Rethinking the Future

Week 6, Quarantine Reflections

I keep ruminating on when the new normal morphs into the “now” normal – in both our personal and professional lives.  I am not certain there will be an actual line of demarcation, but I find myself speculating often. This time between “new” and “now” may actually be a blessing in disguise, since we all must think about how we will plan for and react to what will happen after our country (and the world) “opens up” to commerce.  Will the supply chains for goods and services reconnect with category leaders—and their lost revenue and workers? Will the social services organizations and the arts we have depended on and enjoyed rebound?  Will my favorite restaurants and stores survive the economic crisis?

Since our Centennial team is focused on building and maintaining healthy organizations; I think these thoughts in terms of those our organization serves, as well.  We are in touch with our clients, helping them deal with today’s fires, and concurrently encouraging them to look to the future. More than ever, we are assisting leaders in enhancing their legacies, often with both reductions and growth at stake. The significance of these conversations is not lost on any of us.

Centennial’s sister organization, the Talent Magnet Institute (TMI), has taken flight. As of this writing, nearly 1,500 people have participated in a TMI webinar. We have covered the tough topics that are crucial to leading well during this pandemic. And, our recent webinar on “Possibility Thinking” cautiously turned an eye to the future, which is a great place for our minds to dwell.

The Top Concern Will Remain Top Talent

I have a friend that was an executive for a Fortune 50 company. She had a particularly close professional connection to the CEO, which belied her actual title.  He would consult with her on “what keeps me up at night” because of her valuable judgement.  The “right” leadership talent was always at the top of the CEO’s list.

Even in today’s complex, uncertain environment, “top talent” worries keep many CEOs from a good night’s rest.  Pair that concern with our internal statistics that indicate that the executive recruiting process can last up to 84 days. If you are feeling the pain now from not having the “right” talent included in your organizational chart, imagine how you will feel in mid-July (84 days from now) if you have not yet begun your recruiting. In 60 days, we all hope to be through this economic closure.  Will you be ready to move forward quickly to recover? The smartest organizations are beginning the process now.

What Keeps Me Up? Concern for Those Not Looking Ahead

It may sound premature to be future focused on rebuilding and even recruiting, but we need to think about what our organizations will look like in the months ahead.  I am convinced that strong executive leadership is what is needed to “right” the path imposed upon all of us by this crisis.  Are the “right” leaders in place at your organization to champion the recovery? Will the gaps in your org. chart stall progress? Now is the time to get the right people on your team.  The benefit will be felt beyond your organization.

The Covid-19 focus is shifting to recovery.  The question is:  Are you ready?

What’s keeping you up at night?  Centennial is here to listen — and help.




Jessica Baron

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