Preparing for a New Reality…

May 13, 2020 – In discussing the current situation with our clients, here are ideas and areas of inquiry that CEOs are focusing on to prepare their teams to pivot more quickly and efficiently under new & rapidly evolving conditions.

Clearly, while optimistic, CEOs believe there is a lot of work to do!


Make the Fixes Stick. Diagnose what inhibited your team’s ability to make decisions and pivot as quickly as preferred. Gauge what uncertainty taught you about leading under stress: how you operated, measured progress, and sped to action. Reset trust and relational comfort with your stakeholders.

Bake Your Experiences into a Leadership Playbook. More specifically and while it is fresh, highlight ways to improve your team’s collaboration and communication that smooths the paths to adapt faster and improve cadence coordination. Figure out where to allocate resources to be ready to face future uncertainties

Leverage the Future; Reach Forward, but Prepare & Assume Uncertainty is the New Norm.
White Swans – conditions/opportunities to purse and capitalize.
Gray Swans – market/competitive adjustments and realignments.
Black swans – unanticipated events.


Eliminate Albatrosses. Take a comprehensive measure of your executive team’s most pressing talent gaps. Commit to address and strengthen leadership. Invest in leaders who stepped up, demonstrated and contributed candid advice and commitment. Change out those that fell short.

Emphasize an Outside-in and Inside-out View. Develop a heads-up culture that is curious about what is next and promotes a rigor of tracking and systematically evaluating new emerging opportunities. Seek early recognition of evolving complexities.

Rejuvenate your Team’s Bandwidth and Capabilities. Identifying, thoroughly vetting, recruiting (externally and promoting from within) and onboarding new leaders who truly will improve/drive your company’s/organizational strategic and operational capabilities.

Embrace the Value of Non-traditional Leadership Tracks. Establish new ways/programs/processes to be more effective at identifying, developing, mentoring your high potentials and as general course, test your next generation with difficult and challenging assignments.

Stress Test Effectiveness. Tune up your succession planning and talent management efforts. Undertake a wholesale redo as needed. Review frequently.


Be Courageous… Seek Solutions Over Comfort. Assess and bottom-line your decision processes and activities. Ask, the hard question, “if it wasn’t an imperative, why did we do it?”

Determine Next Steps. Decide what is necessary to prepare your leaders/ their organizations to make tough and difficult trade-off decisions, aligning only to what is necessary, redirecting resources accordingly, and addressing traditional organizational sacred cows/inhibitors such as ineffective power structures and swim lanes, amongst others.

Place your Leadership Team Under the Microscope. Act with a clear objective agenda of moving your team from good to better to best. Address issues of team collaboration (i.e., those leaders who possess the necessary skills but aren’t viewed nor act as team players.)

As your organization needs to recruit Winning Now executives / board directors, develop succession plans, or review executive / board effectiveness, we are well positioned and experienced to advise. We look forward to partnering with you.

Jeff Neppl

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