Think differently redefining diversity in projects
My last reflection in July focused on embracing uncertainty and coping with the changed world as we navigated our way through the summer, furlough schemes altered, pubs and restaurants were able to open again but with entirely different rules and track and trace is something we have adapted to. We are now in September and most children are back at school, universities are opening their doors and people are adapting to the new rules of the world and redefining diversity in projects.
There are a number of Autumnal challenges ahead with numbers of COVID-19 cases on the rise, furlough schemes finishing, job losses looming for some people and further localised lockdowns being implemented and thus uncertainty remains the only certainty. Usually at this time of year people are thinking about Halloween, fireworks and then Christmas (too early in my mind but I think you know what I mean). All that will be different this year and potentially the start of 2021 will still remain like this. I am a realist and do believe that as business leaders, we need to think about adapting and responding positively rather than waiting to see what happens next.
My thoughts are about ensuring that we are being proactive and encouraging creative thinking, that we are responding in a way that challenges how we operated and we reinvent the new way of working for the foreseeable future. There are advantages of rethinking and re-establishing a new world – for economic reasons, environmental and social reasons as well as personal, wellbeing and mental health reasons.
I was asked to talk at the Think Differently conference, which I am really pleased to be a part of. I began to reflect on what shapes thinking and started to delve deeper into my own thought processes and how they were shaped along my journey in life so far. I thought about people that influenced me both celebrity and family, whether being part of a large Indian family in the East End of London during the late 70’s and 80’s made me different to my younger siblings who grew up in leafier Swindon during the 90’s? Whether the music I listened to and the movies and TV I watched shaped my opinions and thinking? And I believe the answer is yes…however, I was always encouraged to question and to form my own opinions, to stand up for what I believe in but in a respectful and thoughtful way.
Why does any of this matter?
All of this matters and challenging our own thinking and patterns of behaviour matter, especially when leading others because we ought to lead by example, we ought to be conscious about how we challenge others, how we communicate and manage difficult situations. There are many leaders at this time that I speak to who are stuck in limbo…unsure whether to continue with the strategy and projects they started prior to lockdown or to rethink…Having an external sounding board, tools to help decision making and support to think through thought processes in a “safe” environment and redefining diversity in projects is what CITI can help with.
Challenging thinking and decision making, revisiting strategy to check in that it is firstly still valid and that people are still aligned to the same vision and values is critical at this time. Reassessing the priorities is vital to future success and this must be managed in a realistic and conscious way in line with the business needs as opposed to “we started so we’ll finish” approach. The world has moved on significantly in 2020 and priorities will have changed, delivery may look different and we all need to adapt accordingly.
Diversity of thought is about thinking differently, it’s about having a team around you that bring diverse thoughts and experiences and for us as leaders to value that difference because it can create innovative and breakthrough ideas that may propel your organisation forward and create new opportunities for success.
This is the time, as I have mentioned in previous articles to reinvent our world, to Build Back Better, embrace diverse thinking, and redefining diversity in projects. It’s time to reassess and develop in order to leave a better future for the next generation. CITI is proud to be part of this rethinking and new decision-making movement, we are passionate about working on meaningful projects and with diverse teams to reinvent that better future with you…let us help you think it through.
Kay Sanders, CEO
As the CEO of CITI, I specialise in change enablement consultancy, building capability within organisations to support the delivery of strategic change through effective portfolio, programme and project management. We believe that people not only need the technical expertise, but also the behavioural consciousness to sponsor, manage stakeholders and realise benefits within P3M to deliver successful change. Kay can be contacted via email at KSanders@citi.co.uk