A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
The coronavirus pandemic has been an embodiment of the way humankind can overcome hurdles. Situations have been tough, and environments have had to change thanklessly. Yet, we have found our way around this predicament and come out with the fastest vaccine ever created! These historical times are moving so rapidly, everyone yearns to be a significant part of them.
Early March of this year saw the start of a vaccination drive for senior citizens (ages 60 and above) in India. Circumstances were so extreme, that people all around me had overlooked their instinctive values of generosity and kindness and adhered to the wrong means to get themselves vaccinated. Somehow, barely anyone thought of putting the needy first and waiting for the system to take its due course for them to get immunized. Everyone was blindly walking towards the direction they believed to be right.
Every time I came across such anecdotes my mind would wander in a gaze of million thoughts. Recently we completed the ‘Women in History Month’. As part of our organizational campaigning, we asked people which social norm they would choose to challenge. Personally, I felt like challenging all the ‘non-transforming behaviors’ preexistent in society. I believe there are many people who have resisted the necessity to transform their outlooks and attitudes based on the current global scenario and disregarded the call of the times. To think of it, the transformation was all that the preceding year was about. All of a sudden, the entire globe was expected to undergo a vehement change in everything. The future going forward is looking all transformed. We are going to witness transformation, change, and agility in almost all the spheres and sectors of our lives. A few of these sectors are highlighted below:
Transformation in Behaviors:
We all went through a very difficult phase of the century that would be remembered years and years hence. A great number of scholars and specialists urged us to adapt to what was called the ‘new normal’ and pushed us into a survival of the fittest situation. In such times, we need to stick by each other and keep our morale high. If we all get together and start showing small acts of love and kindness, the world would be a better place to live in. The future of the world is in the hands of those who are willing to bring forth positive behavioral amendments to support fellow humans. I think the organizations and companies going forward are going to pay a great deal of emphasis on psychometric assessment as well as attitude measurement metrics to hire new talent or creating a new growth-oriented pipeline. As one of the surveys of Forbes at Stanford with Fortune 500 companies also supported that, companies, in order to remain in long-term sustainable businesses and remain in the game, have to show that their leadership adapts humanity, creativity, empathy, and contribution of each person in the organization. The leadership would be no longer be a just power play of status but of the awakening of humanity at every level by awakening each potential everywhere.
Along with the digital and technological transformation that the future is adapting to, another major change that we are going to see is the social infrastructure change. A few days back I was wondering that many offices have started opening up physically now and there are many women employees going back to work. The support system in terms of daycare centers and creches that the working mother had were tremendous. To develop further, we will have to focus on such kinds of infrastructural innovations and work alongside governments and industries to stimulate such ideas through financial and technical support. I believe these infrastructures should emphasise on safe, innovative, creative, durable, adaptive, and smart public spaces which include basic facilities likes hospitals, schools, and daycare centers, courts, offices, and utility buildings. We must also incorporate an inclusive model of execution where all the social infrastructural spaces are equally accessible to people with disabilities as well as people with a lack of ability to do work efficiently and smoothly.
While it is true that digital investments will matter, humans will always be a major part of the system due to the way they think, approach collaboration, innovate proposition. Indeed, digital transformations are actually human transformations. In particular, to compete in an increasingly digital and competitive world people everywhere would have to be customer-centric, inclusive, and agile.
We at BeyonDiversity have been running a leadership accelerator program for women in mid-career for a few years. Due to the pandemic, we took this course entirely virtual and started our cohorts fully online. As an organisation we have been advocating inclusion in terms of gender, geographies, and generational diversities. I would like to highlight a recent experienced that we went through of the current cohort in our online program called L.E.A.P. For the first time, we had women coming forward and taking charge of their own self-development and sponsoring themselves to enroll in the course.
We had a generationally diverse woman in the cohort who had approached me during the conclusion of applications. In my interactions with her, I couldn’t immediately recognize her seniority in age. She opened up to us about her sense of discomfort while regularly using technology. Gradually, with the support of our team and peers, she navigated through the execution of the program and learnt to handle herself online very well. It felt gratifying to see a cohort of aspiring women leaders uniting to form a common purpose and helping each other out in times of need.
Kudos to all the thirty women in our I – L.E.A.P cohort who helped each other navigate through complexities. At the conclusion of our six-month session, the senior woman was very comfortable not only with technology but also with her expressions and sharing of experiences in front of the entire group. I feel honored to have been leading such a motivational group, from whom I not only gave but also acquired a sense of inspiration.
I believe embracing change will bring new opportunities and avenues in our lives. With more mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion we can achieve anything.
These leadership lessons were so well resonated in our sessions wherein it was also highlighted that “Transformation is the key to overcome disruption”.