Gideon Kunda, a professor at Tel Aviv University, has long been one of the most appreciated lecturers on the Gothenburg Executive MBA program. As such, many alumni took the chance to hear him talk when the opportunity was recently offered in a webinar entitled: “Culture change and the corona crisis: lessons so far and future challenges.”
In his lecture, Professor Kunda highlighted the effects of working from home. Initially, it is often experienced as positive and productive. However, over time, disadvantages develop, such as employees losing their sense of community and losing trust in their organization.
Professor Kunda emphasised the importance of long-term leadership even in times of crisis; to build trust internally, to be empathetic in communications, to create time for reflection and learning and to listen to employees: What do they think about the situation we are in right now?
Short-term solutions are often tempting in times of crisis. However, according to Professor Kunda, it is important to be aware of the impact that short-term solutions can have on the organisation’s culture and employee engagement over time.
He also pointed out that top management in large organisations actually always exert control remotely. In those companies, you can ask yourself what you already know about leading in this way. It is also important to ask employees who are being led remotely what their challenges and needs are in this situation. At the same time, those who are leading remotely must receive relevant training and tools to be able to do so.
Responding to the question of what good examples of leadership he has noted during the crisis, Gideon Kunda highlighted the organisations that have really made an effort not to lay off anyone. That, he said, is one of the most important messages you can give your organization.
The webinar was arranged in collaboration with the School of Business, Economics and Law’s Partner Program. We are very happy with the large number of participants, as well as the very positive comments and feedback. We’re looking forward to soon inviting back our alumni to new opportunities for learning, reflection and discussion.
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