At the end of May, Impact International published their CEO Leadership Survey 2020, featuring feedback from 100 business leaders on the impact of coronavirus and lockdown on their organisations and their leadership priorities.

The report opens by saying that that despite the range of organisations participating (in terms of their business sector, size and location) the themes emerging were very similar. Talking to Cumbrian business leaders over the last few months (from established multinationals to emerging micro businesses) their challenges distill down to the same key themes identified by Impact; change, relationships, communication and leadership style.

We will be hosting a workshop ‘leading out of lockdown’ for BECBC members on 8 July, when we will discuss each of the themes in full. Until then, we thought it might be useful to share how local businesses are responding to these shared challenges and dedicating their time to learning while they lead.
Learning in Real Time with Leader to Leader
Whatever our preferred or previous leadership style, we have all been forced to hold up the mirror and question whether it is still effective in new and unchartered waters. The need for visible and decisive leadership has sharpened, a relentless rapid fire of decisions need to be made without a map or handy ‘how-to’ guide. Cumbria leaders participating in our Leader to Leader (L2L) programme have been able to reflect on their own leadership response to Covid-19 in real time.

Cohorts 10 and 11 who started the programme pre-lockdown are still working together to understand and resolve gritty leadership challenges emerging from the pandemic. Each cohort is made up of a diverse group of leaders, with a range of backgrounds and business interests. This diversity plus the real time learning achieved through action learning, shadowing and business challenges bring to life the Leader to Leader programme, with each cohort defining their own leadership priorities.

Cohort 12, will be our first ever L2L cohort to launch virtually. We currently have 3 remaining places on Cohort 12 which starts later this year, please contact Catherine to find out more. By the way, if you are member of NSAN then you may be able to benefit from their training bursary
Register to be part of Cohort 12 here
Leading the Conversation…..
Communication has always been key to effective leadership, so nothing new there……apart from everything. As the need for communication step-changed overnight so did our channels of communication, relying on leaders to master new tools and devote more time than ever to communicating with their colleagues and customers. Our new season of shortcourses (due to start in Autumn 2020) will be hosted on Zoom and will help you to adapt your leadership and communication style to new working patterns and practices. Please register here for a copy of the 20/21 short course calendar which starts in September.
Jo Fox (l) and Helen Connolly (r) from Strengthening Practice, guest associates from our Short Course Series. Their workshop is on Leading using Online Communication
It’s all about the people….
The type of communication that has worked best during lockdown is the kind that embraces both the head and the heart, the type that builds relationships through care, compassion and humility. Leaders are engaging colleagues and customers in conversations that they are unlikely to have had before, as we open up to one another we build and strengthen the relationships which will support us through whatever comes next.

Relationships are a key foundation to our resilience and our ability to develop our resilience has never been a more relevant topic. Many organisations are choosing to refresh their understanding of resilience and the role of manager in developing resilience and preventing stress is the topic of one of our most popular Zoom Room Masterclasses. These can be tailored to your organisation and delivered by Zoom, Teams, Skype….
Adaptive Capacity for Change
On to the fourth and final theme from the Impact report, change. It is clear that the world has changed, we have changed and we will keep changing. As leaders we need to harness this ability and capacity to change; we need to invest time and energy to learning, to building our adaptive capacity to change again.

Several local employers have asked us to help facilitate an ‘embracing change’ review, an LFE event which takes particular notice of the personal learning and leadership that has taken place over the last few months and seeks to capture and build on it for the future. If you are interested in doing something similar with your team or business then please get in touch.
Always available for a virtual coffee
The full report from Impact can be read here and is definitely worth a look, especially the comments on each of the themes from our learning and development colleagues at Impact. If you would like to talk about how any of those themes relate to your business then please give us a call, the kettle is always on and the biscuit tin is somehow (!) always empty.

Take Care, Stay Safe

Catherine, Sarah and the rest of the CfLP Team
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