisis, leading companies are pivoting from marketing to helping and from fulfilling customer desires to meeting customer needs. Socially conscious organizations across sectors and geographies are finding ways to get involved and support their customers and communities.

The current COVID-19 outbreak is a global crisis and an opportunity for leaders to support their customers and communities. Leading in a caring, empathetic manner during these difficult times has the potential to create real connections that will outlive the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. And large companies should consider it a duty to serve the communities in which they do business.

Source: McKinsey.com, 16 April 2020
About the authors:
Fabricio Dore is an associate partner in McKinsey’s São Paulo office, Oliver Ehrlich is a partner in the Dusseldorf office, David Malfara is a specialist in the Miami office, and Kelly Ungerman is a senior partner in the Dallas office.

12 New Habits for Leading in a Virtual Environment

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on april 14th, 2020 by admin

Leading virtually requires a leader to use the same good management skills they would use in a face-to-face environment. But some managers get away with providing mediocre leadership in face-to-face situations because they lean on their personal relationships with employees, says John Hester, co-creator of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ new Leading Virtually program.

Because virtual leaders don’t have opportunities for those incidental hallway conversations that can occur in face-to-face work environments, they tend to have fewer interactions with direct reports. “This means each interaction takes on more significance,” says Hester. “People who manage from a distance often don’t have the safety net that personal relationships or opportunities for informal communication can provide. Thus, normal mistakes managers make have a significantly greater impact in the virtual work environment.

“Consider a poorly run meeting. When held face-to-face, it is frustrating and annoying. But a poorly run conference call is even worse, because attendees feel less of an obligation to pay attention. People begin multitasking and the group immediately loses synergy.

“Leading virtually requires a whole new mindset. How do I maintain connection? How do I foster trust? How do I provide feedback? Even something as basic as How do I know they’re working? requires a new strategy.”

To help new virtual leaders get off to a fast start, Hester suggests they focus on three key practice areas: being attentive and mindful, fostering community, and accelerating performance and development.

Practice One: Be Attentive and Mindful

Leaders need to be attentive and mindful in their conversations with team members. That’s important face-to-face, but it’s absolutely essential in a virtual work environment. Attentiveness means knowing the goals, motivations, needs, and experiences of team members and recognizing when changes occur. Because working effectively in a virtual environment requires a high level of independence, leaders must consistently communicate their desire to connect personally with team members.

Be present. “We spend so much time multitasking in the remote environment. But what’s the impact when we’re not totally present with somebody on the phone or in a Zoom meeting? Leaders need to practice being more present in meetings and calls and help others be more present as well.”
Pay attention to individual differences. “This begins with knowing what motivates each person and what approach to use in a virtual work setting. It also means getting to know people’s individual work preferences. How do they like to communicate? When do they have the most energy?”
Ask for feedback. “One thing our research uncovered is that virtual leaders generally don’t ask their team members for feedback. In a face-to-face one-on-one meeting, nonverbal feedback allows each person to adjust. But in a virtual setting, the leader has to be more deliberate and ask for it.”
Lead with intention. “This is about the leader taking a minute to think before they act. What energy do I want to bring to this meeting, this interaction, this phone call? What sentiment do I want the person to feel afterward? How much structure and support do I want to provide for them? And once I have identified my intentions, How do I do my best to make my intentions come to fruition?”

Practice Two: Foster Community

Most leaders are unaware of how much they connect to an organization and a team by being onsite. Face-to-face, leaders pick up cultural cues and norms by observing behavior, dress, language, and communication patterns. Effective virtual leaders work diligently to connect team members to the larger organization by actively facilitating collaboration, creating the team culture, and helping virtual workers unite to build community spirit.

Build trust. “This is where community starts. It’s crucial for a leader to be reliable and responsive in a remote environment. But each leader must to take the time to define it. This means setting up clear norms or ways of working so that people know what to expect if they send the leader an instant message versus an email. In a virtual environment, it’s easy to be out of sight, out of mind.”
Provide technology support. “Leaders need to make sure people have the tools and technology they need. That’s a big issue right now. I was talking with one client about an upcoming pilot training session of this program and I asked, ‘What kind of equipment are people going to have for this training?’ A lot of people just had their laptops but didn’t have a separate monitor. That’s not optimal for training or for working from home. Organizations should show people they care by providing them with the equipment and support they need.”
Invest in connection. “One of the challenges with remote work is that people can start feeling like a piece of machinery being used to get the work done. Emails and meetings are purely transactional. Leaders need to dedicate time to talk—just catch up, check in, and stay connected. Whether it’s at the beginning of a one-on-one or a team meeting, they should use the first five minutes to connect with people, asking about how they are doing and what they’re up to.”
Celebrate success. “This is another aspect of work life that often gets forgotten in the virtual world. We finish one project and just go on to the next one. Or somebody has a significant event in their life and we don’t acknowledge it. Celebrating is all about recognizing individual and team contribution. Look for ways to do that in the virtual world. One of my favorites with large global teams is knowing what their holidays are. We ask team members to take their laptop and go around their house showing us anything they’ve done for the holiday. It’s a great way to create other cultures and communities.”

