Indian business leaders building psychological safety and reframing failure as learning will thrive – new research

New research from CEMS' member Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta outlines steps Indian business leaders should take to thrive post pandemic

When you let employees know that they are supported to take risks they become less afraid of failure and more able to take their own initiative leading to an engaged, happy and productive workforce.”

— Professor Sunita Malhotra

LONDON, UK, February 24, 2021 / — Research report: Leaders building psychological safety and reframing failure as learning will thrive post-pandemic

A CEMS Guide to Leadership in a Post-COVID-19 World, identifies that post-pandemic, business leaders must build psychological safety for people to be their best selves, including building tolerance of failure and reframing it as learning.

The report sets out a series of recommendations to help business leaders meet the challenges of a post-COVID-19 world, developed after in-depth consultation with the CEMS Global Alliance of 69 Corporate Partners and 34 leading global business schools, including the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta.

The report draws on research among 1,711 CEMS Alumni and Corporate Partners, which found that for 87% of respondents, Covid-19 has profoundly affected their business and teams. There has been a dramatic increase in the importance of resilience and empathy as leadership qualities and a correlating nosedive in the importance of traditional leadership authority and technical skills.

Professor Sunita Malhotra, a key contributor to the report, said: “Building psychological safety will be critical for successful leaders post-pandemic. A key element to this is tolerance of failure and the ability to reframe it as learning; empowering people to experiment, try new approaches, build new skills and accept responsibility without blame.”

“Often failure implies ‘bad’ which stunts growth. Instead, when you define failure as learning, that is where the growth begins. When you let employees know that they are supported to take risks, over a period of time, they will become less afraid when things go wrong and more able to take their own initiative, leading to an engaged, happy and productive workforce.”

Recommendations for leaders in a post-COVID-19 world

1) Work on yourself:

• Prioritise introspection and self-reflection.
• Articulate your purpose as a leader and your goals for your organisation. Identify your strengths.
• Roll out mindset and mindfulness programmes across the organisation at all levels, as an integral part of L&D for all leaders, including the most senior in the company.

2) Create a safe culture and environment:

• Identify the challenges your team members face working from home: bring these issues into the open and be respectful.
• Create employee assistance programmes which combine emotional and mental health support for employees and their families.
• Model transparency, accessibility, tolerance and empathy in all your communications and interactions with your people – and expect it from others.
• Ensure that all leaders in your company undertake specific training on how to help employees maintain emotional well-being and work remotely.

3) Build resilience:

• Be tolerant of failure and reframing it as learning.
• Invite guest speakers from inside and outside the business to share their personal leadership stories, focusing both on success and how they have grown from failures.
• Encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in others.
• Empower your people to experiment, to try new approaches, to build new skills and to accept responsibility without blame. Let everyone take responsibility.
• Embed learning and share opportunities into procedures and operations, insisting they are used.

Redefining business-as-usual

“These valuable insights from the collective global mindset of the CEMS community, can serve as the building blocks we need to construct our post-pandemic future successfully,” said Greg Whitwell, Chair of the CEMS Global Alliance.

He added, “The pandemic has given leaders a rare opportunity to question the status quo, and to redefine the business-as-usual approach. It has laid bare deficiencies in the more traditional ways of thinking about leadership and about education, revealing a certain structural rigidity. As we consolidate our efforts to emerge from this crisis, it will be critical to review the valuable lessons it has offered and fully leverage the opportunity to rethink how we lead and how we educate our future leaders.”


More information, including a full copy of the report, is available here.

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Source: EIN Presswire