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Managing at a distance

Club 3C

At the beginning of the confinement, to fight against the spread of Coronavirus, we created the “CLUB 3C the Club of Confined but Confident Consultants” with 2 fellows and also friends, Benoit DE SAULCE (Team Decide) & Didier CORBOLIOU (D2A Consulting) : a think tank to pass what imposed and still imposes us the fight against the virus.

We decided to regularly post our 6-handed articles on Linkedin to acompany our customers and contacts with :

  • The take of the height to reflect,
  • Advice to transform the organization,
  • Good practices to act differently

In and after, this extraordinary period that has impacted us all.

These publications are, on the substance, without expiry limits. That’s why we offer them today on our site to strengthen your Relationship Effectiveness, your leadership and serve the performance of your company through human leverage.

You can also find and share them on Linkedin by logging into my profile

The main contributor is indicated at the end of each article.

Managing at a distance

Many of us see the normal exercise of our professional activity questioned by the distancing or even confinement measures aimed at slowing down the extension of the Covid19.

Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional responses.
Not necessarily.

Many of us see the normal exercise of our professional activity questioned by the distancing or even confinement measures aimed at slowing down the extension of the Covid19.
Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional responses.
Not necessarily.

If we set aside the activities which require to be in contact with people – trade, hotel trade, services to people, … – and the activities known as shift work as in industry or the building and public works sector, proven responses make it possible to maintain all or part of our professional activities.

For the first mentioned, we are in a radical situation with recourse to technical and/or partial unemployment and decisions at the highest level of the nation to accompany the impacts of this war against the epidemic. 

The exceptional dimension is primarily the impossibility of physically bringing our teams together.

Even on this level, thanks to computer and internet tools, solutions do exist!

The exceptional dimension is also in the acceptance that our employees do not all have at their home the equipment necessary to carry out their professional activity. However, we are quite often at home very digital and super computer-equipped compared to our professional equipment.

Finally, the exceptional dimension is in the acceptance by our organisations that our employees who look after their children at home are in “BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION” mode.

The challenge is to use common sense, to look for simple solutions (Ockham’s razor principle: the more complex the subject, the more obvious the solution, the simpler, the more economical the solution proves to be (economy and parsimony) and to rely on the methods and tools of managers who manage teams at or from a distance: Favouring the existence of L.I.N.K.S. without the place.

Managing at a distance implies first of all to act with 2 mental rules:

  • Confidence: my employees work, they don’t try to “smoke me out” (which doesn’t exclude control).
  • Curiosity: Since I don’t have all the elements in hand, I will hurry slowly. Ask questions to understand before deciding.

L.I.N.K.S. without the place:

  • Leadership: Drive energy through a high level of managerial added value, be clear about deliverables (talk in terms of expected results rather than objectives),
  • Interest and Ideas: to show by our benevolence that we are aware of the difficulties encountered in adapting operational expectations and requirements to the reality of the eco-system of our team members. In any case, maintaining requirements at the normal level is totally counterproductive since we are not in a normal situation. Our customers will understand, they live the same thing in their own eco-system. We have to be imaginative in order to make our creativity speak for itself, to go out of the box while respecting the equilibrium.
  • Nuance: We all play it by ear, we do not all function in the same way, loneliness can be experienced differently, constraints are different, the ability and habits to work in a distant and sometimes degraded mode are not equal. Taking care of each other is proving difficult. Listening to weak signals, not confusing speed and haste, movement and agitation, synthesis and shortcuts, and above all demand and expectations is essential.
  • Keep Focussed: “Out of sight, out of mind! ». Keeping our commitments to remote appointments is essential both in terms of hours and duration, both individually and collectively. Each remote meeting must be prepared to provide a high level of quality.
  • Support and Follow-up: It is the manager’s responsibility to help reposition the issues, open up the field of possibilities between ambition and realism and practice “I don’t control because I don’t trust, I control because I am responsible” and regularly monitor the smooth running of decisions and actions in order to re-evaluate them according to how things move forward.

It is not the strongest or most intelligent species that survive, but those that adapt best to change – Charles Darwin

We understand that acceptance of reality and our common sense to adapt are our best assets to get through this ordeal.

To be continued…


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