Business as usual – is there a higher opportunity?

June 5th, 2020

briars group jon hammond

No matter where you are in the world, the recent Covid crisis has given us an opportunity.

It has given us the time and need to reflect on effectiveness and skillsets of our organisations, our people and indeed ourselves.

So what conclusions have you come to?

Many of the clients I have spoken to over the past few weeks have expressed the need to be able to pivot and not get bogged down with process. They are focussing on the things they do well and looking for other ways and highly experienced people (Briars) to do the things that don’t require the same levels of their personal input and time.

Effectiveness has been the word that kept coming up in our conversations, examining both where they are right now and where they want to be in what many are saying is the ‘new’ world.

Being an effective leader has always been the ideal requirement from teams right around the world, but now we are seeing that it is essential.

So what does it look like and what could you do to raise your bar?

The first stage would be to choose to review and take a long hard look at the way you connect and communicate with your teams.

Here are some simple quick wins –

  • With many meetings now online, we now expect decent quality pictures and sound so at all costs we need to avoid the ceilings, nostrils and witness protection (light behind the subject and face unlit) that don’t help connecting effectively to our audience.
  • First impressions are equally important, so the boss who appears online looking as if they have just rolled out of bed isn’t going to create an impression of someone we want to follow! And the subliminal message – If they haven’t made an effort then why should we.
  • Then what about your that clear and easy to understand content? We are still seeing lots of complicated presentations, with tons of information, overloading an audience without clear ideas of what they should do next. It’s so easy to fall into the ‘bullet point’ trap – just put lots and lots of bullet points and all will be OK. My answer – ‘bullets are designed to kill people’ – please only use them if absolutely necessary!

Let’s not go back to the old ways where we got used to lots of meetings but with very little remembered about what’s been said.

Maya Angelou has a great and appropriate quote –

‘It’s not about what you tell them – it’s how you make them feel’

So next time you have to connect with your team here are three suggestions

  1. Decide what your ideal communication outcome would be and aim towards it
  2. Keep things simple, easy to understand and use illustrating stories to bring them to life
  3. Take time to really understand what will help your audience get to where you want them to go rather than what you want to tell them

Jon Hammond is an executive leadership coach helping businesses around the world with communication strategies, effective message delivery and helping leaders and organisations to enhance their reputation, presence and to reach their full potential. Contact him at or

Kate Jolly

Kate co-founded Briars in 1991 with Andrew Brierley. She specialised in tax law and today continues to advise clients on international operations, particularly land, expand and exit! In her spare time Kate is a Past Master of the City of London Guild of Entrepreneurs and a Director of CCARHT (Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking).