Resilience is Necessary in Transitioning While in the Unknown

As a world we are transitioning in many facets of our lives where the outcomes remain unknown. This is perhaps the first time in historical memory that as global collective we are facing a future that is not clear and where change is certainly being thrust upon us.

To address the current period of uncertainty it is important to have “resilience”. The Oxford dictionary defines resilient as springing back, of being buoyant. This is a quality that I encourage everyone – myself included to embrace at this time.

As some of us work from home, and others go out to provide needed services, and others have received news of lay off or termination from their places of work resilience is necessary. The short- and longer-term future in the current period of changes that are emerging have yet to manifest.

One of the tenants to value is to leave over thinking behind and settle into the unknown. Not an easy thing to do at the best of times. The working landscape will be different when this current situation has run its course. Those who are able to spring back and demonstrate resilience will be in a better position to create and move on to what is next.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transitioning Change –

Leadership Development

As someone in a leadership role or someone who oversees leaders in your organization are you taking the necessary steps to safeguard that those who report to you are leveraging their own capacity for the better good of all? Are you doing that for yourself as well?

Organizations may have people in leadership roles where the following are missing:

  • An articulated purpose that is shared amongst the individuals that are being worked with;
  • Clear understanding of the power and dynamics that each leader has too work with at a formal and informal level;
  • Vested understanding of the roles and systems in place for the direct reports involved.

Spending time and energy on learning the latest leadership development concepts and models is tempting. However, the real work may be engaging in your own leadership development. In other words, use our own tool-kit to identify our own leadership challenges. In doing so you are in a better position to develop the leaders around you.

What actions are you taking around leadership development in your organization?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition –

Change Consultants & Engagement

With the level of uncertainty that is currently present defining what will serve a business and provide a level of consistency is the task at hand. The current marketplace conditions for many businesses could be described as stagnant.

The time is ripe for questioning assumptions, behaviors, beliefs and processes. Finding a way to engage and re-structure is imperative. Suggestions to focus the discussion and begin the change process follow.

  1. Address what is actual in the operation of the business.
  2. Bring measurement tools to the forefront.
  3. Work within the sphere of influence you have and focus on attainable daily tasks.
  4. Ensure your communication is understandably at every level of the organization.
  5. Circle back and clarify as often as is necessary ensuring everyone is on the same wavelength.

Changes occur with action. Keep the momentum moving. Build on your wins and take the time to celebrate each of your successes along the way.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Consultant – Change & Transition,

Uncertainty Creates Potential for Countless Breakthroughs

For many of the 4 billion people around the globe who are now working from home, or practicing personal distancing and having contact only with the people they live with or those who are providing essential services it has been a period of 4 – 6 weeks.

Having had the breakdown – it is time to embrace having multiple breakthroughs. Some businesses have done this in retooling manufacturing lines to produce various products including hand sanitizers, masks, ventilators to name a few items.

The question becomes what breakthroughs are waiting to come forth in terms of new dynamics in work and life?  Now I am referring to a breakthrough by the definition of overcoming something and having an achievement.

One area of breakthroughs will involve food services. Another will involve bricks and mortar offices and retail areas. Travel and tourism industries will be revised. Trucking and railway transportation of goods for import and export will be different. Growth and distribution of food stuffs will be impacted. Greater emphasis on local will become prevalent. The list goes on.

What areas has your business model looked at in terms of causing a breakthrough? 

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transitioning Change –

Endurance is Necessary Navigating Uncertainty

A definition of endurance – is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. This period of uncertainty is currently challenging the economic and social frameworks that most people, whatever their line of work, are familiar with.

At this juncture many companies are in the process of streamlining their operational activities. That includes temporary closures of facilities including another round of workers receiving lay off notices or reduced hours of work. The salaries of workers are also being cut.

Governments have stepped in are providing assistance that is being rolled out as quickly as possible. As the present situation continues to unfold – endurance is an absolute necessity. Now is the time to continue to preserve through the adverse conditions.

