Insights > Leader's Kitbag (Monthly Newsletter)
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Let’s talk about how we work…

Leaders’ Kitbag, August 2020

Hi, we’d really like to understand more about you. That’s why we’re getting in touch.,

I hope you’re safe and well and continuing to thrive through these challenging times.

This month, I’ve elected to focus the topics of the Leader’s Kitbag on the topic which has been most prevalent in our discussions with leaders in our clients and networks. Should we be bringing our teams into the office? If not, what does that mean for our culture? If so, how do we do this? And what do we need to pay attention to?

Also, given that the first I in 4i is Imagine, let’s look further ahead, and spend a little time reflecting on how we may well end up working after the immediacy of the crisis is passed. What will the future of work in the post-CoVid work look like? I share a few contrasting perspectives in the Imagine section.

Thanks for the positive feedback I’ve received from a number of you about the inclusion of the discussion questions last week. I’ll continue to include this section, which are once again at the end of this letter.

Another new feature today, and one that I intend to both keep and extend, a video message from me to you…click here to view (WATCH 5mins)

As always, stay safe, be well, and let’s all stay connected and concerted in our efforts to build a better world,


Imagine a better world built by better leadership (including yours).

This content is visionary, strategic or futuristic in nature, looking at the road ahead for leadership.

A storytelling approach to imagining your return to the the office with significant changes in workplace habits, as told by the AFR – 6 min read.

As you’d have gathered by now, I kind of have a thing going about leaders making the world better. Well, it seems I’m far from alone. As well as focusing specifically on how we work, this month I’d also like to take a longer view around why we work, and what we’ll be working for and towards post-Pandemic. This report from EY puts the focus firmly on the ‘regenerative economy’ – net zero emissions, circular economy business models and nature-based solutions. Imagine a world where this was what the majority of us worked on? How about that as a way to work post-CoVid? Check out the full report here

A predictive prose from the Boston Globe (4min READ) that many in the workforce in America may simply never go back to the office…

As one of the business models disrupted in the short-term, but likely a huge beneficiary in the medium and long-term of the post-Pandemic workplace shifts, this is a quick and interesting READ (3mins) from WeWork.

An entirely future focused view from McKinsey of how we all might end up working as we emerge from lockdowns and restrictions into the post-CoVid world (12min READ)

Ignite your potential to lead to your utmost ability.

This content is intended to be pragmatic, actionable and applicable to your leadership today.

My thoughts and series on the ‘back to work’ debate which I shared in my daily Time with Tim leadership broadcast in YouTube and LinkedIn. Week 1 on teams heading ‘Into the Office’ (WATCH full series 12 mins), and the second week on Models for Leadership Right Now (WATCH full series 15min). This week I’m discussing managing confronting emotions, if you head to my YouTube channel you can check it out, or over to the Insights page at from next week. I’ll keep this series running over the interval before the next Kitbag, so if these are of interest I’d suggest you check back weekly, or even each day if you like!

A range of points to consider primarily around getting to and from work, as raised by the ABC – 5 min read

Two key points underpin this Forbes article – 5min read which are summarised in the conclusion, trust and increased autonomy are crucial to the way leaders operate both during the crisis and in the new ways of working that will emerge from it.

Think about how we work based on varying human needs in 3 phases, Shelter in Place, Open Up and finally Post-CoVid, a succinct and practical framework from HBR (6min READ)

Short but impactful article (3mins READ) in Inc quoting an interview with the Founder of WordPress who leads 1200 employees across 77 cities globally. Whilst much of this will be familiar, some of it may not be and this guy speaks from many years of experience running an ultra-successful global business.

Immerse yourself in our deep exploration of a focal leadership topic.

Month by month, we at 4i are examine key areas that enhance leadership’s impact and contribution.

Some interesting thoughts from Simon Sinek (3mins WATCH) on leading virtual businesses, and why this can be far harder than many leaders appreciate.

CFO’s one would think might be late on in the charge to change the way we work, although according to this PWC report, they are in the majority in acknowledging that workplaces are unlikely to ever be the same again. 54% in this survey agreed that the pandemic would permanently shift their workforce planning and workplace strategy. READ (10mins) the full report here

HBR are running a compelling series on both work during the Pandemic, and what the future workplace might well look like. The pick for me so far include this one (6min READ)on Microsoft’s discoveries form analysing the performance of it’s remote workforce, and this one (5min READ) looking ahead at the implications of working permanently without an physically interactive office environment.

Inspire yourself or others who you may share this with.  

Examples of great leadership, in particular what I call ‘Better World Leadership’ from the world at large.

Tech firms have led the way in many of the ‘revolutionary’ changes we live with now as commonplace. Here’s the latest from Australia’s current tech darling, Atlassian, on how their workforce will evolve post CoVid (4min READ) …is this inspiration for other major corporates to do the same?

Literally stacked with good news, positive vibes and helpful advice – which yes means I could have put this in Ignite – but purely for the inspirational energy I received from this podcast after it was recommended by one of the 4i Advisory Board, I’m putting Adam Grant’s WorkLife episode on how science can fix remote work in as a recommendation here. Well worth the 45min LISTEN here

Discussion Questions – Something to consider or discuss (questions for you, your team or your leader)

– What have you learnt about how you work best during the CoVid pandemic?

– What is the one thing about the way you worked before the pandemic would you say created the most value?

– Has the way you’ve been working during the pandemic made your life better in any way?

– If you could chose to work with your team in your ideal way regardless of restrictions or resources, what would a work cycle (week, quarter, project run) look like? 

– How can you make your ideal way of working happen?