Staying Connected: A Lesson for Leaders During COVID-19

Staying Connected

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Executives are dealing with a myriad of challenges during this pandemic. Mass layoffs have resulted in consumer spending grinding to a halt. Retailers are scrambling to adapt to the rapidly changing consumer habits. Many big box retailers are on the brink of collapse. What steps can be taken now to connect with the public when money simply isn’t flowing?

COVID-19, Leadership, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

One of the most well-known models in social psychology is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This simple classification of human needs, introduced by Abraham Maslow in 1943, outlines intrinsic human motivation (see diagram). Read More...

The Typhoon: A Fable of Leading through a Black Swan Event

Stormy at ocean

By Eric Michrowski

As we navigate through this Black Swan event, I keep being reminded of a book that had captured my attention in my youth. Joseph Conrad’s Typhoon presents the story of Captain MacWhirr, a practical leader of few words, and Jukes a youthful sea mate as they sail a newly built ship across the South China Sea.

COVID-19 – An opportunity to live your values in the eyes of your Customer

An-opportunity-to-live-your-values-eyes-of your-Customer

By Eric Michrowski

The COVID-19 Black Swan event has provided a unique opportunity for brands to demonstrate how they live their values, particularly as it relates to Customers. Some brands have stepped up and demonstrated their customer-centricity in challenging times. Others have tried to pursue profit over Customer loyalty.

Adjusting Your Company to Adapt to the Post-Coronavirus Business Environment (The New Normal)


By Dale Lawrence

Obviously, many businesses are not doing well in this major crisis. Hourly news stories of massive lay-offs, enormous supply chain disruptions, poor customer confidence and hit-and-miss political leadership adds to the human health tragedy. It is easy right now to get pulled into the mud. While many of the issues are out of our hands, there is a lot we can do. Starting with your organization. Read More...

Turning Crisis into Opportunity: A guide for Small & Medium Business Leaders


By Vicki Scott

While this can be incredibly trying time for Small & Medium business leaders, or those in specialty business categories, there will be survivors! The road ahead will require massive action, determination and work. Canadian small businesses make up 41.7% of our GDP. Between 2013 and 2018, 56.8% of all new jobs were created by small businesses. Read More...

Three powerful leadership principles to guide you through the COVID-19 Black Swan


By Kyounghee Choi

Here are three powerful principles to help guide your decision-making across both your business and personal life as you navigate through this black swan crisis. There is no perfect formula, case study, analysis or best practice that can be relied upon as this crisis is so unique by its very nature. However, the role of the leader is so critical to ensure long term success. Decisions being made today will help guide whether you survive, thrive or fail when calm waters arrive. Leaders need to have a deeper understanding of what is happening and secure the support of the broader team, quickly. Just as one would sail through an intense storm, leaders cannot control the wind, but leaders can control the course and direction of the ship. This is the time for leaders to take firm control of the direction, seek a path with less turbulence and guide the ship across. Read More...

Supply Chain Risk – Solving and Overcoming Unexpected Gaps


By Eric Johnson

In the current COVID-19 crisis, disruptions to the supply chain have become tremendously apparent, as the entire economy shuts down to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. As we move toward a prolonged shutdown, many organizations are looking to do two things: minimize the damage that the supply chain disruption brings and then to position the organization to ramp up quickly if the recovery occurs at a rapid pace amid sharply recovering demand.

The Impact of a Reduced Social Environment

casual family together

By Kelly Cave and Madison Hanscom

While the act of social distancing is crucial in reducing the spread of COVID-19, being separated from human contact can have detrimental effects on mental health and overall wellbeing. The reason people struggle with isolation is because humans evolved as social beings. In other words, we form groups and organizations that extend beyond our individual selves and these groups help us survive.


Is your remote workforce prepared for COVID-19 cybersecurity threats?

technology safety

By Martin Royal

While taking care of our health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis is the priority, many will find themselves working remotely for the first time and might face other potential threats: cybersecurity threats.

