Episode transcript The transcript is generated automatically by Podscribe, Sonix, Otter and other electronic transcription services.
Ricardo (4s): Hello, everyone. Welcome to the five minutes podcast today. I like to talk about back to work. So how we can turn the time quarantine and the lockdown back to, I would say, I don't like to use the word new normal, but to this post COVID 19 environment. And, and I decided to do that in three basic buckets. So if you want to help your organizations to plan and be successful on going back to work, you need to act on three different fronts. First one is it Leadership fromt. Second one is the operational and tactical front. And the third one is on the business front.
Ricardo (45s): The first one leadership, and this is much more for the senior executives off your organization, the management team of your organization. The first thing that you need to know is that you must demonstrate empathy with your coworkers. And let me tell you, during this 40 days, 45 days, it was a very undefined, uncertain stressful, depressive time for most of the people, most of the people that have to carry out some of the work they weren concerned about their salary. Their concern is about Having food, you know, they, where some of them packed in very tiny areas, you know, having to manage kids, family.
Ricardo (1m 28s): Look, let me tell you, this brings a lot of suffering and fear for many people. So will you must show empathy to that. You can not say, Oh, now let's go back to work. Oh, normal. Because people will have this scar of these challtheseenges for quite a long time. So the first thing I need to tell you is that you cannot tell people say, now, just forget this 45 days. And let's go back to work as normal because there is no normal anymore. It's a different environment today. You know, I love an analogy that when I was doing my master, my professor told me it's like someone looking to a river, the water that pass through the river is always a different water.
Ricardo (2m 13s): And you are always a different person. No matter every time you look to something, you look with a new, different eyes. I am surprised at it. And all of you are surprises with what happend. You know, for most of us, it was just a shocking reality. Okay? No matter how wealthy you are, no matter your power to decide is a challenge. And I wanted to give you an example, and I want you to explore there it's Jacinda Ardern the prime minister of New Zealand, you know, I have a strong admiration for her for a long time, but what she did in this COVID-19 crisis was absolutely incredible. And I'm not talking about decisions, closing borders, OK, This is what you expect.
Ricardo (2m 58s): This kind of action oriented. There's what you expect from your leader. And then that's it. But when she did her first live on the first day that New Zealand decided to do a lockdown wearing sweatpants after putting her daughter to sleep. And this is on the web and she sat on her webcam and start talking to the population of New Zealand instead of saying, this is a national broadcast or something like that. Let me tell you what was the impact is people start saying, look, she is like us. She does not live in a palace full of people doing know that she's feeling the lockdown.
Ricardo (3m 39s): Like we are feeling and this empathy created, a massive bonding between the prime minister and the population. So this is just unbelievable. So it is exactly. So please be, if I can give you an advice for some of the leaders, it's not the time for you now to wear a suit a formal suit and make a very fancy because people want to see real people. People don't want to see you reading a teleprompter, you know, and saying something they want is inspiring leadership. You know, because these is how it is they connect to themselves. Another thing I wanted to talk on the leadership front is that you should convert pessimism and fear into a caution optimism.
Ricardo (4m 22s): And let me explain is everybody., Is verry Easy for you to go back to work and start talking that everything is bad. Of course, everything is bad. If your company did not suffer, you are probably 0.001% of the companies, or even less than that, everybody's suffering. So you don't need to reinforce that you suffer it. Everybody knows that. So you need to say, look, at least now we are going back. We are strong. We are competent. We are brave to overcome that. So you need to create this stimulus. Another thing that it is very important. It's on the operational front, the Tactical front. So of course, I set about the soft pocket. Now in a fair, practical way, you need to create a plan to go back.
Ricardo (5m 5s): So your project is resuming. You need to create a plan for that. And you need to focus on what are the critical people that need to be at the office. So its not because now you can go back that you should bring all your 20,000 employees back to work because then, you can create a very messy environment that people can be contaminated again. And this is a tragedy for your image and for the health of your employees. So you need that to understand which are the critical people need to be at the Office. So you create waves. You say, look this in the next two weeks, we'll go back with this area. Then after two weeks, this area, then after one week, this area, you know, and if people can continue working from home, they can and they should because this will protect them.
