Individualism vs collectivism

Over the past few weeks the group has weaved our way through a range of topics. The themes have always traced around the disruptive nature of remote working during the pandemic, yet until this week, we haven’t focused on our personal communication and reflections on our behaviour.

Last week, when we asked: Are you ready? our discussions addressed essential considerations: safety; communication – with a central focus on skills required for leaders and; trust and empowerment. Part of that discussion focused on the importance of leadership communications. This week we expanded those concepts to consider our own personal communication styles and how these were being impacted during lockdown phases and how would teams be able to collectively create new ways of working and communicating.

Drawing on the activity in the from Atlassian’s Virtual Team Building Activities, “My User Manual”, we considered the value of adapting these concepts to current lockdown situations, and then moving out of lockdown to return to the office – in some style of flexible working format.

A number of the group were already adapting the user manual approach to develop team reflection activities that could inform modified ways of working. One aspect of this approach highlighted the focus on individuals, how do I like to communicate and work versus the collective, how can we (as a team) work more effectively.

The current crisis had amplified the contrast between “me” and “we” mindsets – those who were only concerned about the impact on them and their work, while others were concerned about the impact on the collective, their team and their company. Yet, there was additionally some aspects of culture, society and government that had an impact into shaping these responses. Again, the contrasts in different government’s leadership was seen to be influencing how businesses prepared for the future after lockdown.

How the government regulations supported businesses in new ways of working – were they providing clear guidelines, for example about required disinfecting of workplaces, or were businesses left to interpret the processes? What role should government play in this context?

Uncertainty and hypotheticals still dominated our conversation. There’s so much that remains to be determined. New ways of working are still to be discussed. However, there was a strong appetite to learn from our experiences and use these to inform new ways of working.

Join us this week (Friday 15 May) to participate in these conversations as we continue to explore future ways of working.


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