Maintaining a culture of trust during a crisis


By Martin Royal

As many organizations prepare to encourage their workforce to work remotely, the change of work environment has the potential to impact employee's perception of the organization, of the leaders and of each other. It can be tricky to maintain a level of communication and trust when new remote workers are finding themselves working with other remote colleagues in multiple locations and time zones. One factor that could determine how well your team will work remotely together is that of trust, or the lack of it.


8 Tips for Managing Distractions While Working Remotely

Please do not disturb

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

Are you working remotely and finding it hard to focus on work tasks? While frustrating, this lack of focus is completely normal. The reason for your wandering attention is because our brains have a limited conscious capacity. Translation: we can only focus on a small number of things at once.

12 Tips for Coaching a Remote Workforce During This Black Swan Event: PART TWO

woman working from home

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

While your leadership team may be in crisis mode and navigating the best decisions for your people and the business, management is pivoting their teams and adapting leadership styles to a remote workforce. As noted in Part One of this blog series, effective communication is crucial to coaching employees--but remote coaching strategies do not end there. A truly successful approach to remotely coaching a workforce also involves bolstering the mental vitality of your team for better productivity and overall happiness. Read More...

12 Tips for Coaching a Remote Workforce During This Black Swan Event: PART ONE

Video call

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

Coaching as a management skill has been a hot topic for years with thousands of blogs, books, and courses offered on the topic. To add to this complexity is the equally challenging task of managing a remote workforce, which by necessity or choice, more and more companies are deciding to do. It’s understandable that many leaders who are new to this likewise relatively novel practice may need some clear and concise suggestions to help them navigate their way through coaching a remote workforce. Read More...

Leading a safe and productive workforce during times of uncertainty


By Brie DeLisi

The world has been incredibly impacted over the course of the last month with COVID-19 and impacts on our economy. Leaders are being confronted with challenges that they have never had to address before, and it can be overwhelming. Leadership skills during this time are more important than they have ever been, to continue to promote a culture of safety and productivity.


Executive Messaging During COVID-19


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.” – Brian Tracy

The Importance of Large-Scale Communication
Executive leadership skills are tested in crisis. Senior leaders are facing challenges now that not only threaten the survival of their companies but the lives of their employees and those they serve. As you may have noticed, leaders are now sending mass emails out to the public addressing their response to COVID-19. These email blasts represent a great opportunity for leaders to connect directly with the public to share their vision and values during this crisis. Unfortunately, many of these messages feel canned and generic and simply miss the mark.


Nine Tools for Leaders to Manage Extreme Pressures and Mental Wellbeing through the COVID-19 Black Swan Event


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

It is critical that leaders pay attention to their mental health during this pandemic and share information to employees on this topic. The extreme stressors leaders are dealing during this pandemic can bring mental health issues like stress and anxiety to the forefront. Leaders should be commended for their proactive efforts during these times. There are numerous examples of executives doing the right thing by their employees which will be detailed in upcoming blogs. This is especially commendable as financial perils threaten many organizations. Executives are dealing with unprecedented economic uncertainty while managing stressors in truly uncharted waters.


Four Ways to Stay Connected in a Virtual World

business man on phone at computer

By Julia Borges

Virtual Work and COVID-19

If our world wasn’t already virtual, it sure is now. Amidst the Novel COVID-19 pandemic that has completely changed the way the world works, businesses are faced with the challenge of staying connected in a virtual world. Many businesses may already be comfortable with working virtually as this is has become increasingly popular over the years, but for some businesses, this way of working is uncharted territory. Read More...

COVID-19 Impacts to the Construction Industry


By Eric Johnson

As the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the economy grows more and more severe, an increasing number of industries have become well aware of the sharp impact the virus will have on their operations and end customers. In particular, the construction industry is poised to experience a downturn that we believe will occur immediately and be recognized in earnings between Q2 - Q4. Of course, this all depends on the severity of the virus. Any mutations or reemergence at successive points in the future will create additional uncertainty. Read More...

Leading Your Business Through COVID-19: Shifted Your Teams to Remote Work, But Now What?