Practice Three: Accelerate Performance and Development

It’s easy to lose track of the development needs of people who work virtually. Virtual leaders have to stay focused on team members’ needs for direction and support in the short term as well as career and personal goals in the long term. This increases satisfaction, builds loyalty, and creates a more valuable employee.

Focus on output. “First, new virtual managers shouldn’t worry about what people are doing every minute. Instead, they need to be clear on what they want people to achieve and focus there. If goals are met, the leader shouldn’t be concerned about how and when people are doing their work. Many people work in less than ideal environments at home with a lot of competing priorities that can result in odd working hours.”
Encourage self-reliance. “Building self-reliance means setting clear goals and then checking in on a regular basis to see what’s needed in terms of direction and support. We recommend using coaching questions. We’ve even included a virtual coaching guide in the program.”
Facilitate networking. “There are two reasons why we specifically call out networking as a desired habit: One, it creates connection for people, and two, it means leaders don’t have to do all the coaching themselves—and they aren’t going to be expected to be the expert all the time. The goal is to help team members create relationships with others they can go to for help.”
Assist with career development. “If a leader is not having career development discussions with their remote employee, somebody else will. The leader should be talking to their direct reports about their career, what areas they want to develop, and what kind of help they need.”
In many ways, good virtual leadership is the same as good face-to-face leadership, says Hester. “It’s about doing all of the important things leaders need to do, but in a different medium and environment. The research shows that anything leaders do in a face-to-face environment, they need to do more of, and better, in a virtual environment.

Source: Blanchard.com, 8 April 2020
By: Randy Conley

Nu avslöjar coronakrisen hur lite vi egentligen arbetar

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on april 6th, 2020 by admin
Foto: Alamy

Distansarbetet under coronakrisen kommer att förändra hur vi arbetar för all framtid framöver, menar forskare.

– När vi inte går till vår arbetsplats måste vi tydliggöra för oss själva vad vi utför. Då kan det visa sig att det inte är så jättemycket, säger sociologen Roland Paulsen vid Lunds universitet, en av de forskare DN har pratat med.

Källa: DN.se, 6 april 2020
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Så leder du i kris – och så kan mål dämpa oro hos medarbetare

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on april 6th, 2020 by admin

Den situation som följt av smittspridningen ställer företagsledare inför stora utmaningar.
DN har talat med tre experter som tipsar om hur man som ledare ska agera i kris och hur medarbetare reagerar i pressade situationer.

Under tsunamikatastrofen år 2004 var Fritidsresors Lottie Knutson flitigt närvarande i tv-rutan. Hon var då företagets informationsdirektör och har hyllats för sin hantering av situationen. I kristider ökar kraven på närvaro och tydlighet, säger hon.

– Det är superviktigt att ledarna håller sig synliga under svåra tider. Särskilt i svåra tider, säger Lottie Knutson.

Den 1 april hade 26.500 personer inom besöksnäringen blivit av med jobbet eller varslats, enligt branschorganisationen Visita. Lottie Knutson beskriver situationen som ”nattsvart”. Ledare som nu tvingas fatta svåra beslut kommer inte att bli omtyckta, oavsett hur budskapet framförs, enligt Lottie Knutson.

– Det är sällan man blir populär när man tvingas säga upp personal. Det här är en katastrof för massor av individer och deras verksamheter. Hur du än gör kommer folk tycka att du gör fel. Det finns inga bra sätt att framföra fruktansvärda budskap.

”Det finns inga bra sätt att framföra fruktansvärda budskap”, säger Lottie Knutson som blev Fritidsresors ansikte utåt under tsunamikatastrofen.
”Det finns inga bra sätt att framföra fruktansvärda budskap”, säger Lottie Knutson som blev Fritidsresors ansikte utåt under tsunamikatastrofen. Foto: Anders G Warne

I turbulenta tider med mycket oro är det särskilt viktigt för ledare att se till att medarbetare arbetar mot tydliga mål, enligt stress- och arbetsmiljöforskaren Dan Hasson.

