How are you building an engaged, high-performing organisation in the post-pandemic world?

This was the question that became central to the discussion in our first Chief Officers’ Breakfast Club meeting of the year, which I hosted yesterday. Led by our special guest, Alex Gourlay, the Executive Chair of Holland & Barrett, a group of 20 executives shared their experiences and perspectives on the challenges of developing winning teams when people are less likely to physically spend much time together in the same office or workspace.

The emerging conclusion of the group was this: as the use of digital technology to manage organisations increases, so does the importance of creating and embedding a clear and compelling shared purpose and culture. As Alex put it, you can’t create or sustain a high-performing, digitally connected team if you’re merely asking them to run something; you must, instead, find ways to engage together in building something.

The performance potential of any team is directly proportional to the strengths of the relationships across the group. As we spend less time together in work and social environments, we need to find new ways to build those relationships and create a shared sense of belonging. Simply focusing on financial or operational targets and deadlines no longer cuts it.

Instead, the message of the Breakfast Club was clear: identifying, defining and pursuing an overarching purpose that articulates why your organisation exists and how it aims to help the world, is critical to driving performance in the post-pandemic era.

PS We still have a few places left on the club and will be running seven more meetings this year. If you’re an executive leader of your business and would like to join or find out more, please get in touch.

Off The Record: Lean On Me by Bill Withers

Lean on me

When you’re not strong

And I’ll be your friend,

I’ll help you carry on…….

For it won’t be long

Till I’m going to need somebody to lean on