By Dale Lawrence

While we all are experiencing a number of fast-moving business problems, most companies have shifted work to remote locations with little preparation. Like running out of the office at the sign of a fire, many employees didn’t take more than the basics. Hopefully the basics included a laptop and mobile device, but this may not be the case everywhere. If your company hasn’t fully assessed the business requirements for transitioning every role to remote work, you likely have gaps. Some gaps are likely hidden and serious.


How to be a Safety Leader during COVID 19 - Daily check in


By Brie DeLisi

A large portion of the workforce is now working remotely due to the current COVID 19 climate. Companies and governments alike are encouraging employees to work from home, where possible, to reduce the potential for spreading the virus. This results in a new potential danger to employees that might be unexpected.

COVID-19 Impacts to the Construction Industry

Change leaders, please stand up!


By Martin Royal

I wrote about what sets apart effective change leaders in a previous blog post, namely their ability to frame the change effort and building the capacity of the team to implement and sustain the change. For the most part, this assumes that leaders are engaged in a planned, thoughtful and deliberate change effort. Sometimes, the change effort is not so deliberate and comes knocking at our door unexpectedly.

Mutual Safety: why we need to lookout for one another

Doctor taking prescription

By: Julia Borges, M.A.

What is mutual safety?

As the number of confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus continues to climb, people all over the world are preparing for its impacts. Some are stocking up on food, others are working from home, and some are choosing to self-isolate. Self-isolation is one of the most important steps we can take to slow the spread of this virus – and it’s not just for our own safety, it’s also for the safety of others. This is what we call mutual safety. In the case of this pandemic, it is when two or more parties take actions, such as self-isolation, to keep themselves and others from contracting the virus. Mutual safety is when we look beyond ourselves and take actions that increase the safety of others. Read More...

Customer Behavior for Frontline Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic


By Vicki Scott

As the world comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, our reality as consumers has shifted to one of empty store shelves, long wait times, changes in store hours and even store closures. However inconvenient this may be, it is important to note that retail workers are among the highest risk frontline workers next to healthcare providers and essential service providers. For some consumer-based businesses, they may even fall under the essential service guidelines announced by government; this may include grocery stores, drug stores, pharmacies, financial institutions and postal outlets. As such; workers in these industries do not have the option for self-isolation, we rely on them; whether they are customer facing or behind the scenes, to assist in providing us with the necessities we need daily.


Creating Social Connectedness During COVID-19


By Kelly Cave

With cities, stores, public spaces, and offices around the world shutting down amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are all finding ourselves more isolated than usual. A major negative side effect of the CDC’s recommended practice of social distancing includes feelings of isolation and a lack of connection to our family, friends, and coworkers. Isolation is the exact opposite of what evolution has hard-wired us to do because humans are naturally social beings. Years of research has shown time and time again that social isolation has detrimental effects on our metal health and overall wellbeing. In times of stress, we find comfort in seeking out and supporting one another, which is typically done in-person. However, this in-person contact is the exact opposite of what the CDC recommends us to do in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.

Leading During COVID-19: A Time for Compassion


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Leaders face a new world of challenges influencing employees during COVID-19. Everyone is under tremendous pressure with the uncertainty of tomorrow. Many people have loved ones they may not be able to see or speak with directly because of social distancing. Others know friends and family that have lost jobs as the economy reels. 401K’s are tanking. Critical home supplies are increasingly scarce.

What happens if I discover someone has COVID-19 at my workplace?


By Madison Hanscom

In order to keep yourself, your employees, and others around you free from illness, it is important to backtrack and reflect where you have been in the past two weeks to assess exposure. This includes the work environment. What if one of your employees has been in close proximity to an individual in the workplace who now has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone who is displaying symptoms?

Dealing with COVID-19: Alleviating Stress & Anxiety via Communication


By Maggie Carey

As we face these trying times it is easy to get swept into the hysteria that surrounds COVID-19. Coronavirus is real, and try as we might, we do not have control over it. However, we do have control over how we respond to it. So, how can we change the way we communicate to manage our current stress and anxiety?


