The ever-interesting #LDInsight Twitter chat on Friday last week piqued my interest:
My response was a series of tweets which I’ve copied, re-formatted and edited here:
Starting to support managers now is probably too late but LnD are able to help in a few areas. To follow the shopkeeper to engineer approach, it means asking and challenging a few areas.
Firstly, I’d want to know from the business their short-term and long term plans. This will fundamentally impact the guidance LnD might help with. As important, what the model of virtual/remote is being proposed? They are different and need to be approached differently. Virtual is different to remote and may be concurrent, but each will need different support.
The 4 factors of digital literacy will come into play:
- Can/can’t – do people have the skills to work in this way?
- Have/haven’t – do people have the technology and resources to work differently
- Will/won’t – do people want to engage in this way of working? Managers will likely need to address this.
- Should/shouldn’t – is the activity appropriate to be done virtually/remotely? Help managers understand which activity can be done like this and that which can’t – some jobs will still need face to face contact and how that might be facilitated.
Managers may need help in understanding new relationships which come from this new way of working and how existing relationships will change. Some people will get energy from working remotely, others will be drained and managers will need to know how to address this with individuals and groups.
Technical and systems support might be needed. If people are adopting new technologies they may need instruction and opportunity to practice before ‘going live’. Similarly, if process is changed, how will that affect day to day activity and over what duration? People who are ‘experts’ at work may feel disenfranchised and there’s a whole communication narrative, timetable and approach which needs to be agreed.
What new skills will people be expected to adopt? Similarly, are managers effective role models? Knowing the strengths of individuals across the team is essential and managers will need help in connecting the team in a virtual way to both help and support people who are performing and those who need more input.
I’d also be asking managers about the way they support and drive performance, their team ‘cadence’ and pace of work, the formal and social hierarchies within the team. There is a lot to unpick about the rhythm of the team and how people will be impacted by not seeing their colleagues and, in some cases, friends.
Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation underlines all this and I’d also be asking managers how they feel, as a person, about their confidence in managing this unique event. What is their support network of peers, colleagues, mentors, coaches and managers? What could LnD do to support that?
Lastly I’d be asking LnD how they feel; some LnD people who operate in highly traditional face to face activity may see this as a pivot point for future activity and that needs to be recognised and supported.
What might you add? Let me know in the comments.