A guest post by Amrei Schulze, Innovation Facilitator, Agile Coach and Online Marketing Expert. Amrei is co-founder of the innovation consulting agency makingthenew.
makingthenew is a Berlin-based innovation agency that helps organizations shape their own future – be it through new ways of working or by creating new products, services and entirely new businesses.
These days, it’s hard to stay connected and keep up with innovation. Leadership now means empathizing with your team, but also – more than ever – providing clear structure. Here are 7 suggestions from makingthenew for digital routines that will help your teams thrive across distances:
1 – Daily check-ins.
Start the day together and check in briefly with your team. How are you doing? What did you accomplish yesterday? What is your plan for today? Are there any hurdles? Have people refer to a digital Kanban board like Trello when talking about tasks.
2 – Planning ahead.
As a leader, you want to provide clearer goals for a shorter time horizon than usual. Help your team select a small number of goals to work on over the next 3-4 weeks. Meetings in small sub-teams can help break down the goals into specific tasks. Tools like Asana or Trello provide visibility into progress and accountability.
3 – Refining the plan.
Being agile means, in part, having a plan, but also being willing to deviate from it. Give room for adjustments through regular virtual meetings that provoke questioning of the current course. Be a challenger, but provide a structure for twisting and refining plans. Do you need to change your goals (e.g., due to cost reductions)? Then repeat the planning process for adjusted goals, if necessary.
4 – Showing results
Early prototype: create an early version of new ideas, presentations, etc. A sense of accomplishment occurs when results are produced. Encourage imperfection. Let people present early and take things from feedback. Be concise, affirmative, yet honest. Ideally, provide guidance for specific iterations.
5 – Reflect on new habits.
Going 100% digital is new for most of us. See these times as opportunities to experiment and learn. In regular team feedback sessions, reflect on how the new structure has worked for everyone and try to improve step by step. Together, you will find a way. Remember that it can be tiring to adapt something new before you see positive results.
6 – Tea(m) time
In the current climate, there is little room for informal breaks and recharging conversations in the office kitchen. It seems strange – but you even need to schedule your personal breaks and set times for your team to get together virtually for a casual conversation. Why not schedule a place for an optional shared tea(m) time for those who are recharged by regular interaction?
7 – You are not alone
If you’re in a leadership position, you may feel responsible for the digital interactions that need to be worked out. It’s simply impossible to manage technology, leadership, facilitation, frameworks – all at the same time. Assign roles and empower your employees to take ownership of this transformation as well.
This article has been first published on Linkedin.