Ricardo (5m 52s): And will alleviate the stress of your working environment in your facility's because maybe you have elevator's maybe you have, for example, the cubs' that are you know, the design of your Office, you know, is very packed So you will have a challenge. So you need to focus on that. And also you need to create a hotline and a monitoring environment to monitor the symptoms of every single employee. So you need to monitor them because if someone gets sick or with any symptom, this person must go home immediately. Because if someone goes to your work, to your work, or workplace and get contaminated, this is a tragedy for your company in this will create a whole instability and it will increase the fear.
Ricardo (6m 40s): Let me explain to people are full of fear today so let me give you an example. I'm a live in Portugal and Today is the first date that we can go out OK. That we can go out to the emergency state is over it. Honestly, I need to tell you, I am intelligent. I am well-informed, you know, I'm well educated and I am afraid of going out, look, the psychological process. You know, I don't want to touch anything in this why, because I'm in lock down for 45 days, thinking that, you know, I should protect myself. So people will feel like that. So you need to monitor this in a very cautious way. So you need to create at the medical support for people, you need to reframe the process.
Ricardo (7m 21s): You need to reduce the amount of people on each floor, off your office. You need to understand how you plan to manage elevators movements, movement of people, cafeteria, places that people get together, bathrooms. So it is a complex. So you need to put thoughts on that. And if you that are listening to this podcast are a project manager or as a leader in a product development or a ScrumMaster, its your role tried to orchestrate and to help your organization to avoid chaos on that. The third it is on the business front and that as critical as anyone, because let me tell you, every single company felt dramatically the impact of the crisis. So you need to identify low hanging fruits.
Ricardo (8m 5s): So the first thing you need to do is what she can do that I can strengthen my cash position fast. And how do you do that? You need to identify, let's suppose that you work on the clothing sector. So maybe you're not selling t-shirts but you can't sell masks. And of course I'm being very naive just to inspire you, but you can do the, I am not saying that you are changing your whole business to produce masks, but you are just taking an opportunity to supply the market with something the market needs. If your a chemical industry, can you produce alcohol gel or you know something that there is in high demand now, so you win on both sides.
Ricardo (8m 46s): If you are a service or can you move on line? Can you do things online? How are you can do that? The second thing is cash preservation. So you need to act on things that preserve your cash position. Liquidity Today is everything because we don't know if this recession we'll be a U shaped or a V shape or L-shaped everybody's talking about it, but there is an indication that it will potentially be a V-shape means a quick downturn and a quick upturn. So what I truly believe is that you may see a recovering faster than you think.
Ricardo (9m 26s): So if you are able to preserve this cash during this critical time, you will be more willing and keen to survive. So you need to find and identify pockets of opportunities to save money and increase revenue. So you need of course, in an ethical and protective way, but you must do that. You need to find ways. Can I save and look, I'm not saying that you should cut everything because let me tell you some of the cuts you may regret two months from now, you know, so you stop that project to stop this because you are in a critical moment. Then in two months I said, why did that? So you need to be mindful on the way you cut things, on the way you saved money, because otherwise you kill everything.
Ricardo (10m 10s): You kill your own business and last, but not least improve the speed of your decisions. At this time, with this volatility, when I say about the VUCA environment and now volatility is everything maybe when you listen to this podcast, you will be in a very different scenario from now. So it's very important that you make quick, fast decisions and be willing to change this decisions. If the scenario changes, if the scenario changes and I say, look, I cannot bring my team to work in our facilities. Now just go back and say, let's stay at home for one more week.
Ricardo (10m 51s): So be adaptable and flexible and make fast decisions. So this three pockets Leadership, Tactical Operational and Business front are the key. And if you, as a project manager, scrum master project leader, whatever you want to call you, this is the time that you can help your organization to go back in an orderly way. And this orderly way will pay by itself. Trust me, chaos will never bring good results for any of us in this time. So I hope you enjoy this podcast and to you next week with another five minutes PM podcast.