My Very Own New Ways of Working
By Rob Kathol |
March 25, 2020
March 25, 2020

If you’ve ever met me, you know that I’m not one to sit still. In fact, I’m on my feet most of the time. At meetings and even in my own office, I’m more of a stander than a sitter. In addition to being a tad antsy, I’m all about face-to-face interaction. With clients. With our business advisors and our employees. My family. And, yes, my very badly behaved dog.

I love the energy I get from being with others. Because of that, this time of social distancing is really hard for me. Most of my professional interaction happens via phone or videoconference these days. I’m not a pro with all the videoconferencing settings just yet, as my team well knows. In fact, more than a few of our team are probably nodding emphatically as they read this.

It’s especially hard because – as a company – we have built great momentum. Our business has changed tremendously in the last year. From our rather humble beginnings 15 years ago, we are now partner to executives at some of the largest companies in the region (and some well outside this region), helping them to achieve measurable and sustainable business transformation by changing the way their people work together.

But in times of great change, we all must change our ways of working. Fast. To keep ourselves healthy. To take care of our families. To serve our clients. And, yes, to sustain our own businesses.

So I’m learning to adapt. I’m not sure if I consider myself an old dog, but I’m learning new tricks. I’m Zoom-ing with the best of them. I’m seeing that the relationships we’ve invested in with clients over the course of years are enabling us to help them as their priorities shift and they need help. Urgently. I view this as a testament to the way we have always worked with clients: shoulder-to-shoulder. When the going gets tough, we can be flexible and have impact in the ways that matter most. Even if that’s a little a different than how we had envisioned it a few months ago.

I’m incredibly inspired by our team. Their adaptability. Their resilience. Their commitment: to clients and each other. Despite the challenges of dogs barking during client calls, babies to tend to, and children who need home schooling help or simply someone to adjudicate sibling rivalry, our team members are pulling together to serve clients – to keep their businesses moving forward, and ours.

I’m also appreciating the positive, uplifting moments. Many of our clients – especially those who are leaders in life sciences – are working incredibly hard to be part of the solution to COVID-19. I’m feeling in some ways more connected to the people in my professional life than ever before. In the last week, I’ve seen more team members – and clients’ – babies, pets and makeshift home offices. I’m not out for business dinners, so there is more quality time at home.

My dog still behaves badly. Some things never change. But the rest of us are all changing and adapting. These foundational skills are being put to the test now, but they are skills we’ve really had all along. It’s how we’ve built our business, and how we’ve helped our clients to further build theirs. And together, we’ll find our way through.