Find out how your Business can Prevail in 2020 – An Interview with Dominic Ashley-Timms
Dominic Ashley-Timms, MD of Notion, in an interview with Claire Evans, shared his insights about how you can help your business prevail in 2020, a year which has already been plagued by political uncertainty caused by Brexit and a global pandemic no-one planned for.
What are the main challenges for businesses in 2020?
"2020 is shaping up to be a very challenging year for businesses in the UK. Just as businesses were recovering from the uncertainty caused by Brexit, we’ve been hit by COVID-19 which is having serious consequences for businesses around the world.
Businesses of all sizes are affected. Every day we’re hearing new stories about the disastrous consequences for small and medium-sized businesses who are experiencing supply chain shortfalls, booking cancellations, declining sales, temporary closures and reduced workforces. Unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before we start seeing an improvement."
What can businesses do to combat these challenges?
"Most businesses, understandably, are in crisis management mode, fire-fighting their way through this highly unpredictable time.
Some commentators are saying that the pandemic will continue into Spring 2021 and so we can expect to be dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19 long after that.
However, not many people in business will have ever managed a crisis of this size and scale so the skills and experience that they have always relied upon may let them down.
Whilst it may feel counterintuitive to focus on building new skills during a crisis, this might be exactly what businesses need to combat the challenges posed by COVID-19; waiting until it’s all over will simply be too late for a lot of businesses."
What skills do people need?
"Managers need to be able to manage through change and have the confidence to deliver top performance during the crisis period.
They need to be able to raise the morale and wellbeing of their workforce when employees feel afraid and uncertain.
They need to be able to generate innovative solutions that will enable them to continue to deliver with a reduced workforce and to solve new problems they haven’t experienced before.
They need to be able to communicate and interact with the workforce in a way that keeps them engaged in the solution rather than the problem.
They need to learn how to manage remote workers without disengaging them.
All of this requires a brand new way of managing."
How can managers build these skills?
"A major component in all of these skills is the ability to ask better questions:
-Questions that help people to think more creatively or reveal hidden opportunities.
-Questions that encourage others to be more solutions-oriented and empower them to take action for themselves.
-Questions that help you see the bigger picture but also help you understand what is happening on the front-line - what really matters to your people, your customers and your suppliers.
This ‘Enquiry-Led Approach’ (ELA®) to leadership is something we have been advocating for many years and it’s central to many of our development programmes.
We’ve helped hundreds of clients to build up their resilience, increase their innovation, raise their engagement levels and improve their performance, productivity and profits with these essential ‘future-proof’ skills."
In light of the current social distancing measures, how can businesses achieve this?
"There is no doubt about it, social distancing measures will impact training delivery. Venues are still closed and non-essential travel is restricted and group gatherings have been banned.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. Our award-winning STAR® Manager programme is a 100% virtual, fully-blended management development programme that can be completed anytime, any place, via any device.
STAR® Manager can be accessed by anyone, at any time, regardless of any social distancing measures that come into play.
Because of its wide blend of activities, including live online sessions with world-experts and its robust technological platform, STAR® Manager has been described as ‘better than a live programme’.
It is also the best way to help your managers develop these brand new ELA® skills which will make a difference to whether or not they will prevail during these most difficult circumstances.
STAR® Manager is proven to support managers’ capability to drive commercial results which will not just help us get through these difficult months ahead, keeping their team engaged, it will also set up the critical skills needed for the future when we are out the other side."
SME’s also qualify for a 45% government subsidy until end June 2020