By Per Lagerstrom, CEO of Sinequanon (SQN)
“A boss has the title, a leader has the people” – Simon Sinek
Among the many challenges to have emerged from the global humanitarian and business crisis presented by COVID-19 is how organizations continue to function in a time of unprecedented constraints on human activity. Management strategists have been predicting for years that corporate structures will increasingly be characterised by greater fluidity in terms of location, budget and formation. Already the traditional bricks and mortar presence is giving way to remote working and distributed teamwork. But few would have anticipated the global lockdown scenario that has seen almost three billion people worldwide confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies that had already embraced dispersed organizational structures prior to the crisis have coped better, but those that are facing it for the first time are struggling to adapt. In fact, many corporate leaders are only now discovering that the data they have available on their human capital lacks the rigour of their financial and operational information. Even in this age of cheap and accessible online video conferencing, the truth is that few organizations have cracked the code of how to tap the depth and breadth of their human capital potential while simultaneously enhancing the bottom line and the employee experience.
As a HRTech and behavioral analytics firm, SQN fundamentally understands that much of the human potential in organizations today remains trapped by outdated legacy systems ill-equipped to serve a modern workforce. COVID-19 has merely shone a light on this as never before. When we first began experiencing the impact of the virus a few months ago, we were in the midst of rolling out a product that sets a new industry standard by using science and technology as well as the power of AI to facilitate organizational culture change. With clients going into lockdown and business activity grinding to a halt, we were faced with a unique challenge: how do we continue to serve clients suddenly grappling with the atomization of their workforce?
Fortunately, it quickly became apparent that our product had some pretty unique capabilities that could be pressed into service for the greater good with some repurposing. The result was SQN’s Odyssey Index™, an AI-enabled crisis monitoring tool that allows organizations to test, analyze and enhance their capacity to cope with emergency situations like COVID-19. The Index leverages SQN’s revolutionary Twisit® (‘the way I see it’) mindset and behaviour measurement platform as well as the client-specific algorithms of our Living Analytics® AI engine to equip large national, regional or global businesses with actionable predictive data on their human capital.
SQN’s propriety suite of analytical tools, which are rooted in the latest behavioural science, give organizational leaders deep insights into the personas of each employee in their team - what drives them, their fears and anxieties, as well as their sense of meaning and purpose. The Odyssey Index™ enables organizations to shape their response to a crisis, communicate effectively, and remove blockers while improving collaboration and building capacity.
By placing this advanced measurement toolkit in the hands of corporate leaders we can help them mitigate the Catch-22 situation they often find themselves in during a crisis: having to take fast, decisive action with incomplete information. In such scenarios having ready access to accurate and complete datasets is a distinct advantage and gives one the ability to pivot from a reactive strategy to an intuitive one. If effective leadership is about getting the best out of your people then one requires a clear picture of key emotional enablers such as levels of trust; fears and anxieties; coping mechanisms; and team resilience. All of these are critical in determining whether an organization is able to survive a crisis - and more importantly, whether it is able to survive once the crisis subsides.
With our Odyssey Index™ organizations can objectively collect signals from human responses by deploying clever survey questions underpinned by behavioural science and informed by the 51 key psychological constructs typically found in an organization. The Index also gives you the ability to benchmark these insights against global datasets to map out an analytically-derived, client-specific target culture that is fit-for-purpose to help you achieve specific improvements in business performance as well as human wellbeing.
Ongoing upgrades to the Odyssey Index™ can also be rapidly deployed from the cloud as they emerge from SQN’s development lab. These include enhanced data quality algorithms, shortened data update cycles, neural network AI, online dashboards, updated action playbooks, machine learning and the latest psychological research.
As part of our value proposition during these challenging times, SQN will provide the Odyssey Index™ free of charge for the first month in return for a donation to a COVID-19 charity. Thereafter, we will continue to provide ongoing support for as long as is required at a nominal fee. In doing so we aim to not only help you build the institutional capacity needed to deal with the current crisis, but to develop a cultural fabric that is crisis-ready for future challenges.