Businesses must upskill leaders in post-pandemic world

Businesses must upskill leaders to thrive and survive in a post-pandemic world. Academics at LSE set out six areas of focus for businesses in a recent blog.

The pandemic showed many businesses showed poor risk management practices because risk analyses remain siloed. Emma Sloane, LSE’s online course convenor for Leadership and Change, said that businesses must more skilled at creating workforces.

Watch for burnout

“Having values that different voices matter is key and the leader needs to be truly open to hearing other people’s ideas and creating an environment where they can speak up,” she said.

In fact, creating diverse workforce is a skill that goes hand in hand with collaborative working. Risk leaders must encourage problem-solving and an ability to help people look at risks from different perspectives.

But a key risk that prevents people engaging in such programmes is burnout. “People have been, or are, exhausted, fearful, over-worked or under-employed,” she said “Therefore, reducing the likelihood of burnout depends on changes within organisations rather than just offering people support when they are in burnout.”

Managers must develop skills and systems to help people overcome burnout.

Hybrid-team leaders

In addition, the pandemic showed that in many teams people became good at working from home. But managing such hybrid teams is a skill in itself.

“Research shows that we may need another type of leader post- pandemic to lead hybrid and diverse teams, said Dr Aurelie Cnop-Nielsen, LSE Fellow in the Department of Management.

Previously, managers with good face-to-face communication skills thrived. But the pandemic has altered team dynamics. Businesses must upskill leaders in understanding digital technologies and place more emphasis on people who are resilient when times are tough. As a result, charismatic leadership qualities could be less important in future.

Decision making

Businesses need to be able to make good decisions in the more uncertain environment after COVID 19. Dr Barbara Fasolo, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at LSE, said all leaders need to improve their ability to decide on issues effectively.

But making better decisions can be achieved relatively easily. Fasolo said that writing decisions down so that people can analyse their own judgements and assumptions is often very effective. In addition, finding a so-called “decision buddy” to bounce ideas often helps.

Read here.

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