A Humbling Realization and a Learning

The success of the massive COVID-induced worldwide work from home experiment last spring was remarkable yet humbling. It was remarkable in that it worked and it worked with unprecedented speed and efficacy. Most of us had at best a few weeks, maybe even days, to prepare for the shift of working from the office to working from home. All in all, it was a phenomenal success. So much so, it now appears few want to return to the office.

It was humbling because it did not require years of consultants and years of planning to make it happen. The world did not have to hire consultants to stand up cross-functional teams and PMOs. Remarkably, companies had it within them to solve their own problems.

How did this happen? How did it happen without consultants holding a company’s hand? I think it was possible because of a unique unity of purpose. The pandemic came on us so fast no time to debate or plan for it, much less spend months discussing and planning how to do it. From top to bottom, perhaps, more importantly, bottom to top, everyone was united to solve the problem. This unity was unprecedented and allowed for teams to come together to find solutions quickly.

So what did I learn? The most important element in any initiative is a unity of purpose. That is not always possible but when it occurs the seemingly impossible can happen. I will take the time to make sure my teams better understand the issue and need for change. This will be time well spent.

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Kirk Hancock