It's day 1 of the 3rd UK lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic and here's what I've decided to do to enable me not just survive but thrive. Though simple, these three steps are applicable and I feel, necessary for anyone or business leader that wants to come out the other end of this lockdown, not just a survivor, but thriving.
1. Keep Emotions aside for the next two tasks:
Make objective decisions with a clear head.
We are experiencing period of 'slightly' less uncertainty. Most of us know the drill by now. However, it does not take away from the impact of the lockdown, uncertainty and the worries they bring to employees and business leaders. At such times as this, a clear head is needed to make rational, objective, survival-based decisions; decisions that will help one not just survive, but thrive in uncertain times.
So, below is a note I wrote to my emotions:
Dearest Emotions, we'll be together till the end of time; you know that. But for us to survive this challenging period together, we'll need a few moments apart - just so I can make decisions for our future.
2. CARRY OUT A PESTEL(E) Analysis:
Understand who's moving your cheese, at what rate and where to.
Considering the elements of PESTEL(E) are exactly the triggers for personal and business concerns under the lockdown or pandemic era, it becomes more apt as the analytical tool of choice. However, the outcome of a PESTEL(E) analysis can be used for a SWOT analysis in order to determine your 'Next steps'
PESTEL(E) is an analytic framework, typically used to appraise macro environmental factors affecting and or likely to impact an organisation. The analysis helps bring to light what external factors are being or likely to be faced and allows for informed decisions or necessary adjustments to be made.
PESTEL(E) factors are: Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal and more recently, Ethical.
I envisage the Economic, Social and Legal factors are very important. Questions such as is my job secure or at risk, do I have enough funds or income to support me through this period, particularly if I lose my job? How can I relate with my colleagues or family and what are my legal rights under the lock-down? (Note: I have excluded BREXIT from the conversation).
Business leader perspective (Particular focus on Tech company leaders):
There is a broader perspective here as all elements of PESTEL(E) are critical to making decisions to help keep the business as a going concern and consequently, keep employees employed. PESTEL(E) is particularly important for business leaders in the tech sector as this sector significantly influences human and societal behaviour, more so, in times as this; they have been and are instrumental in expediting societal and social solutions to the challenges the pandemic has brought upon us. Some examples that come to mind are: Technologies to enable employees effectively work from home, effective remote delivery of education, expedited analysis of blood samples etc.
3. TAKE ACTION: (IMPERFECT FIRST STEPS):
Procrastination is the thief of time.
The results of the PESTLE(E) analysis can be used to easily carry out a SWOT analysis. Once done, realise that this is an imperfect era we are travelling through so, with the result of your PESTELE analysis to hand, set goals and objectives that will help you overcome and undesired outcomes of your analysis. Once your goals are established, its best that you commence taking actions and avoid paralysis by analysis. Take action towards achieving your goals knowing that your first steps may not feel or be perfect. Take your first imperfect steps on the premise of these two conditions:
A. You will continue to periodically survey your environment.
B. You are open to and will make necessary adjustments to your decisions and actions based on new analysis findings or changes to your environment. This will ensure you are continually on track to meeting any set objectives.
As mentioned in the opening of this article, I meant to share 3 simple steps to help individuals and business cope with the lockdown. However, below are some simple easy-to-understand outcomes and possible ‘next steps’ following a PESTEL(E) analysis.
Some employee Perspectives:
Social: I need to take care of my mental health, wellbeing and health – Keep a healthy (virtual) social community. Exercise a bit (frequent walks), speak to a support group etc.
Economics: Is my job at risk? Start reviewing your CV or Seek a career coach
Technological: You have to go back to working from home? Have you got the right kits to do so? Have your work performance objectives been reviewed for a WFH environment?
Legal: Am I lost of confused about my employment rights? Approach your HR team for updates, attend appropriate webinars.
Some business perspectives:
Political: Operationally, how are we positioned to respond to changing government decisions and policies? Put in place contingency plans to enable the business be an adaptable one. Put together a PESTEL(E) monitoring group.
Economic: How responsive are we to changes in customer buying behaviour?
Technology: How or what technology can be invested in or developed to support employee’s performance while WFH?
Ethical: In what ways can I practice much needed CSR without hurting the bottom line?
Social: What am I/we doing for the welfare of our employees to enable them cope with the demands for societal change.
Legal: Are you capable of keeping your employees updated on their rights based on government regulation changes?
To close, following my PESTEL(E) analysis, I have taken my first 'Imperfect step’ step by writing this article.
What’s your first imperfect step?
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