The catchwords currently on people’s lips encapsulating effective approaches to managing in the Covid-19 era and beyond include resilience and agile. Add to that list “Blended.”
Who is the Blended Project Manager and what does it mean?
Put simply, Blended means the ability to combine different working practices into a cohesive whole. Before coronavirus, many managers relied on conducting their business in a certain manner, for instance, face-to-face meetings and negotiations etc. The Covid-19 crisis has forced people into different behavior, such as performing those meetings online. For many this was a stop-gap to be pursued only for as long as lockdown is necessary.
The spirit of Blended means embracing online working practices as part of a permanent working solution. Initially, such a strategy is needed as the world works its way towards the new normality. The smartest organizations, however, will not consider this as a step towards the work practices of old. Rather, they will use the learning experience to think about how face-to-face and online can be Blended in order to create enhanced working practices.
Viewed from this perspective, blending the online with the traditional is about getting the best from both worlds to create more flexible and adaptable working practices. This is not simply a case of deciding the modality (face-to-face, online) of meetings, but considering how different media combine to produce the perfect response to the changing world around us.
Such decisions often involving contrasting choices:
- Written or Oral
- Formal or Informal
- Instant or Delayed messaging
- Digital or Paper-and-pencil
- Push or Pull communication
- Group or Pairs
Take some time to think about your organization and how it can blend some of these choices to maximize effectiveness. What changes have worked particularly well during the months of lockdown? Some aspects of managing online may have worked surprisingly well! By contemplating exit from lockdown as a move to the future instead of a regression to the past you will become a Blended Project Manager.