Ask The Experts

Managing effectively during unpredictable times

Question: I feel that I am ‘lost and buried’ in today’s economic downturn.

Since the middle of last year, my business has plunged by more than 35 percent. I can’t figure out what my company’s business direction should be now in order to pull out of this.

My team is equally lost, bewildered, scared and demoralised.

How can I prevent further bleeding to stay above ground, and to protect my sanity and my people too?

Answer: Leading in times of turbulence and ambiguity is what modern leaders need to accept as the new way of life today.

One possible reason why your company is in this situation is because your people are not used to managing in such times. In actual fact, this is going to be the reality for a long time to come.

New skills, such as speed, anticipation, communication and foresight, are required to manage these uncertain times and ambiguity.

To begin, acknowledge the situation and respond carefully instead of reacting to the chain of events that are happening. Act on what the situation is, and not what you want it to be, by following the flow and determining the certainties and uncertainties about the situation.

From here, establish clearly what is going on and what needs to be done. Pool your best people together to brainstorm on what needs to be done to fill in those gaps.

A word of wisdom here, never do this by yourself. Share this information with all your people and spell out exactly what everyone needs to do. Unity at this time is most crucial.

Powerful questions you can ask yourself:

• What does the current situation tell you about your management and business practices?

• What is there to be learnt here?

• Where is the silver lining?

• What can you leverage on?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with