– Vi är byggda för att fokusera på hot och när vi mår dåligt blir vi ofta självfokuserade. När vi arbetar mot mål börjar vi leta efter lösningar i stället för att fokusera på problem.

Ett mål ska vara högt ställt, positivt formulerat och det ska finnas en strategi för hur det ska uppnås. Det ska också finnas ett engagemang och förändringsvilja hos chef och medarbetare, säger Dan Hasson.

För att se till att det fortfarande finns arbetsglädje kvar trots turbulenta tider är det bra att som chef prata ihop sig med gruppen, säger han. Arbetslivet består av personer från olika generationer och kulturer och det kan finnas olika förväntningar och behov inom en arbetsgrupp på den som är chef.

– Det är en dålig idé att tro sig kunna gissa vad medarbetare och kolleger vill ha och behöver, säger Dan Hasson.

Dan Hasson är stress- och arbetsmiljöforskare. Han har skrivit boken ”Faktastiskt : Rätt strategier för HR och ledare”
Dan Hasson är stress- och arbetsmiljöforskare. Han har skrivit boken ”Faktastiskt : Rätt strategier för HR och ledare”

– Det handlar om att ta reda på vad det finns för behov och förväntningar. Ta fram lösningar tillsammans, fortsätter han.

Pr-konsulten Paul Ronge har lång erfarenhet av att arbeta med krishantering. Han har framför allt ett råd till ledare i kris:

– Tänk mycket mer på medarbetaren än på dig själv. Då är du en stark ledare.

Vid kristider ökar behovet av intern kommunikation, som kan ge trygghet och en känsla av sammanhållning, säger han. Till chefer som ska avskeda personal rekommenderar han att noga tänka igenom hur budskapet ska framföras, gärna med siffror som visar läget för företaget.


Hur skulle jag må om jag skulle åka hem till den jag bor ihop med och berätta att jag inte har jobb om en månad?

– Förklara att det saknas ljusning i sikte och att man är tvungen att göra detta för att företaget ska kunna överleva. Se till att ha en tonalitet som är respektfull mot medarbetare som måste gå.

Han förespråkar rakoch enkel kommunikation.

– Försök inte linda in eller sockra någonting. Och var beredd på att hjälpa till med att skriva goda vitsord, säger han och fortsätter:

– Det viktigaste är inte att visa empati, det är att känna empati. Hur skulle jag må om jag skulle åka hem till den jag bor ihop med och berätta att jag inte har jobb om en månad? fortsätter han.

Paul Ronge har arbetat med medierådgivning och krishantering i över 20 år.
Paul Ronge har arbetat med medierådgivning och krishantering i över 20 år. Foto: Håkan Flank

Medarbetare som reagerar aggressivt ska visas särskild respekt, säger han, eftersom de ofta är i den värsta sitsen.

– Det kan vara människor som måste hem till familjen och säga att de förlorat jobbet på en arbetsmarknad som är mörk överallt i det här läget.

Samtidigt sitter många chefer med huvudet fullt tankar kring hur företaget ska kunna överleva krisen. Då är det särskilt viktigt att hålla isär de två sakerna.

– Fokusera först på de medarbetare som måste gå, lägg sedan allt krut på att fokusera på hur företaget ska överleva, säger Paul Ronge.


Källa: DN.se, 6 april 2020
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EXTRA i coronatider: Dags att jobba hemifrån? Här är 6 tips för dig som vill få saker gjorda!

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on april 2nd, 2020 by admin

Borta bra men hemma bäst! För de flesta av oss så är hemmet vår plats för avslappning och återhämtning. Men i den rådande situationen så blir hemmet även en arbetsplats för många av oss. Vi lever ju i en tid där det är möjligt för oss att sköta de flesta aktiviteter på distans. På Loopia råder det inget undantag, sedan två veckor jobbar hela företaget hemifrån.

Att jobba hemifrån kan visserligen vara bekvämt, men det gäller att fortsätta särskilja på jobb och ledighet. Vi är individer och fungerar självklart på olika sätt, vissa tycker om att vara på kontoret bland kollegor medan andra har lättare att fokusera i avskildhet. Trots dessa olikheter så möts vi av samma utmaningar; När ska jag gå upp, var ska jag sitta och jobba, och hur skapar jag en bra balans mellan arbete och privatliv. Vi har därför samlat våra 6 bästa tips för att bibehålla såväl effektivitet som hemmamys och få arbetet hemifrån att fungera även för dig.