COVID-19: The 4 Low-Frills Apps Needed to Rapidly Ramp up Virtual Work


By Eric Michrowski

The COVID-19 Pandemic is driving a rapid shift to remote work across North America. Most leaders have woken up to the criticality of shifting workers that are non-essential to locations where there is a lesser risk to spread the virus. Those that haven’t yet, might wake up one morning with the entire office quarantined which is a significantly worse outcome.

COVID-19: Cash is King in a Crisis. And today is no different. The 5-steps to managing your cashflow through the Corona Black Swan Crisis.


By Eric Michrowski

Cash is King. It’s an overused expression that I learned early in my career, but it really came to life for me after the 9/11 Black Swan Event. I was in the airline industry, sitting in disbelief as the towers fell. I will never forget that moment. I was frozen in front of the TV in disbelief. After spending several days meeting inbound crews from around the world, taking care of their needs, I quickly came back to reality.

How to run effective virtual meetings

Empty boardroom table and chair with light colour wood

By Brie DeLisi

There is a call to practice Social Distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, and many organizations have responded accordingly. Companies are shifting to an entirely remote workforce, where possible, and with this significant shift in the physical nature of the workplace, comes a new workforce dynamic. Meetings that were previously held in person are now shifting to a virtual conference call – and that can exacerbate pre-existing issues around participant engagement. In order to better prepare you and your team for this new meeting setting, we’ve compiled a number of recommendations to run effective virtual meetings: Read More...

COVID-19 FOCUS: How South Korea has come up with innovative ways to control COVID-19 to reduce the length of business interruptions and associated business parallels and applications to help you navigate this Black Swan event


By KyoungHee Choi

The Novel CoronaVirus (COVID 19) is a daily topic of discussion and news. From its roots in Wuhan (China), it quickly spread across Asia and then took a quick foothold in Iran, South Korea and Italy. From there it started spreading rapidly across Europe and North America without recognizing borders and affecting across all walks of life and cultures. Now, people are monitoring the evolving global pandemic and impact every single day. Read More...

COVID-19 Pandemic Planning: 8 Considerations to put the Safety of Your Teams and Business First


By Eric Michrowski

The COVID-19 Pandemic is rapidly becoming a topic of urgent executive dialogue in the US and Canada as the rate of infections is rapidly growing and spreading within the community. As the landscape is swiftly evolving, several large gatherings and sporting events have been cancelled and the markets have responded wildly. Many businesses have responded swiftly and proactively while others with global footprints had to immediately respond in January with the first signs of an outbreak in China. Others are working through their strategies at this moment. Read More...

Working from Home: Tips and Considerations

Family man working from home at kitchen table copy

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. & Julia Borges, M.A.

Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, more organizational leaders are making the challenging and responsible decision to shift everyday work to be done remotely by employees. While this can support the slow of this pandemic, this work style can present a host of organizational challenges, stressors, and increase levels of uncertainty. If organizations are going to shift to remote work, it is important that they gather and implement best practices to make this transition as seamless as possible: Read More...

Working from home? Here is your safety checklist:

Mac computer desktop keyboard administration typing

By Brie DeLisi

Whether you are a seasoned remote employee or new to working from home due to COVID-19, there are a number of considerations to take for working at home safely.


Bringing creativity and innovation into your organization: Start your commitment to Actively Care today!


By Kyoung Hee Choi

I believe creativity is something that you can learn and not something that you were simply born with. Creative people tend to be more curious, innovative and intuitive; values that are essential to the success in any career or business. Creativity is not a choice but rather an essential skill that will help advance your career and business. Almost everything can be digitized; but not creativity. Creativity and Innovation are some of the most important differentiators in a rapidly changing and evolving world where disruption has become a fact of life. Read More...

When Good Processes Go Bad


By Eric Johnson

We always talk about processes as going from bad to great, based on deliberate projects and other interventions that recognize issues as they arrive; and when identified, how management reacts to the discovery and its attempts to resolve the problems. Read More...

Key Elements in Stakeholder Management


By Eric Johnson

Stakeholder management is formally defined as the “the systematic identification, analysis, planning and implementation of actions designed to engage with stakeholders.” Thus a “stakeholder” is “[any] individual or group with an interest in the project, program, or portfolio because they are involved in the work or affected by the outcomes.”1