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  • TBM Partners

New ways of managing crisis in “the new normal”.

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Building organizational resilience and continuous change capability with people centric approach.

What profiles of organizations were prepared to face the unknown? What were the criteria that allowed these organizations and its personnel to manage the required transition? How did they build the required resilience to live through such crisis, mitigate their risk and seek opportunities to envisage a future in a still volatile future?

The pandemic has revealed a lot of gaps in crisis management and organizational readiness for change. It has also exposed lack of leadership capabilities and disrupted culture in many organizations. Some organizations (typically in the industries where emergency response is necessity) were better prepared than others. But even those have difficulty to recover.

Our approach is based on the research of the multiple case studies from aviation and other industries as well as interviews with leaders across the world.

At the Innovation Arabia Conference last month TBM Partners Advisors Svetlana Vityugova and Michele Longpre introduced a crisis management model, which itself represents just one pillar of our holistic Organizational Resilience Program.

In summary, we recommend leaders:

  • to shift mindset from “reactive” to “proactive”. Develop agile and rapid response systems and have them ready in order to face any crisis

  • to invest in people systems and particularly in building capabilities and strategies focused on the long -term approach to managing change in the organizations

  • adapt to continuous change which will become our “new normal” in an agile and human centric way. The new way of managing crisis is to develop resilience at all levels and build culture of adaptability.

In order to quickly provide support, TBM Partners has developed a practical transferable model to build resilience at work and in your team. Implementing an agile and collaborative mindset aiming at a cognitive oneness in the organization while allowing room for autonomy for the individuals.

If you need to hit the ground running and get the change program kicked off immediately, ensure high level of engagement and reduce resistance, TBM Partners will run Change Management Workshops for leaders and middle management in your organization. Our practitioners will also work side by side with your project teams to facilitate critical Change Program activities.

Last month TBM Partners hosted a webinar and panel discussion where top executives and experts shared their perspectives on the leadership, talent management and change readiness elements of the Resilience. We presented some practical examples and some key criteria to build-in this capability within the organization while providing a psychological safety for the employees and their families.

TBM Partners People Advisor, Michele Longpre and Managing Director, Svetlana Vityugova described Organizational Resilience as the ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.

“Organizational resilience is at the core of the strategy for an organization to survive and succeed in today’s dynamic world and can be achieved throughout time, set up for the long-term. It takes time to build change capabilities, adapt ways of working and behaviors, that’s why the organizations have to proactively imbed resilience approach at all levels of the strategy execution. This leads us to the next component of organizational resilience focused on a continuous cultural learning process. An organization will not be ready to properly reply to a major incident if the organization did not learn how to deal with the minor incidents happening daily.”

Damian Ellacott, Airport & Airline Operations Transformation Leader,

shared his perspective on the Resilience in a context of fast changing and unpredictable environment or in a high- pressure situation or crisis.

“Resilient professionals and teams share some common traits - the ability to learn quickly, be able to pivot their strategies at speed and make deliberate and logical decisions with imperfect information. 'No plan survives first contact with the enemy,' is a quote by a Prussian Army Chief of Staff over 150 years ago. The point being made is as relevant to any business, sporting or even personal context as it is to the original military context. It is that even the best-made plans can rarely be executed as expected due to the multitude of external and often uncontrollable and unpredictable forces that individuals, teams, leaders and businesses face. The key to success is to understand this from the outset and be prepared mentally to change the plan while already engaged in your activity. Being as adaptable as possible is a key enabler for resilience. We can never predict how to counter all the possible events that can diverge us as individuals, our teams and our companies from our plans. But regular practice of contingency measures, stress-testing of business models and red-teaming of strategies are all activities that exercise the problem-solving engine that organizations need to be able to demonstrate real resilience, especially when under pressure or in a crisis.”

Organizational Culture, Leadership and Psychological Safety

In a post pandemic environment, it is necessary for organizations to imbed a continuous and agile change capability and build a transformational culture where leaders are able to provide a psychological safety for the employees and their families. Culture is a critical element in the recovery from crisis. Ensure that cultural conditions are in place to support the change are more difficult than to identify the tangible and practical things that are needed. This also means developing transformational leadership capabilities and equipping people with the motivations and attitudes to engage with the change and make it work. If this is neglected- people will resist the change, fail to adopt new ways of working and change will be unsuccessful. Strong leadership is required more than ever. People are looking up at those at the top, their integrity, values, motivations, decision making, the way they communicate and engage and based on that extend their loyalty.

