Recently we’ve discussed the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and presented McKinsey’s five horizons (5Rs) leaders need to think and act across in order to ensure the safety of the company and their employees. Those perspectives are:
If leaders want to succeed in managing employees during Covid-19 pandemic, they have to operate actively on each of these levels. To do that, McKinsey analysts recommend implementing a Nerve Centre architecture in your business. Yet creating new business architecture while simultaneously switching teams to remote work remains a tricky challenge. Let’s start from scratch.
The best office-less system is the one that works. There is no other universal answer or scheme to follow, while introducing remote work solutions. Nevertheless, according to Netguru, an IT and consulting company, there are three critical factors for leaders to follow:
Implementing these three key factors should be a good start for building Nerve Centre architecture in your company. But what exactly does it mean?
Integrated Nerve Centre is a concept developed by McKinsey that is supposed to guide your company through the Covid-19 storm. As Mihir Mysore and Ophelia Usher wrote, this model is “an efficient means of coordinating an organization’s active response to a major crisis. It is endowed with enterprise-wide authority and enables leaders and experts to test approaches quickly, preserve and deepen the most effective solutions, and move on ahead of the changing environment”.
The idea behind this concept seems to be quite straightforward. In order to survive the crisis, the company is supposed to organize employees in five cross-functional teams with clear roles, responsibilities, and decision authority. The example of this structure presented by Mysore and Usher in their analysis showed:
Although the example may appear pretty inflexible, the model was designed as an agile structure with enough autonomy of action granted to constituent team leaders to work through bottlenecks and keep the response moving. The model should be implemented quickly with individual roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities made clear. Also, everyone should be aware of the fact that roles and responsibilities may be shifted with time, so flexibility will be needed. In rapidly changing times, there is no room for cross-checking decisions with other leaders. Each team should be authorized to make timely decisions, so trust is key.
Implementing the three key factors for successful remote-work and using the Integrated Nerve Centre model may be the best chance to survive Covid-19 epidemic. Nevertheless, even the best model or advice may not be enough. This is why leaders should stay vigilant and aware of the needs of the moment. The best way to survive is to use the available knowledge and adjust to specific conditions of the business.