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How we can help you survive and thrive during radical uncertainty

by Nik Gowing & Chris Langdon

Filed under Coronavirus / Climate Emergency

The human capacity of leaders to adapt, survive and thrive in radical uncertainty is the focus of Thinking the Unthinkable. We help leaders to confront volatility, then embrace positively the opportunities it can bring. The Covid-19 pandemic and the acute urgency of the climate emergency have both intensified these challenges.

We are all experiencing and confronting the unthinkable. The new realities can be likened to a time of war because of the impact on all we take for granted.

To survive, businesses and their leaders are having to handle often brutal new realities at high speed. The threats are existential on multiple fronts.

The unthinkables are stark for us all, both for human survival and business survival. Just keeping going is a huge challenge.

Despite the human horror of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic implosion, there is one huge success. It is the systemic changes that have been forced upon us - ten years change in just 10 months.

The changes are remarkable. They are inspirations for leaders. They must learn from the successes to tackle an even greater challenge of the climate emergency. They must reconfigure all they do to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions.

We are all in uncharted territory. Conformist, cautious thinking will only kill your organisation. Leaders have no option but to learn and adapt rapidly. They must not assume there will be a natural return to the “old normal”. The lessons will continue to be brutal because current business models are out-of-date.

But there are good grounds for inspiration. We track and share the stories of great leadership. We can help you to adapt and innovate how you lead.

We can guide you how to have difficult conversations on transforming your organisation; how to move away from command and control; and how to draw on the often untapped insights of your staff. We can help you frame frank conversations with colleagues at all levels who are anxious about both their future and your organisation’s.

You need to act fast. We can help and support you. We can offer guidance with communications. We can help you transform your leadership and your organisation to make it fit for the new era of radical uncertainty.

We have seven years’ experience of gathering insights from leaders across the globe. We also bring to our advisory work several decades of understanding and reporting on new trends. To complement our knowledge we also draw on our network of experts in business transformation, data analytics, neuroscience, crisis management and communications.

What We Offer:

Stage One

  • A critical understanding of the impact on your organisation and leadership from the parallel existential challenges of coronavirus and the climate emergency, both immediately and over the next two to three years.
  • Encouragement to engage in the necessary difficult discussions at all levels. As trusted outsiders we can help facilitate those conversations both online and in person.
  • Co-designing highly interactive, tailored, in-person sessions to help you communicate - and listen - to your staff who face the unprecedented challenges of rapid change and concern about their own future.
  • Capability to design and deliver online events – conferences, webinars, ‘all hands’ staff meetings, or key client-facing events using much admired virtual techniques that can help replicate face-to-face interaction. See our recent testimonials.
  • Independent and confidential data analysis of public information and guidance available with cutting edge tools. This is framed by our unique database of research on leadership and a newly developed neurotech tool to assess skills.
  • Advice on using digital communications, including webcasts and podcasts, to get key messages to your staff, suppliers and customers effectively.

Stage Two

  • Advice on developing new working practices that ensure robust, inclusive debate to optimise decision making and information flows.
  • Discreet support on developing management and leadership skills to maximise effectiveness from remote working.
  • Expertise on how to use online tools effectively and productively internally to maintain morale and engagement. This is when significant numbers of staff are facing loneliness, or coping with problems in their families and communities.
  • Accelerate capabilities in your firm to combat isolation from working from home and build new communities and common interest groups. The aim is to maintain robust commitment, engagement, mental health and community connection.

Stage Three

  • Building new resilience into the business so it is better able to cope with inevitable future external shocks. This must include recurring coronavirus epidemics and the fast growing impact of the climate emergency.
  • Horizon scanning, plus scenario and action-planning for sustaining and transforming your organisation. We anticipate fundamental changes in society and a ‘new normal’ for business models.
  • Bring forward and accelerate work on critical projects for transformation and innovation during periods of disruption.
  • The climate emergency continues to intensify in parallel to coronavirus. It is now an even greater existential threat for business.
  • We will encourage you to accelerate and embed new responses. This must include reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint plus signposting a positive impact for investors, customers and employees in ways that allay anxieties of the community at large.

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