Well, like many of you 23 March was a day to be remembered. It was the day the British Government announced it would be asking anyone who could work from home to do so and would be entering a lockdown. A month on and at the time of writing we are still in the lockdown situation and all mass gatherings have been banned.
This is a problem for Clore Social Leadership as a training provider of programmes that are valued for their transformative face-to-face elements. In the space of a few weeks we have gone from hosting face-to-face events with Covid-19 disclaimers to a complete lockdown and no sight of when venues would reopen.
To set some context, like many training and development organisations our work has cycles and February and March always seem to be months where we start a number of programmes. We had some blended (face-to-face and online) programmes that had started and some due to start. We were in a situation like many people of making decisions with very little information or evidence on which to base them.
We're going to explain how we have approached our challenges using example skills, attitudes and behaviours from our own social leadership capabilities framework.
At the heart of the courageous changemaker are the skills of identifying solutions to problems, taking calculated risks and taking actions to create foresight about what the future might hold. The attitudes and behaviours include being curious, decisive and responsible.
The courage to pause all operations and take stock of the situation was the most sensible thing we could do. With the information we had and the daily changing situation we had to take decisive action and pause all activity whilst we understood the immediate impact on our organisation and the people we work with who participate in our programmes.
We needed to understand what the future entailed and how we could use this information to innovate for the future. Our approach was human centred and focused on our current programme participants to ensure we could offer them the best experience possible.
We work in social change so being a passionate advocate is all about putting the needs of those you serve at the centre of everyone you serve. For us that meant putting the people on our current programmes at the heart of our decisions and asking them to be honest about what was in their best interest, no matter the outcome.
That looked like we might have to stop running all programmes. We knew this was precisely the time social leaders needed what we offered, the learning, reflection and peer support to deal with the current situation, but we also knew that many of them were under severe pressure and dealing with multiple challenges. It is exactly at times of crisis that the attitudes and behaviours of social leaders are so important, the ability to have a strong moral compass and make decisions that might not be in your own best interest.