Observe within as much as (with)out

Observe your team and look for signals from the outside.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the need to diagnose challenges in order to lead. Last week I wrote about the behaviours you are seeing from customers. This week I want you to think about the behaviours you are seeing in your team. There are clues there about the “system”. The economy, how the government might act, how the populace might act as our world rapidly changes.

What behaviours do you see? Do you see fear, hubris or something in between? Which of your teams are protecting their patch and who is leaning in? What decisions do they need to make? How are they making them?

The last question is key. A friend of mine shared with me what her colleague, the Chief Health Officer of Victoria (a state in my home country of Australia) recently said:

“Communication is our best strategy against COVID”.

What Prof. Brett Sutton is saying is, we need to get into the heads of the populace to influence their decision making. And to judge the effectiveness of the Government’s communication and what to do next, requires them to observe the behaviour of people. People in general.

The same applies to you. Observe your team as much as your customers to look for signals as to how your customers and suppliers will be behaving.

Once you have done that, ask yourself “How can I help them see the decisions that need to be made and to make them?”

Here are my most poignant thoughts on decision making. They apply now during COVID as much as any other time.

Stay safe and adapt – quickly.