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Video: Necessity is the mother of re-invention

By David Deegan

Last week my brother phoned me to say that his office was closing down. Naturally I was shocked and concerned at him being out of work. But I had misunderstood him.

His company had decided that because working from home had proven so effective, there was no point in them having a physical office any longer. Instead, they intend to ensure everyone is well-equipped to work from home, and once the regulations have relaxed yet further, they will hire a local conference space once per month to hold all-company meetings to ensure that people can still feel connected face-to-face.

The Covid-19 crisis is driving many organisations to think creatively, and the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” is being frequently cited. But actually some of these activities are not true “inventions”, they are simply actions that organisations have thought about taking in the past, but have assumed “it just wouldn’t work”, or have parked them in the “too-difficult” box. Covid-19 has not just presented organisations with an opportunity to question all those assumptions that may have held them back; it has brutally forced organisations to abandon those limiting beliefs and re-invent themselves.

There is a lot of talk about “returning to the new normal”, but what if the way we are living and working right now, IS the new normal? Talk of “return to the new normal” is yet another limiting belief.

At Cranfield we are not letting limiting beliefs hold us back. We are frequently asked for development solutions that help people to work better in the virtual world, to manage virtual teams more effectively. For several years we have been using technology to do just that: one of our flagship Masterclasses in Programme Management is now entering its 6th year, and has always featured a digitally-based business simulation that surfaces the challenges of virtual team-working, and participants learn how to address them successfully. Now that this Masterclass is delivered online, that aspect is no longer a simulation activity within the programme; it is the working reality for the entire programme! And is continuing to receive the same level of great feedback from participants.

Executive leadership development always requires an element of interpersonal skills, and there is a limiting belief that this must always be done face-to-face. Yet the virtual team-working business simulation we have been running for so long demonstrates that this is not true. We partner with great professional role-play organisations like Impromptu, to create impactful development of interpersonal skills, and this short video shows that, like us, Impromptu are not held back by this limiting belief.

Deegan-Gilkes FINAL

While we look forward to the re-opening of our conference centre, and welcoming people back to the Cranfield campus, we are not letting Covid-19 restrictions hold us back. This video shows that if you are looking for dynamic, challenging and impactful development of interpersonal skills for your leaders, you don’t have to wait. Today is the new reality. We are living in the new normal, and Cranfield, together with Impromptu, can help your leaders operate more effectively within it, right now.


About the Author

David Deegan is an Executive Development Director and Director of Practice Development at Cranfield Executive Development. With over 22 years’ international experience in talent, learning and development across a range of industry sectors up to Board level, he is responsible for the design and delivery of customised executive development interventions delivered in the UK and internationally.

Nigel Gilkes, Director of Impromptu Ltd has spent over 20 years working in the field of business simulation, role-play and drama based methods to enable people to develop their self-awareness and improve their interpersonal skills and impact. Also an experienced facilitator and coach, Nigel has worked with many leading organisations including Three, Barclays, Pepsico, BP, Asda and Marks & Spencer. Prior to joining Impromptu, Nigel worked as a marketing manager for an educational charity, actor and teacher. Nigel has considerable business and management experience through his role as Director of Impromptu Ltd as well as specific expertise in leadership development, building and managing a global team, teaching, theatre, and marketing. In addition Nigel has scripted, directed and performed in a wide range of film and DVD projects to support client learning programmes.

Tags: Leadership, Learning, executive development, Personal Development, digital, covid19, covid-19, Learning Design and Innovation, Video, Organisational Development, role-play, Impromptu, virtual