With multiple vaccines rolling out in increasing numbers, a sense of optimism is finally starting to surface after a very long year.

Unlike past short-term disruptions — such as the or various weather-related incidents — organizations won’t be able to just turn the lights back on, welcome back staff and conduct business as usual. COVID-19 has created a new normal that all companies — particularly those with a high concentration of knowledge-based workers — must take seriously.

So, what can leaders do to ensure that staff accustomed to working remotely have the same sense of connection as before? …

It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since COVID-19 forced many organizations around the world to abruptly shift into working remotely.

Statistics Canada estimates 40 percent of workers across Canada broke from their normal routine to work from home — up from just 18 percent prior to the pandemic according to a PwC Canada survey. This includes knowledge workers (those who handle or use information) in sectors such as government, financial services, insurance and telecommunications that many of us interact with on a regular basis.

In completing a year in review, here are five of our firm’s…

In reflecting on the past decade of leading companies through significant change, one of the more memorable conversations we had was with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a machinery company.

The executive described with pride that his company hosted a successful Town Hall because there weren’t any questions or concerns raised by staff.

When we suggested that silence isn’t always golden — that perhaps employees didn’t understand the key messages about the changes that were occurring or were too afraid to speak up and ask questions — he paused and admitted we could be correct.

The company took a…

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

You often hear about executives who are only focused on the big picture or interested in receiving updates with a 30,000-foot view.

While it’s understandable considering the many important things on their plate, having such a narrow focus can result in blind spots that can impact a company’s performance.

A Korn Ferry study found that blind spots can have a negative impact on a company’s rate of return and that 80 percent of the leaders surveyed were unaware of at least one of their blind spots.

While this can be a cause for concern during normal conditions, blind spots can…

It seems like every week that goes by, more organizations — including the Canadian federal government — are considering remote work in their long-term plans.

One of the keys to this shift in approach is technology. While organizations were once limited in their ability to offer staff a reasonable remote work option, that has changed with the release and adoption of solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Chalk it up to our firm’s focus on change, but we’ve always been early adopters of new technology, particularly tools and resources that promote communication and collaboration — the lifeblood of successful…

One of the more rewarding aspects of our profession is assisting and observing as individuals across different lines of business unite to address change.

While every company and scenario is unique, we’ve noticed one promising element that is driving successful outcomes: diversity.

Companies with diverse management teams and workforces provide various benefits, including the ability to develop creative solutions that resonate with the customers they serve.

While it all sounds simple and makes good business sense, the reality is that many companies are only slowly adapting initiatives that promote and embrace diversity and inclusion. …

If you read our blog post last month, you learned about some of the key factors we think businesses should focus on in staging a comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the post, things have moved rapidly. Reported cases are trending in the right direction and provinces across Canada — and also throughout the United States — are providing guidance to businesses about the gradual re-opening of workplaces.

The sudden pace of change has resulted in a flurry of inquiries received by our firm. Senior leaders are wondering how to prepare their staff for the new normal while workplace design…

There is an old saying that the only constant in life is change and that has never been more true than the disruption that has been felt around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Things we all took for granted — such as our health and safety, socializing with friends and family and even fully stocked supermarket shelves — seem like a distant memory. We’re all struggling to come to grips with the new normal.

Equally impacted has been business. …

Do you remember the last time you embarked on an ambitious road trip with your family or friends?

To improve your odds of a smooth and successful trip, you likely devoted a lot of time and thought into the planning process instead of just winging it.

The same level of effort, research and detail are required for organizations grappling with the future of work whether it is artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, fintech, 5G or the Internet of Things (IoT).

And the sense of urgency is becoming more pronounced as economist and author Daniel Susskind recently told The Guardian that elements…

With the holidays quickly approaching, gestures of gratitude are on the rise.

Whether it is greeting cards, team lunches and parties or bonuses, many companies and their leaders are expressing their thanks in different ways for a job well done.

As change specialists, we’re well aware of the positive impact that gratitude can provide. When people feel appreciated and acknowledged, they are better able to cope with changes that affect them personally.

Unfortunately, various studies and polls indicate that the gratitude that workers crave from their leaders and even colleagues often goes wanting. A Harvard Business Review article titled The…

Mumtaz Chaudhary

Mumtaz (co-founder of Pragilis) is a change management professional with over a decade of experience in delivering successful transformational change programs.

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