Three (Digital) Reflexes to Help Us Convert Paradoxes into Opportunities

29 July 2020

Vitamine R

A crisis amplifies existing trends, with changes occurring even more rapidly than before. This can lead to paradoxical situations. We believe in striving for balance, as this enables the greatest possible acceleration. Our Digital Flow vision makes use of a digital reflex to seek out win/win situations that create fresh opportunities. Whatever the situation, we are always led by who we are. We focus on people, both employees and customers, and that's the main reason we consciously opt for peace, daring and connection.

In this blog post we reflect on three paradoxes that we faced recently, and likely many others along with us. How did we deal with them internally, as an organization and towards our employees? And how did we help our customers with this? There's a recurring theme here – our DNA.

Peace in the Midst of Chaos

A crisis generates all kinds of new challenges that require attention. How can we achieve peace under such conditions? As peace is often inextricably linked to time, it can certainly help to free up time in our daily operations. Right from the start, we opted to set up a multidisciplinary coronavirus unit with members from all levels of our organization (HR, marketing, communication, sales, facilities, management, etc.). This provided rest and a focus to each day, and made it possible for the right people to make the right choices. In turn, decisions got communicated rapidly and clearly to all stakeholders.

This is actually something we do for our customers on a daily basis as well. Together, we review which everyday tasks and processes we can take out of their hands. Additionally, we're constantly on the lookout for ways to make the existing situation more efficient. As many companies definitively embrace remote working as an organization, for example, they have expanded their Teams license or accelerated their switch to the cloud. Training employees in the use of such new technologies can also be an important optimization factor.

 “To allow our people to adopt new ways of working, we've had to make a very rapid transition. In addition, we've analyzed all our projects and searched for ways to accelerate them, so as to emerge from this crisis in optimum condition. Together with Realdolmen, we're investigating which IT systems and processes are candidates for further optimization,” says Olivier Knockaert at Vanheede Environment Group in an episode of our Z-Digital Flow series.


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Daring in Uncertain Times

Unanticipated events can cause us to freeze up, flee or stick to what we know. Changes in circumstances can make the safe option a lot less useful, however. Our own management team was in the middle of determining their new organizational strategy when the crisis hit. They switched course in mid-flow and took a flexible approach, daring to set aside existing objectives in favor of concentrating fully on the current challenges. In addition to a willingness to put things off, we consider the opposite response, daring to accelerate, just as important. That's why, for example, we took a good look at our recruitment process and chose to implement a new hiring method without delay.

We also actively encourage our customers to let the crisis inspire them to change and innovate. Once the winds of change die down again, it's good to be in a strong position and ready to face the future. To provide them with support and inspiration, we offer Digital Booster Workshops. With the right stakeholders and in an organized fashion, we draw up an action plan to show the way to a digital future. They gain insight into which areas are amenable to digital acceleration and learn the steps they can take to define the new normal for their organization, customers and personnel.

Staying Connected when Distance Is Vital

The coronavirus crisis has forced us to distance ourselves physically. However, to continue working and collaborating in these conditions in the best possible way, connections and a human touch are more important than ever. Clear, consistent communication is an important component. From our perspective, we chose to have our leader play a prominent role in our communications to improve closeness. In addition to these formal communications, generally focusing on measures and guidelines, we also tightened up our informal ties. We (continue to) do so under our very own #WERFAMILY flag. We encourage people managers to check in with their teams regularly and truly make time for one another as people. We commit to such personal connections with our customers, too.

From the beginning of the lockdown, we stayed in contact with our customers as closely as we could. Both for them and ourselves, the new ways of working took some getting used to. Our customers appreciated our staying in touch to check how they were, what was going on and the ways in which we could help.”– Kris Van Der Stappen, Sales Director Business Development Realdolmen


What Paradoxes Are You Dealing With?

Let us know and we'll look for the win-win solution together.

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