According to Davis Cook, the CEO of RIIS, “loyalty of people is an essential condition for organizations to come out of this crisis with less damage. Employee engagement is one of the key capabilities organizations need to develop in order to thrive in a continuous change and uncertainty.”

When you are ready to measure and identify your current cultural gaps that will enable your organization to be more successful in delivering your strategy, TBM Partners can support your leadership team with the Culture Diagnostic followed by implementation action plan and custom designed development programs.

Cognitive Oneness and Decentralized Governance

Developing a collaborative and agile mindset is paramount to succeed in your endeavors to build resilience. As shown in our model, the organization infrastructure needs to provide the space for the functional leaders to act rapidly through a decentralized governance while ensuring a constant collaborative approach to achieve the cognitive oneness necessary to lead the organization effectively through the change or the crisis. This agile mindset set through a double looping learning of the impact of the actions and decisions to adapt on the whirlwind of information and emerging changes to the ecosystem while maintaining the cap.

If you know that you need to implement Crisis Management Response System, but need assistance to determine where to focus,TBM Partners have a solution. Crisis Management Workshop and guided implementation with some check-ins along the way will help keep you on-track.

Developing Individual Resilience and Inclusive Culture

The current health crisis offers us the opportunity to strengthen our individual and collective resilience, and develop our adaptive skill required in difficult times using an approach of double-looping learning embedded into the process. We have observed that more and more organizations as well as governments recognize that the constant change makes it necessary to incorporate and sustain resilience strategies to support individuals and teams. For example, some practical strategies are shared by the government of Canada here.

Maryam Al Sereidi, Director Digital Governance at Al Hilal Bank, recognized that individual resilience has a significant impact on the organizational change capability. Organizational agility starts with change acceptance, followed by improving team dynamics for speed delivery. She pointed that self-reflection, self-motivation and self-awareness contributes very well toward being resilient and staying positive.

“There are stages that we as an individual go through and can progress to build this skill. Being aware of your capacity and analyzing your behavior and responses to various situations and challenges is fundamental. It is a strength that can be enhanced and practiced on your day-to-day life. I urge everyone to learn and explore the components of resilience and go for an assessment to have a comprehensive evaluation on where they stand currently.”

At TBM Partners we support individuals in building their resilience capabilities with resilience diagnostic and executive coaching. We encourage you to take this opportunity and understand your resilience profile to continue focusing on your future growth, explore your strengths as well as development areas.

Have you ever observed differences between organizations and individuals on how they are dealing with the unknown? With the volatility of the situation?

Ashlesha Ganatra, Global Talent Management Lead at Petrofac, empathized the importance of leadership development in transforming behaviors and building an inclusive culture of resilience.

“At the very heart of the leaders with resilient approach is their ability to demonstrate compassion and empathy while being focused on long term actions in response to crisis or change. We see that resilient leaders often have higher or bigger container to absorb and hold uncertainties, not being caught up within the situation. One of the important characteristics of a resilient leaders is their ability to reframe the mindset to more optimistic and effective and their ability to find opportunities in difficult constraints. Often, we also find that resilient leaders have different narrative to any crisis situation, they focused on long term horizon, they adapt to emerging situations and able to paint a compelling picture of the future that inspires others to pursue.”

It is especially relevant for post–Covid environment, resilience can help employees contribute to their organization through their proactive behaviors, proficiency, adaptability, and innovative capabilities.

At TBM Partners, we are ready to offer various levels of support to best suit your needs.

We offer individual, group and organizational diagnostic and development programs with the focus on building a culture of resilience, coaching and team alignment to enable change readiness.

Our comprehensive Organizational Resilience Program provides a top edge approach to build an agile rapid response system not only to the crisis situations but a more holistic system to adapt to the continuous change and disruption

To learn more how we could help you or your organization develop resilience, talk to us by booking a 30 mins discovery call.


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