As humans we can handle change, but we do not do well with uncertainty. Given the enormous uncertainty everyone is experiencing, it’s no wonder that we’re a bit cranky and looking for answers that give us a path forward. And we’re all at different levels. I like the analogy a friend of mine gives. He says we are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat. How true. He says that it’s important that we recognize that even those closest to us, those we may be or have been quarantined with, may have very different feelings about the situation we all find ourselves in and may have trouble expressing those feelings. If that’s true and I believe it is, think how hard it is for our co-workers and employees to cohesively work and plan for the future together.
As a cloud-based company with people who have worked side by side for years, the RealWired team is fortunate and proud that we have been able to serve our clients without missing a beat. We have software rollouts happening on schedule, our service team has continued to take great care of our clients, and our sales team has respectfully moved opportunities through their pipelines. I credit how they have managed these changes that have come their way and how they’re facing the uncertainty of what lies ahead to the trust they have in each other. I know that trust wouldn’t be possible without the work we were all willing to do over several years to build a deep, trusting culture. I’m so proud of my team and I hope that you can say the same about yours. Culture is proving to give footing to the uncertainty we all face. But now is not the time to take a strong culture for granted. It’s fragile. Now’s the time to diligently recognize that your organization’s culture – defined by what your team thinks, says, does and produces, including your systems, attitudes and feelings is under siege. Give it the attention it needs. If it’s good, nurture it. If it’s not so good, face it and use this time to honestly address issues and work on making it good. Really good.
While I embrace Peter Drucker’s famous saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”, I also believe that because of the intense uncertainly we’re experiencing, we need to place strategy right there next to culture. The need for safety and certainty is primal. It’s our strong need to feel in control and to know what’s coming next, that gives us security. It’s what we need to help us avoid pain and also to experience pleasure. The higher our insecurity, the less risk we’re willing to take, the more fearful we are.
So, here’s what has me feeling good and having some certainty around what we’re experiencing. Over the last couple of months, we’ve embraced the combination of home and work. We’ve been able to see into people’s homes and families and recognize more than ever that those families and close friends are part of a person’s success. We’ve been able to hear their dogs bark and children crawl on parents’ laps. We see real people, not just co-workers. And that “realness” creates bonds and trust. Before we always talked about clear separation between work and home…not any more.
Since its inception, RealWired has always worked hard to put people before all else. So much so that our culture and core value statement is: “Having a Family Culture: Built and focused on relationships; Customers and Employees 1st, Revenue 2nd”. And it’s being tested as we move through these times, but I’m seeing play out. I’m seeing our team trust one another other to do the right things and I’m seeing leadership’s focus on making sure they have the support and systems to help them be successful.
All of us have friends and family that have been negatively affected and are feeling varying levels of uncertainty and focusing on both culture and strategy is vital. And as we join together as a giant community, I for one hope the goal and lasting effect is that work and life are melded together into a truly enjoyable “work life”. Please join me in taking what we’ve learned and will continue to learn to move in that direction. I guarantee it’s not only rewarding, it’s the right strategy!