Originally published on The Daily Scrawl
We are currently living and operating in a truly unprecedented time. The current pandemic including the governmental responses and economic fallout are things that no business has ever dealt with, so there is no precedent to rely on. To complicate things further, there are still countless unknowns about what will happen in the coming days and months. This leaves business leaders attempting to make the best decisions possible relying on bad or nonexistent information.
This uncertainty at the management level is felt just as strongly, if not more so, amongst employees. With there being no definitive right “answer”, the best that leaders can do is attempt to follow the right “process”. That right “process” in terms of leadership is through open communication.
This communication should lay out the known economic facts and the expectations of what is coming so that all stakeholders are aligned on the situation. Then when the strategy and responses are defined, the “why” should also be clearly communicated. By having a clearly laid out understanding of the facts of the situation and what is expected to happen, and then explaining why certain strategies are being put into place, it will reduce confusion and minimize the agency costs that can arise with uncertainty.
This should not be a one-time occurrence, but rather an ongoing and living communication that is constantly updated as new information arises and expectations need to be revised. This won’t guarantee that the decisions made will be correct, but by having transparent communication will allow business leaders to better adapt their teams to the current unprecedented situation.