We thought we were invincible. Today shows we’re not. How do we handle a situation that we can’t control at all?Silence on the streets, but behind the scenes a lot of work to do for managers and leaders of organisations. What do we manage first? And what’s the next step? Let’s start with the basic challenge today: how do we communicate properly with colleagues ánd customers, when social distancing is the best way to prevent COVID-19. Social scientists talk about the law of propinquity: The amount of information shared with individuals decreases exponentially as distance increases between them. And that’s what happens today. Everyone must avoid direct contact with other persons. Online meetings and videocalls become standard, even in family circle. It’s only the beginning of a remote life for the next weeks, months,…
Distance between people can express itself in three domains. Firstly, due to the physical distance, the amount of information exchanged decreases significantly in organisations today. Even more in those organisations that had little cultural history in teleworking. Secondly, the operational distance has consequences on the alignment within teams and projects. Thirdly, especially if this lasts a while, how will we handle and build trust without personal contact? This third domain involves affinity and values.
Many challenges ahead, so keep these 4 tracks in mind for organisational communication:
Keep up the good work, take care of yourself, your family and your colleagues, and don’t forget to communicate about this!