 It is the time when staying power is required to sort through the remnants of what remains as building blocks for what is emerging and has yet to become apparent. It is the time when individuals and the general society in which we live must gather our collective strength and continue despite the fatigue, stress, and ever-present uncertainty.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transitioning Change –

Managing the Current Transition

How are you as an employer, business owner or manager addressing the current transition?  Are you finding new ways of leveraging technology to stay afloat? Is your business in one of the sectors that has been impacted such as travel, hospitality and service? Do you have clarity about the type of influence you have over the business, and the changing dynamics of this time period?

Most employers and managers would state that they have a strong influence overall within the business they are in. Given that every business is undergoing tremendous transition what actions are you taking to manage the turbulent waters that all businesses are currently facing?

  • Do you emulate the type of behaviour and culture you want to see around you?  Are you a strong proponent for having employee’s views and feedback be a part of your daily operational routines?
  • Are you open to constructive criticism that leads to doing things differently over the next several weeks and months?
  • Are you engaging your employees for feedback on improving working dynamics?

All businesses are changing now. The question becomes how are you revitalizing yours?

 Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition Specialist, at

Revitalizing your Business

Are you as an employer, business owner or manager meeting or exceeding your goals?  Are you hitting the high points during the term or year?  Do you have influence over the business, the culture, and the outcomes? If not keep reading.

Most employers and managers would state that they have a strong influence overall within the business they are in.  They would further go on to state they have their ear to the ground and know what is going on.

  • Do you emulate the type of behaviour and culture you want to see around you?  Are you a strong proponent for having employee’s views and feedback be a part of your daily operational routines?
  • Are you open to constructive criticism that leads to change?
  • Do you look for ways to improve workplace dynamics and performance?

If you are more of a closed book than a new chapter in the making, what would have you embrace a different style of leadership and a change management dynamic?  A business will change over time.  The question becomes are you ready for revitalizing yours?

 Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change Specialist, at

Talent Shortages or More AI Automation

Technological changes continue to dominate workplaces. However, the need for skilled talent to mange these processes seems to be increasing.  Companies are examining the scope of their workplace technology investments on one hand. On the other hand, the need to ensure that their work forces are equipped with the skills necessary to mange AI are prevalent.

Temporary and contract workers in this gig economic environment will continue to dominate. Business leaders should expect to see the rise of remote or virtual workers, freelancers, and contract workers.

Is your business ready for the technological changes coming your way? Do your hiring and engagement strategies involve having people onboard that will foster the new era of human and AI automation learning?

Do share your thoughts. I am genuinely interested.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition –

Strategies for Managing the Winter Blues

With the arrival of fall and the coming winter season – the days get shorter, and darker the temperature drops in some cases plummets to Arctic lows. Businesses may see a spike in the increased use of health and wellness programs including Employee Assistance.

Seasonality is often a factor in mental health and is frequently associated with shorter darker days. The increasing attention on individual mental health and wellness lays the groundwork for employers to consider methods to offset the winter blues.

The following suggestions coming may go a long way to ensure productivity and office morale stay stable over the coming winter:

  • Plan a winter planning retreat for your team it could be a day gateway close to the office where high level plans for the upcoming year are discussed;
  • Provide snacks that have contents of vitamin C and D throughout the office;
  • Offer weekly meditation or yoga classes;
  • Encourage employees to utilize Employee Assistance programs to address personal concerns.

What other strategies have you used in your office to offset the changes brought on by winter?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition –

Reasons for Hiring Workers Over the Age of 45

Strategic managers and HR professionals need to address the skills, knowledge base, and institutional memory that is required for their company to grow. Date from StatsCan there is now an equal number of workers aged 25 to 34 and those aged 55 and above who are active in the workplace. That number strongly suggests that to keep up with the demands of running a business – older workers are now a necessity.

Efforts to retain and attract older works need to be top of mind for those who want to ensure the viability of their businesses in the long term. Offering older workers flexible work arrangements, training and development opportunities is important.

Benefits of keeping a mature workforce include:

  • Knowledge based on experience;
  • Dependability and commitment;
  • Established networks that add value;
  • Matching clients to your employee base – mature clients like to deal with mature employees.

What strategies is your business undertaking to ensure that the mature employee stays on?  Do let me know as I am genuinely interested.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition –