The “new normal” has quickly become one of the many expressions that have entered our vocabulary this year. This expression summarizes a set of daily practices that constitute a drastic change in professional, social, family, and personal habits. In a very short time, we had to adapt to these practices, which mainly consist of small daily routines which are different from those we had before the current pandemic situation.
The current context is a context of Change. Not a slow and almost imperceptible change, but rather a drastic Change and, in some cases, very intense, as it requires distance from people who are very close to us.
Over the last few years, in many organisations, we have been working on the implications of Change and the demands of the VUCA world, in which volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are constant and as such must always be considered in decision-making processes.
As Herzog (1991) refers: the key to successfully face the process of change is people management. For him, the great challenge in organisations is to change people and organisational culture, renewing values to achieve a competitive advantage.
In organisations, when these processes of change are made operational, results are not always visible in the short term, and working habits are not changed in days, weeks or years, nor in short-term actions. In these contexts, patience and persistence are fundamental characteristics to ensure successful actions.
This is a slow process but it is focused on the development of work habits and routines that guide people towards problem solving and customer orientation, encouraging teamwork and relational and cooperation skills.
The visible impact on organizations is always directed towards the development of communication channels between the different functional areas, which are often used to develop their activity in small functional "clusters".
By developing these connections, people tend to expand their technical skills and achieve very significant performance results. As people often tell us in these processes, - the problems are still there and the complex situations are more than many, but now the issues are dealt with simplicity and the problems are solved.
When our focus is on solving problems rather than finding who to blame, results tend to be more effective and the organisational environment is healthier. Toxic work environments create apathetic people who are unwilling to engage in cooperative relationships and solve problems.
This ends up being one of the greatest challenges for organizations in the short term - to develop healthy work environments directed towards solving problems and day-to-day issues - we need to maintain people and their energy to be able to deal with the complexity and current volatility. We need to be promoters of healthy work environments!
Article published in the magazine "O Molde", n. 127, October/2020
About the author
Artur Ferraz é Partner na IBC.