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5 tools for leading more effectively in a hybrid workplace

Keith Ferrazzi masterclass on competing in the new world of work


Recent U.S. survey data shows hybrid work may be worth a 7% pay rise to workers, and about 40% of WFH workers would seek another job if their boss required a full return to the office.(1) 

Welcome to the new world of work, where leaders are asked to be more flexible and collaborative as hybrid/remote work beds in. As always, our speakers can help. Here we share Keith Ferrazzi’s 4 pillars of change and 5 tools for leading a hybrid workforce.

4 pillars of change

“I want you to be ambassadors of moving forward.”

So asked Keith Ferrazzi of today’s masterclass delegates at Competing in the New World of Work.

The bestselling author, speaker, and founder of Ferrazzi Greenlight did research with 2000 organisations, and shared 4 pillars of change which successful leaders ‘dial up’ to thrive in the new world of work.

1.     Foresight: They look around corners. Aerospace company Lockheed Martin was alerted to potential disruption months before the pandemic thanks to its 5-minute risk/opportunity question-asking session each month (‘Is there a growth opportunity we could miss?’ ‘Is there a risk that could bite us in the butt?’). An executive raised the alert of a new virus, and spurred Lockheed to action that saw them ready to go fully remote by February 2020.

2.     Agility: They run organisations that adapt and pivot to suit the moment.

3.     Inclusion: They design for collaboration and real inclusion. Successful leaders value answers more than job titles. Tech tools are used to ensure inclusivity.

4.     Resilience. They work hard to not lose their culture when ‘sprinting a marathon.’

Myth: You need authority to lead

Keith Ferrazzi told the true story of UK school student Tilly Smith, who in 1946 remembered a fact from her geography class that helped her recognise foaming waters off Hawaii as early signs of a tsunami. She convinced her parents, and the villagers were saved.  

Free Download: 10 Leadership Qualities That Will Help Solve Challenges in 2022

This busts the myth that you need authority to lead, says Keith Ferrazzi. It’s also leveraging the wisdom of the tribe. Foresight and crisis agility was also needed during the pandemic and can be nurtured ongoing. One way is to use internal (and external) crowdsourcing to identify opportunities and risks and for suggesting ideas. As the saying goes, “None of us is as wise as all of us.” 

Rethinking leader and team

It requires a rethinking of what a “leader” and a “team” are. In the new world of work, when workers are remote or hybrid and change is constant:

·       Co-creation is more vibrant than consensus or buy-in.

·       Your team are the individuals who you need to get the job done, not those who report to you.

·       Multiple teams may be needed to achieve goals.

·       “WIIFT” – What’s In It for Them? is essential for joyful collaborations.

·       Agile (short sprints of work) is the new operating system for the future.

·       Candour, humility, and generosity are needed. 

5 tools for leading more effectively in a hybrid workplace

The most innovative organisations collaborate by seamlessly integrating humans, automation, and AI tools. They manage their team’s health, and actively monitor it. They communicate in a streamlined manner that’s fit for purpose. And they have a growth mindset that supports continuous improvement. Here are 5 recommended tools to achieve this:

Asynch video

Asynch video is ideal for hybrid and remote teams and is as easy as pressing the ‘record video’ button. Asynchronous video (not existing or occurring at the same time) can be used to prepare for meetings, to support and foster collaboration, to support decision making and ideation, to feel heard and maintain relationships.

Decision board

Before pulling hybrid/remote/in-office people into a meeting, send them a Google Docs or Sharepoint (or similar) spreadsheet that lists “Here’s the problem” and asks them for input and ideas. Have them challenge the question or challenge the answers. Headers may read:

·       What bold ideas might we explore to truly breakthrough?

·       What are the challenges groups might have with this?

·       Who needs to participate for greatest insight and innovation?

·       Who will be impacted?

·       What information is needed?

·       What are proposed timelines and sequences?

Psychological safety

To build a team which can work together whether remote/hybrid or in-office, psychological safety is essential. Try using breakout rooms more often (people feel more confident in smaller groups). Make it clear it is a safe and inclusive group where it is safe to challenge some of the thinking, safe to contribute ideas, and safe to try new things.


Either over video or in-person, have a team member present for 15 minutes on:

·       What have we done? Where are we struggling? What’s next?

Move into breakout rooms for 15 minutes to discuss:

·       What challenges do we see? What innovations can we offer? How can we help?

Breakout groups report for 15 minutes. Topic owner accepts feedback with yes, no, or maybe.

......and asynch bulletproofing

A combination of all of the above, asynch bulletproofing uses asynchronous video of a presenter explaining a particular problem, idea, or challenge, and a Google-docs-style decision board can be populated with ideas and answers:

·       What challenges do we see that you might have? What innovations can we offer? Where can we help?  

Energy check-in

Hybrid work and remote work need not cause strains in personal wellbeing or a feeling of connectedness. The key message from Keith is to connect as humans first. 

·       Do an energy check-in. On a regular basis ask your colleagues ‘What is your energy level on a scale of 0-5?’ (Tip: Let your people know about our FREE series of events for Mental Health and Wellbeing Week)

·       Sweet and sour. What’s going on in your life – sweet and sour?

·       Dinner. Hold a personal professional bonding dinner.

Invest in Your Teams with Our Leadership Pass  

High performing teams need professional development and upskilling to ensure they have the traits needed for this new world of work. Our Leadership Pass gives you access to the best minds and brilliant ideas with weekly live, interactive, virtual masterclasses. Our speakers and authors include Jim Collins, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M.R. Covey, Whitney Johnson and more.  


1. Australian Productivity Commission Working From Home research paper


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