It’s a well-known Henry Ford phrase and one I love, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” And in our global Insights community, we are blessed with truly great colleagues working together to support each other, and our business.
At Insights, our purpose is to create a world where people truly understand themselves and others, and are inspired to make a positive difference in everything they do. I believe our global community of Insights colleagues around the world are leaders, each of us having our unique connection to this purpose, so much so that thousands of Insights practitioners, learners and customers are attracted to working with us, despite the challenging economic conditions.
Coronavirus has created a unique series of challenges for leaders and community building, but also thrown the spotlight on the importance of both. Because in troubled times, people will look for purpose, community, human-centred leadership and care.
In the very early days of the global health crisis, one of the first things our Executive team did, was delegate key responsibilities for engagement and communication to operational management, which really unleashed a spirit of innovation and feeling of us all being in this together. The pace of our ability to respond to new and emerging customer needs and survive in the harshest of financial climates is testimony to the leadership and resilience our people have demonstrated.
Individual emotional and mental health was our top priority and we did everything we could to help our people bring balance to their lives in the ‘new normal’. We observed where other companies in the wider learning and development community demonstrated great leadership and brought that thinking into Insights, including building a simple and clear Coronavirus information hub on our internal intranet, populated with everything our people needed to know to help them successfully navigate the current crisis.
I’m also a passionate advocate of running a truly transparent business. Part of this includes a monthly ‘fly-on-the-wall’ Executive blog, which brings my direct team to life – warts and all. The blog captures performance updates, personal anecdotes, important messages and highlights from around the business. The most compelling narratives come from our people, our customers and our wider Insights global community and our monthly blog gives us an opportunity to share our amazing stories with everyone.
We also immediately increased the frequency of our ‘All Hands calls’ from quarterly to weekly to give our global community of colleagues an opportunity to more regularly connect and talk among themselves. This really is a time for ‘all hands’ where leadership, ideas and suggestions to support the business are put forward from all parts of the business, and this ensures that even though we are physically distant – we aren’t socially distant.
The pillars of these calls are Community, Connection and Care, three important aspects of lockdown that we’ve learnt are really keeping us together.
Because, in these disruptive times, I believe it’s more important than ever that we stay connected as a community; to ensure we make time to focus on the good things – like the great support colleagues are showing each other, the fantastic response to meeting our customers’ needs, and the wonderful stories of teams coming together virtually in different and creative ways each and every day.
It has also been a regular opportunity for our community of colleagues to ask questions of me and the Exec team to stay engaged, informed and supported.
This weekly ‘All Hands’ community check-in quickly became a fantastic source of inspiration – and perspiration – as we share our daily triumphs, ask questions, and share stories (both positive and challenging). It is a way of speaking to and connecting with everyone in our community at the time when we’ve all needed it most.
As ‘lockdown’ goes on in many of the countries in which we operate, and our community check-in evolves, and our teams have taken turns to be the ‘hosts’. This give us an opportunity to turn the spotlight across our global organisation, and share the unique challenges, experiences and opportunities Coronavirus is presenting.
Our hosts always turn their videos on, no matter the backdrop (family chaos, organised home office, beach or hill walk…) so they can demonstrate in an obvious way that their attention is on our community, and they can bring their whole selves to work. Another important tenet of life here at Insights.
These calls, the leadership at all levels, our stories, creativity and support for each other throughout it all, has reaffirmed my belief in our amazing Insights global community and the value of intensely human experiences that create connection and togetherness. The care we take for each other and our customers is more important than ever.
Until next time – stay safe and stay connected.