Are Managers being supported during CV19 pandemic?

We see an inordinate amount of information across the whole gambit of media, supporting and encouraging the support of employees and small businesses and their owners, I have even promoted some techniques that I believe will help, now and in the future across different mediums.

But I see little out there to support those who also toil and work hard supporting the employees and indeed small businesses. These are the Managers, those who feel responsible for ensuring the employees are protected from the fallout as much as they can be during these turbulent times. It is these people who also try to keep the wheels turning for other businesses for they know one affects the other – both ways.

Like other major catastrophes and times of hardship, very few are not adversely affected. And so it is with managers, they also feel the financial pain but they also feel the pain of responsibility (yes there are some who think of themselves first, but this is not unique to managers). The managers who are leaders, think of the whole problem and feel pressured to conceive of positive outcomes for all, short- and long term.

Rebecca Knight in the HBR, wrote a good article titled “How to Handle the Pressure of Being a Manager Right Now”

Her article is broken into the following headings:

  • Choose self-compassion,
  • Reflect on your purpose,
  • Reframe the situation,
  • Force yourself to think positively,
  • Seek a sense of achievement,
  • Embrace your humanity,
  • Look outside for help,
  • Practice self-care.

The Brendan Reid website proposes ideas to help reduce pressure and relief stress. Although more generic and written a few years ago, they are concepts that are still relevant:

  • Score yourself on a longer-term horizon
  • Treat your team like partners
  • Involve your boss early
  • Create a “No Surprises” culture

And yet you, as a manager are still human. Take heed and care for yourself – as it goes “you need to stay well to be able to help others”. The UniMelb has some great points to be aware of:

  • Learn how to protect yourself, and others from COVID-19
  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Maintain your day-to-day activities and a routine as much as possible
  • Stay connected
  • Remember that physical distancing does not need to mean social disconnection
  • Contribute
  • Keep things in perspective
  • Seek accurate information
  • Set limits around news and social media
  • Stay up to date with advice and support

Be becoming a little more knowledgeable on each of these, you can then not only look after yourself, but also your staff and ultimately the livelihood of all.

So, I wish you all the best in health and wisdom. You have been given an opportunity to show up as a leader of people, no matter what your calling or station in life. What will you do with it?

 

Full articles of each can be found at:
Rebecca Knight https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-handle-the-pressure-of-being-a-manager-right-now
Brendan Reidhttps://www.brendanreid.com/blog-1/4-ways-managers-can-reduce-pressure
UniMelbhttps://services.unimelb.edu.au/counsel/resources/wellbeing/coronavirus-covid-19-managing-stress-and-anxiety

A new supply chain paradigm

Every generation has had its own global catastrophe, whether caused by ourselves or nature. And as every catastrophe challenges societies and cultures at the time, they also challenge the status quo. Yes, things do and will change.

COVID-19 has laid bare weak links in supply chain around the world. And now all involved in the supply chain are beginning (if they haven’t already) to review, reassess and consider other options.

But, did we really get it all that wrong based on the data and information we had at the time (prior to covid-19)? Definitely, many a BCP written within the last 10 years highlighted a number of weaknesses including those we see now, what we did not count on was the fallout of these – the subsequent events that have made the risks to the supply chain multiply as time goes on. China states it is getting its processes back on line, but the bull-whip effect from the panic buying, hoarding and (likely) government actions to limit continued or even secondary covid-19 events, will take its toll for a while to come.

Markets will change as the psyche of the customer changes, and the supply chain will morph into something completely different to today’s. We will probably see a rapid return to “make/buy local’ and although it will not be a complete shift, it will definitely be the critical components (for manufacturers). This change will become a feedback loop, those in the BRICS group will change their inter-relationships as China’s market/manufacturing changes.

As with any major disruptor – not a new invention or new software – but real disruptor a global one, there will be a repositioning of power, as governments rewrite legislation to control the flow of goods (they are already looking at this), countries lose their attraction as costs to obtain goods increase, manufacturing moves back on-shore as companies lessen their reliance on cheap but long supply chains.

Other considerations for the supply chain will be the environmental risks that are now regularly appearing, such as rampant fires, devastating floods and earthquakes – irrespective of where/why/who, the environment will be a consideration. As will the geopolitical world we have woven for ourselves. Future forecasting and supply chain planning will not be limited to cost mitigation, improved utilisation of resources, reduction in inventories and velocity to market. There will be a multitude of risks that will need to be:

  1. Identified
  2. Classified
  3. Quantified and then
  4. Mitigated as best as possible

As I see it, there will be an increase in local suppliers (although not for everything), there will be an increase in the need for information all along the supply chain prompting an increase in IOT and probably, block-chain, along with advanced forecasting software, including AI and predictive modelling. There will also be a need for more collaboration between partners to enhance efficiency plus much more.

Globalisation, will still be around but not in the way we have become accustomed to. And, although we will return to BAU, it will be a new and for a while a very challenging BAU. This is about Change with a capital “C”, it will be an exciting time, for tomorrow will be driven by those who can think laterally, out-side-the-box, have a variety of experiences, a range of skills and not be attached to the “old ways” – at least for the near future.