A tool to help Boards and Executives navigate COVID-19
COVID-19 (C19) took most of us by complete surprise. Although the full impact of the pandemic on our organisations, economies and communities will not be known for some time, we can be certain that now, more than ever, keeping people safe, continuing to serve customers and clients well and securing financial survival will require strong and effective governance and leadership.
In our work with boards over the years, we have developed five key leadership practices to help customers, clients and individual board directors be more effective. This tool taps into different but interdependent aspects of the board’s role (see box 1 for further exploration). They can also be equally used at executive level and other levels within an organisation. These leadership practices, expressed as questions below, are as follows:
1. Does it matter?
Are we focusing our attention in the right areas? Are we channelling our energy and resources in the right direction? Do our meeting agendas reflect our purpose, vision, values and the environment within which we operate?
2. Will it work?
Is what we are doing in this specific area working? Will the proposal we are considering achieve its intended purpose and deliver the outcomes we want? Are our meetings efficient and effective?
3. How do we know?
Are we clear about the evidence that is driving our decision-making? Is our information as complete, reliable and valid as it can be? Do we understand uncertainties in the information that we are basing our decision-making on? Does our conduct enable people to be open and honest with us?
4. Are we being accountable?
Can we explain and justify our decisions and actions to our stakeholders? Is our indecision or inaction justified? Are we acting in line with our purpose and values, and being fair to all stakeholders?
5. Are we adding value?
Do we make a genuine difference to our stakeholders? Do my own contributions have a positive impact on my colleagues?
These five questions can be applied in any context, from crisis, to start-up, to growth and ultimately transformation. In this article we apply them to the current C19 crisis.