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    Message of the week

    Week 18
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    Managing in a time of crisis

    If there is one thing that this challenging period is teaching us, is that change, now more than ever, is the new normal. As a leader in innovation, Kyocera has always maintained a high degree of agility while focusing on growth, driving revenue, and gaining market share. Now, however, we find ourselves having to maintain all this while shifting priorities to cost control and maintaining liquidity, while concurrently dealing with supply chain and operational challenges.

    It would be easy to become completely overwhelmed. Certainly, the roles and responsibilities of business leaders have dramatically changed in the past few weeks. This is not an easy transition and the learning curve will be steep, but as Kyocera’s Management Rationale reminds us, we work for a company that aims “to provide opportunities for the material and intellectual growth of all our employees and partners through our joint efforts, contribute to the advancement of society and humankind.”

    It is by working as a collective that we will find new ways of working and opportunities we hadn’t previously considered.

    This article by Harvard Business Review, which I’ve summarised below, offers 4 Behaviours that Help Leaders Manage a Crisis.

    Behaviour 1: Decide with speed over precision.

    “The best leaders quickly process available information, rapidly determine what matters most, and make decisions with conviction …”

    • Define priorities
    • Make smart trade-offs
    • Name the decision makers
    • Embrace action

    Behaviour 2: Adapt boldly.

    “Strong leaders get ahead of changing circumstances. They seek input and information from diverse sources, are not afraid to admit what they don’t know, and bring in outside expertise when needed.”

    • Decide what not to do
    • Throw out yesterday’s playbook
    • Strengthen (or build) direct connections to the front line

    Behaviour 3: Reliably deliver.

    “The best leaders take personal ownership in a crisis … They align team focus, establish new metrics to monitor performance, and create a culture of accountability.”

    • Stay alert to and aligned on a daily dashboard of priorities
    • Set KPIs and other metrics to measure performance
    • Keep mind and body in fighting shape

    Behaviour 4: Engage for impact.

    “Effective leaders are understanding of their team’s circumstances and distractions, but they find ways to engage and motivate …”

    • Connect with individual team members
    • Dig deep to engage your teams
    • Ask for help as needed
    • Ensure a focus on both customers and employees
    • Collect and amplify positive messages — successes, acts of kindness, obstacles that have been overcome.

    We may encounter unforeseen roadblocks in the future. Hopefully these behaviours will
    make it a little easier to navigate.

    Werner Engelbrecht - General Manager - KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa

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