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Milestones That Matter: Leading Through Disruption and Uncertainty

Bill Glenn

Executive Chairman

Apr 4, 2023 | 2 min read

Leading Through Disruption

Diversity, neurodiversity, resilience, culture, and mental health have become key issues for stakeholders which seemingly increase the complexity to lead an organization and accelerate the business

George Floyd’s death and subsequent events are incredibly tragic and disturbing. Taken together with the impact of COVID-19, they have not only shaken the country, but also disrupted business as usual. Here are some thoughts to help you navigate a global pandemic while addressing the serious issues of racism, discrimination and social injustice.

Not surprisingly, my recent discussions with Directors, CEOs, and business leaders have been focused on their aggressive approach to these critical issues, the long-term impact and acknowledging that leadership has never been more critical.

These mirror many of the challenges that I have worked and led through during the tech bubble, 9/11 and the financial crisis, as well as chairing diversity counsels.

These are milestones that matter.

As you continue to absorb the business implications of these world-changing events, here are some self-reflective questions to help you think through and be responsive to your key stakeholders:

  1. What does your leadership shadow say about you? The longest shadows come from the top. If you want to reshape your culture and teach and develop your team you need to model the behavior you want to see.

  2. Are you staffed for the task? It’s important to have the right person in the right assignment at the right time.

  3. How are you thinking about diversity and inclusion? It’s absolutely the right thing to do but avoid thinking about it as an initiative. Initiatives are often times not sustainable. Diversity must be a critical element of your culture, business practices, go to market execution and leadership model that will deliver growth and attract and retain the best talent reflecting the voice, face and trends of your key stakeholders.

  4. Are your teams having difficult conversations with employees to achieve full alignment? Leaders should use purposeful communication to model empathy, transparency, agility and resilience.

  5. Are you pausing with a purpose- going slow to go fast? Ensure leadership alignment against strategy, communication, talent and diversity.

It is also important to think through key OKRs. DEI must be integrated into all core business processes and corporate culture to be successful.

Review goals and accomplished work towards your stated objectives to measure progress. There are a few key criteria for a scorecard to ensure that DEI initiatives are sustainable:

  1. Measures should be easily understood by leadership and adopted into core business practices.

  2. Results should be communicated by all leaders, not only the DEI leaders. A combination of hard (qualitative, hiring, promotion, retention and attrition) and soft (qualitative, behavioral, engagement) measures should be included.

  3. The Scorecard should be integrated into current business performance evaluation processes.

  4. Hire a Chief Diversity Officer to work directly for the CHRO or CEO.

  5. Consider updating hiring guides to make hiring practices more inclusive for neurodiverse applicants.

Executive Talent Development | Executive Leadership Coaching NYC

CEO’s and CHRO’s consult with our firm about the most critical executive leadership issues they are faced with. Crenshaw Associates has been accelerating business performance for over 40 years. We have seen an increased investment in executive coaching and team leadership alignment and facilitation, development, resilience, and diversity. If you would like to engage in a conversation, connect with me on LinkedIn, or learn more about Crenshaw’s programs and services. We help you align your strategy, talent and culture for accelerated performance.

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