What have leaders learnt from the global pandemic?

2020 has been quite a year, and it’s no exaggeration to say that none of us are exactly where we expected to be back in January. Now, as we start to see signs of the crisis abating, it’s time to look back on what we’ve learnt from our months of living differently. In Leadership Perspectives: Leading and Looking Ahead Through COVID-19, Peppercomm and the Institute for Public Relations have drawn on the experiences of 30 senior communications executives across a range of industries to reflect on how the pandemic has changed the way we do business – from organisational challenges to shifting priorities for management to increased focus on employee wellbeing.

Although it gathered perspectives from vastly different sectors, the study found a number of key learnings that were repeated time and time again. Some were unsurprising, such as the increased use of new communication platforms and video calling technology. Others seem more unexpected, such as the importance of CEOs demonstrating vulnerability in their communications with employees. It’s clear that there’s a renewed attention to employee wellbeing across the board, but the practical applications of this differ between organisations and leaders.
Our current moment – and, indeed, much of this year – seems to be marked with uncertainty. As communications leaders look to the future, predications of how businesses will continue to adapt are variable and speculative. With so much changing from one day to the next, looking forward seems daunting, but the perspectives of communications executives are hopeful. The world will not go back to the ‘normal’ we were used to, as business travel is reduced and more conferences become virtual, but some of these changes will be for the better, with renewed attention on social purpose and greater recognition of the role of communications teams.

The Flagship team has extracted key findings from the 30 interviews in the review below, giving you a snapshot of five of the key issues we see facing comms leaders today. You can also download Peppercomm and the Institute for Public Relations’ Leadership Perspectives e-book here.

Leadership Perspectives whitepaper