COVID-19 Updates

Manage Your Momentum & Prepare for the Next Phase of Mobility

June 18, 2020


The first law of physics, according to Sir Isaac Newton, is that an object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest (unless there should be an outside force to act upon it, in either circumstance). The pandemic was the outside force that halted most mobility activity, abruptly, and without much warning.

As a mobility professional, if you feel that your position’s decision-making opportunities have increased in terms of each decision’s inherent risk or unknown implications, or slowed due to COVID-19, now is the time to deepen your connection to, and comfort level with, decision making. In the flurry of unpredictability, it is easy to postpone decisions pending the right information, which may never arrive. Consider yourself this time warned: mobility activity will be picking up, and the law of inertia makes it easier to stay at rest. As such, it’s time to take steps to move forward, preparing yourself to easily join the resuming momentum of mobility.

You can go to a self-help section of a bookstore (assuming the store has reopened) and find books on decision making across the shelves. There are dozens of decision-making models available with principles and methods based on diagramming, testing, and mapping assumptions against data for strategic thinking. Decision making is a science and an art. Not stopping there, there is a certain fitness level for handling a decision’s required analysis and execution: like a muscle you want to consistently flex to keep in shape, exercising your decision-making skills regularly helps to ward off atrophying.

The impact of COVID-19 has already compelled organizations to adjust their business models in response. We are seeing globally and collectively that accelerating organizational approaches to structure, remote working, people analytics, duty of care, employee experience, and engagement will enable organizations to operate most effectively going forward. Involving yourself in any decisions in such areas now will enable you to parlay the practice into significant mobility transformation program and policy reviews that are on the horizon for the post-pandemic era. In fact, BGRS is already experiencing an increase in demand for transformational program and policy reviews.

Accelerating adeptly and successfully to pace your organization with the speed of change means avoiding the following decision-making pitfalls that many fall prey to in times of ambiguity:

Decision-making Pitfalls and Pivots

  • Pitfall: Failure to communicate all the information at your disposal to others involved or holding back information that is riddled with uncertainty because it may lead to questions for which there are no answers at this time.
    • Pivot: Share information with the caveat that the implications of such are still under consideration.
  • Pitfall: Considering a decision or situation final when, as more or new information is available, there is opportunity to adjust or iterate to design a more flexible and accommodating solution at a later juncture.
    • Pivot: New information provides an opportunity for new decisions. Keep moving forward with the decision based on the information available today.
  • Pitfall: The classic: Making no decision at all (which is a decision in itself) or waiting for “all” of the information before making one, which leads us back to making no decision at all.
    • Pivot: Make the best decision you can at the time with the information you have at your disposal.
  • Pitfall: Turning down or pushing off meetings under the notion that there is not relevant information to exchange (because of the slowdown from COVID).
    • Pivot: You never know how a conversation with a colleague may serve to inform or enlighten. Stay engaged and open to new opportunities for knowledge.
  • Pitfall: Sticking to the general notion that you’re in wait-and-see mode. Continuing to hold or postpone steps for initiatives, operations, and planning.
    • Pivot: Lethargy and procrastination are not your friends. Stay engaged and moving forward. Keep meetings on your calendar.

Throughout 2020, and beyond, many organizations will radically rethink their business models, restructure their supply chains, and adjust their people strategies. The new world of work is likely to look very different, and human resources leaders will be keen to keep with the rapid pace of change. Getting started now means taking advantage of the highway “merge ramp” to speed up before you find yourself amidst the whizzing cars already traveling along. Consider all the ways you are compelled and enabled to accelerate now, with the ramp still ahead. An influx of held-back moves will start us off; relocation activity will resume on its broader, global scale; and with that, the new momentum of mobility management has begun.