Covid-19 Message from Queen's IRC Director Stephanie Noel
We hope that you and your colleagues are staying safe and working from home, if possible. We are grateful for the essential staff in our community who are working on the front lines to keep us safe, fed and healthy during this time.
Given the current Covid-19 situation, we have cancelled our programs from March through the summer months, and adjusted our fall program lineup. These changes are reflected on our website and affected participants have been contacted. Wherever possible, we are shifting participants into upcoming programs. We expect to resume programming when the government and public health advise that it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, the Queen’s IRC team is working diligently to develop remote learning options beginning with initial rollout in fall 2020. We are exploring alternate delivery methods and changes to our current models to ensure we are able to continue to help people in organizations during this difficult time, and in the near future when things start to return to normal.
We will be offering a series of free Community of Practice (COP) webinars in the coming weeks and months, to allow the IRC community to connect with our facilitators and discuss burning issues in labour relations, human resources and organizational development. Our invite-only inaugural webinars were a great success. Please watch for information on upcoming COP dates and topics.
Preparing for the Future with Scenarios Brenda Barker Scott and Stephanie Noel, 2020
Our lives, personal and professional, have been disrupted in a way than many of us may have never imagined. As schools and businesses close, people find themselves isolated from colleagues, friends and family, and sometimes facing this challenge alone. Everything that we took for granted seems to be upside down and inside out. And there is no definitive end in sight.
How do we plan for a future with so many unknowns? Even though your boards and leaders may be seeking concrete solutions, it’s simply not possible; no one has a crystal ball. None of us can accurately foresee how the next months will unfold, and quite frankly, that is not our work right now. As futurist Amy Webb so pointedly observed, our “goal right now isn’t prediction. It’s preparation for what comes next.”
One thing we can do right now is to actively contribute to what comes next. That means collaborating to find new ways of working and new ways of connecting. To support your planning, we offer an exercise from our Designing Collaborative Workplaces program. It can help you and your colleagues identify and see possible futures, so that you can pull out plausible scenarios, categorize them, and help your team stretch their thinking to develop strategies and adapt to a new way of working.
With so many unknowns, what people need to see from their leaders right now, is that they have a good command of the here and now – even as it changes hourly – as well as the capacity to think about the medium and longer terms. The Shaping Possible Futures exercise below, is a low-tech way to help your teams think ahead, to carefully explore alternative scenarios, so that you can prepare for what might be coming next.