A respected top manager, for many years he headed T-Mobile in the Czech Republic, and from last year he has been working with Rockaway as a Senior Advisor as well as running the non-profit Aspen Institute. Though…
Six key ideas Milan Vašina formulated during the Anti-Panic Conference, plus a seventh as a bonus. They all revolve around how to manage a business that has been taken over by the pandemic.
1: Vision – story – communication
A leader must have vision. Perhaps the term “vision” as such is too lofty; it’s enough if we replace it with “story”. Every leader should have theirs clearly formulated and be able to convey it to those around them. They will then understand what they should do and start taking action. It helps set a course and should be followed by a clear explanation of what steps should be taken next. We should know where we want to go. If we have a specific plan and know what we want people to notice us for, it’ll work.
2: Digitization for all
The Czech Republic can be a showcase in many ways, as thanks to advanced digitization we’ve managed to cooperate well as a society. Smart quarantine, e-masks, functional e-commerce, reliable food delivery, and on-line grocery shopping are but a few of the services that played a key role in increasing the quality of our lives during the state of emergency, and prove that digitization is not just for the young generation, but rather is a necessity and the direction in which the entire sector should be moving.
3: Solidarity that should survive
Right from the beginning of the crisis many large companies contacted their business partners and showed understanding for the current situation and the impossibility of timely payments. As soon as things loosened up, they contacted the businesses again and together planned next steps – instalment plans, debt forgiveness, and so on. Precisely this is an interesting example of solidarity, inspiration for coming years, and what was positive on the quarantine.
4: Emotions versus critical thinking
Emotions are at the helm now. The media is primarily responsible for excessive ones. Their job is to supply truthful and valid news. Any bad information from the media now contributes to panic and narrows the entire problem down to one level – health. This is precisely the moment when a leader should encourage others to engage in critical thinking and motivate his or her team to carefully choose which news they allow themselves to be influenced by.
5: Pulled into the game
It’s impossible for everything to depend on one person. This truth surprises no-one, but how does it work in real life? Does the entire team participate in coming up with new scenarios, do they openly discuss and validate new solutions? As important as pulling the entire team into the game is what you’re playing with. None of you has a crystal ball, which is why you work with real-life data, information, various scenarios, and experiences of people who have something to say.
6: Change is the new black
Many companies now have to accept the situation as it is. They have to realize how this change – the pandemic – has affected them. And this realization has to occur throughout the company. Those who are adaptable and flexible will do best. They’re able to realize what has happened and come up with proposed solutions. Unfortunately, companies have many people who don’t perceive the given situation as an impetus for change. Most of them think that the train has merely stopped and will now continue onward on the same old track. My point is that people who reject change will hold us back.
7: Let’s build trust
Trust: something that suffered a great setback during the coronavirus crisis. Trust in stability and prosperity, in the fact that things are and will be good – the pandemic shook this certainty. It will be more difficult to rebuild it step by step, but all the more important. Not only the trust of the public or customers, but above all of employees themselves. Show them that they are all important members of the team – communicate with them regularly regarding important changes in the company, and from time to time organize a meeting with management.