Tips 1: Behåll dina vanliga rutiner

Det är lätt att gå direkt från sängen till jobbet när du jobbar hemifrån. En vanlig arbetsdag kanske du däremot vaknar, tar en dusch, borstar tänderna, klär på dig och äter frukost innan du beger dig till jobbet. Inga konstigheter. Vi mår bra av rutiner – så vårt första tips är att se till att behålla så många rutiner som möjligt även när du jobbar hemma.

Se också till att ha en bra och stabil internetuppkoppling, gott om dagsljus och ett bra arbetsbord att sitta vid – det gör jobbet ännu enklare!

Tips 2:  Skriv en ”Att göra-lista” och planera din dag

Oavsett vad du jobbar med är det alltid bra att skriva en att göra-lista på saker som behöver göras under dagen. När du skriver och betar av din lista kan det vara bra att:

  • Tänka realistiskt när du planerar och inte sätta för höga mål som kan bli svåra att klara av – det får dig bara att må dåligt i slutändan. Dela upp större projekt i mindre delar, ta hänsyn till dagens inplanerade möten, osv.
  • Fördela tiden mellan olika uppgifter om du har flera saker på agendan, så att du enkelt kan fokusera på en uppgift i taget.
  • Prioritera och ta itu med det viktigaste först. Det är inte alltid det som tar längst tid att göra som är det svåraste, men det är lättast att skjuta på.
  • Bocka av de avklarade uppgifterna på slutet av arbetsdagen så får du även tillfredsställelsen i att se hur mycket du faktiskt har klarat av under en arbetsdag.


Tips 3:  Undvik allt som distraherar dig (t ex mobilen)

En av de största utmaningarna med att jobba hemifrån är att undvika distraktioner, speciellt när du inte har någon kollega eller chef som håller koll på vad du gör. I och med att vi använder mobilen till så många olika saker idag är det lätt hänt att dess tillgänglighet distraherar dig.

Det går dock enkelt att undvika genom att sätta upp några enkla regler:

  • Informera familj och vänner om att du inte vill bli störd under arbetstid även om du jobbar hemifrån.
  • Svara inte på SMS eller samtal som inte är jobbrelaterade.
  • Har du svårt att undvika att svara – sätt mobilen på flygplansläge eller stäng av den helt.
  • Undvik att ha Netflix eller liknande på i bakgrunden.


Tips 4:  Schemalägg dina raster

Det här kanske låter som en självklarhet men det är lätt att glömma bort lunchrasten eller de små pauserna när du jobbar hemifrån och istället ta en “skrivbordslunch” utan en riktig paus.

Precis som på arbetsplatsen så är det viktigt med mentala och fysiska pauser från arbetet för att kunna utföra det så bra som möjligt. Så se till att planera in ordentliga raster där du kan koppla av, spendera tid med nära och kära, svara på missade samtal och SMS och få i dig näring för att kunna fortsätta arbetsdagen. Fördelen med att äta lunch hemma är att du kan välja ett hälsosamt alternativ samtidigt som du sparar pengar.


Tips 5:  Ha videomöten med dina kollegor

Att komma i kontakt med kollegor under dessa omständigheter är förmodligen det bästa sättet att få känslan av att vara på jobbet. Vanligtvis spenderar vi ju en stor del av vår tid tillsammans med våra kollegor, inte minst i möten.

Som tur är så finns det mängder av verktyg tillgängliga som hjälper oss att kunna ha ett videosamtal, webinar och workshops online så att vi kan få möjligheten att se och höra kollegors kroppsspråk och tonlägen. Det gör kommunikationen tydligare och skapar ett mer effektivt samarbete med färre missförstånd.

Här är 3 populära verktyg som hjälper dig att connecta med dina kollegor online:

  • Loopia Meet: vår egen kostnadsfria mötestjänst
  • Slack: Ett kommunikationsverktyg där du kan skapa kanaler och grupper för att bolla idéer och projekt med flera kollegor samtidigt
  • Trello: Ett verktyg som hjälper dig och dina kollegor att strukturera ert arbete och enkelt se vem som behöver göra vad och när. Det minskar mängden mail och möten och skapar ett effektivare arbete!

Tips 6:  Avsluta dagen i tid

Det är lika viktigt att starta arbetsdagen i tid som att avsluta den och låta hemmalivet ta vid. Se till att hålla arbetstiderna och avsluta dagen med att stänga ner alla jobbrelaterade saker, summera allt du har hunnit med och belöna dig själv på valfritt sätt för att fira ännu en effektiv arbetsdag!



Källa: Loopia.se, 27 mars 2020