April 17, 2020

Guiding Practices for Our New Normal


These are unprecedented times − we’d like to say that living through the 2008 financial crisis, 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy helped prepare us for this moment, but it’s an entirely new set of challenges that we’re facing as businesses and as humans. Learning to adapt to this world, we find we are busier than ever. Every day seems like a week of learning and change and every week, like a new month. We expect this will be the “new normal” for the foreseeable future.

Here are a few of the practices we at Ricciardi Group have adopted to guide ourselves and our clients through this new normal.

Lead from humanity: First and foremost, COVID-19 ist a humanitarian crisis affecting every one of us in deeply personal ways.  ALL conversation needs to start with that as the lens. Today when we say “How are you?”, it is not meant as surface pleasantry. It should come with a much deeper meaning. Recognizing our humanity not only says “I care about what you are dealing with”, but it also bonds us all on common ground.

Create stability: We use a team check-in every morning not just to stay connected but to ground us all in a new routine that is predictable and reliable in a time that has little of either. But our discussions are all about agility. We ask ourselves, how do we make this happen in this world, how does the message need to shift, how do we engage customers in the noise of this moment? Business as usual is about how to operate when business is not as usual. We are helping our clients think about ways to project stability to their customers while providing an agile response to the changing world.

Acknowledge Uncertainty. Everyone, even the best leaders, struggles with this. Accepting that none of us have the answer is difficult to acknowledge. Recognizing that as a leader makes the struggle and uncertainty something not to be feared, but to be embraced as the way forward. To create the sense that we all are capable of helping find the right answers. This is a tone that is equally important to enable our clients to provide credible leadership in a fluid environment. We may not know which way the wind will blow, but we have the leadership and bench strength to anticipate many scenarios.  RG uses a Hurricane Model for future-casting brand positioning that is particularly helpful in these kinds of conditions.

Practice Gratitude. Now more than ever, celebrate the efforts of the team. The small wins that add up to big change and the many ways people demonstrate leadership at this moment are all reasons to show your appreciation. Finding ways to give back to the larger community not only bonds a team in this environment but is powerful in earning the respect of our business community and customers.

As someone wiser than us once said – this too shall pass. Our hope for all is that we can come out the other side with our humanity, our sanity and (hopefully) our sense of humor intact.

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