“Hybridity” – New Opportunities for 2021!

I have a confession…I kinda love award shows. I don’t do anything fancy or social (which really works these days) – I just sit and watch. My entire house knows it’s my “me” time. So, on Sunday, I was one of a handful of people who actually knew the Golden Globes were being televised, and I took my usual position on the couch. This year was special. I would witness the opportunities, complexities, and chaos of a pandemic-era award show. Turns out that “Stars are just like us!” Honorees hopped on Zoom with their pets and kids, one in a hoodie (yay for Ted Lasso!) and others in more traditional evening wear. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the event on opposite coasts, with live-audiences consisting of first responders from cities hit hardest by Covid. Yes, there were tech issues, awkward silences and delays, but this is the reality of the emerging hybrid environment. And it turns out an award show isn’t the outlier. In 2021 corporate life will indeed be imitating art.

“Hybridity” will bring significant new challenges to businesses. This Harvard Business Review article highlights how individual and team power shifts based on where they are located. It digs deep into the obstacles around communication, productivity, and fairness companies will face in making the hybrid work environment supportive of everyone, as part of your team returns to the office and the other remains remote.

Throughout our work with our clients, we’ve seen four trends that are front and center for this new way of working. Here’s some food for thought as you begin to tackle these challenges:

  1. Productivity Decline

    The seismic shift to remote work has slowed companies down. Decision-making, engagement, and managing productivity have become even more difficult in the virtual world. Yet research shows that for organizations that make a special effort to gain speed, the rewards are significant. Fast organizations outperform their competition across almost every significant performance indicator. Achieving speed in a virtual or hybrid environment requires you to rethink the way you communicate, collaborate and connect – with a completely new set of tools. The key to success will be for organizations to address the slowdown in productivity through stronger alignment and decision-making speed in the remote environment.

  2. Lackluster Sales Experience

    The challenges of selling through remote communications channels continue to confound many sales organizations. Buyers have become harder to reach, budgets have shrunk, and well-established sales processes have been turned upside down. The balance of power has shifted even further into the hands of the buyers, who have access to increasingly endless amounts of data and information. The main obstacle cited by most remote sellers is access: how do I maximize the often-brief window to quickly connect and influence, and then how do I coordinate the best possible experience? To overcome these obstacles sellers will need to choreograph the meeting and customer experience and differentiate themselves to gain the right access.

  3. Lack of Empathy to Engage

    Of all the challenges created by the new world of virtual work, perhaps none is more pressing than the need for greater empathy in leadership and managerial communications. The stresses and strains that employees are experiencing when working remotely amidst pandemic challenges are unfamiliar and formidable. Leaders across the entire organization must adopt a more listener-focused and personal style of communicating – one based on empathy that is practiced and purposefully cultivated in every conversation and meeting.

  4. Hybrid Workplace Fairness

    Return-to-work initiatives range from never returning to the office (for Remote First companies) to coordinated office times for company-wide meetings and everything in between. As organizations begin these transitions, team interactions require new practices to keep the speed of the business and ensure inclusion from all participants – whether they are all in the same room, or participating remotely. Navigate the communications challenges of the coming hybrid workspace and corporate culture through trust, and space where all feel connected and heard.

Let’s get this right. Communicating is tough on a good day. We may be getting close to the end of the never-ending groundhog day, but we need to be ready for the next evolution of the new way to work. We’d love to help!

Falling on Deaf Ears

We’ve all been there. Eyes glaze over, attention is diverted to the closest device…it’s that moment when you realize everyone in your meeting has tuned out. Your message is falling on deaf ears. We’re thankful that Chip and Dan Heath wrote the foreword for our new book, and in it, … Continue reading

What Joni Mitchell might say about cloud computing

A cute white puffy cloud – like the kind you used to draw next to the smiling sun in Kindergarten. But rather than find it on your child’s artwork, these days you’re more likely to see it right smack dab in the middle of an insanely complex technical diagram (the … Continue reading

Video Blog: 1×1 Feedback for Mayor Gavin Newsom

Thank you for all the response on my last video blog! I’m happy to keep them coming, so here we go with a second quick video where I’ll talk about communication in the news. Remember, I also want to give you feedback! Video tape yourself at a meeting or giving … Continue reading

Warren Buffett knows about investing – in yourself

When you see clips like these, it’s easy to understand why Warren Buffett is the man. Now, of course, I LOVE the fact that he acknowledges communications as one of the #1 ways you can increase your human capital and value to your team, company, organization, and even family and … Continue reading

Decker Made To Stick Messaging is here!

@kellydecker here with a super newsworthy post… Think back to a time when you’ve been so incredibly excited to give someone something that you knew they would LOVE. Maybe it was the Superman PEZ dispenser that your younger brother wanted for his 5th birthday… or your kid’s first bicycle with … Continue reading

Cisco’s Telepresence: A huge hit, but there’s a big miss

My favorite guest blogger is back, and I don’t say that just because she’s our Executive VP and my daughter-in-law, but because she is brilliant in developing programs for our clients. If you’re not doing so already, follow her on Twitter @kellydecker. – Bert Decker I was first wowed by … Continue reading