Christina is a product and technology leader with 15 years’ experience from pre-launch ventures to large scale business transformations in well-established businesses.
Her expertise lies in product and technology strategy design and implementation, team building and service design.
1. In what shape has your business emerged from Covid-19?
I work as an independent consultant, so I found myself without work from early April. However, it allowed me to really think about what the “product” I offer is about, and I spent the first few months testing out my skills by applying them to different scenarios than I ordinarily would on a volunteer basis. I am now pleased to say that I have a clear view of what I can offer and what I don’t, in my consultancy capacity. I have now taken on some paid work for an NGO around upskilling teams on remote collaboration, and I am also about to start another interim role as well. So I feel I have emerged with more focus and determination in terms of what I enjoy doing and what I am good at.
2. What are the most important and emerging skills to work in the new normal?
More so than ever I would say good meeting practices and in particular facilitation skills. As we have lost most of the more informal conversations in between meetings, the time we do have together needs to be optimised and maximised. Facilitation is a real skill, and I don’t think we actually recognise that enough – also pre Covid-19.
Secondary to that; planning our day to day more consciously and be stricter on priorities, largely for the same reasons as above.
3. What has been your biggest key learning and how will this prepare you for the future?
That it is infinitely more tiring to do all your work/ meetings over zoom, and in the beginning, I found myself way too ambitious with what could be achieved on calls vs a day in the office. So there is definitely a lot to learn about energy management and be true to your own and other’s capacity.
4. What has been the biggest surprise to you?
I was in an interim Department Director role right at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, and what surprised me the most was how ready and willing the teams were to embrace remote working practices. In the beginning we operated with a hybrid model, meaning – if one person was remote, we all worked as if we were remote. We found that the teams were more productive and welcomed the focus it gave them.
In addition, I was blown away with the creativity by which they approached the challenge of remote working and retaining a sense of team. Not just from a work perspective but to ensure that their colleagues were thriving from a mental health perspective as well. It gave me hope that mental health is finally beginning to be seen as just health!
I am almost ashamed to say that it was a surprise, but I guess it gave a different visibility of everyone’s efforts as ideas and suggestions were shared in Slack and over calls from the get-go, so we could ensure that we applied it at scale.
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