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Event Recap: Transition Leadership Model for 2021 & Beyond


Event Recap: Transition Leadership Model for 2021 & Beyond








15th December 2020

In today’s online event we welcomed senior HR leaders from private and public organisations to talk around leadership. It was interesting and insightful to identify similar journeys and patterns coming from recent HR challenges among leading organisations.

Sally Evans, Business Psychologist & Organisational Development Consultant at Insight HRC, shared two new frameworks to support leaders and put into context the organisational challenges of 2020 and 2021.

Here’s a look back at the key information, insights and the transition leadership model shared during the event.

One of the most important outcomes from the crisis has been homeworking. A Deloitte study in June 2019 found that the top three unique requirements leaders needed for the future were the ability to ;

  1. To lead through complexity & ambiguity
  2. To manage remotely
  3. To lead faster with technology.

It’s interesting to see how valid these are today and how much has moved in such a short period of time.

Some fey figures that highlight the drastic changes from 2019 to 2020 are;

  • Precovid 5% of employees worked from homes vs 49% in July 2020 (ONS, July 2020)
  • Precovid 19% of employees in partnerships were suffering from anxiety vs 39% today (ONS, July 2020)
  • 80% Employees feel working from home has had a negative effect on mental health (Nuffield study, July 2020)

These statistics provide new context for leading and managing risk as whilst remote working provides significant benefits for individuals and their organisations, ‘working from home’ in the long term can cause other stresses and even negatively impact mental health and resilience.

During the live event we asked attending HR leaders to share their current reality and leadership challenges. Some of the main challenges coming through were around…

– Annual leave & burnout as staff not taking their leave.
– Maintaining a collaborative culture and team unity.
– Performance & productivity -particularly how to address poor performance without impacting mental health.
– How to immerse new starters in culture.
– Line manager capability and improving the amount of time they spend leading and talking to their teams.
– Finding the right levels of communication.

Sally talked about the two modes we operate in, productive and protective, sharing the identifying behaviours and how operating in each of these modes has an impact on our mental and physical health but also how these behaviours can then be mirrored by others within our teams and organisations.

Leaders should consider the modes from a self-awareness point of view and also identify which mode their managers and teams are operating in to be able to better support them.

When people are in work there are some basic needs that must be met, and these are valid at all times, whether in a crisis response period or an operational downtime period. These are:









Sally then took us through two frameworks around transition leadership. The first framework (nicknamed ‘blockbuster’) highlights the phases of organisational and team transition and looks at how organisations are responding through these phases.










Respond –We saw this in March. You can’t always provide certainty, but you can provide clarity. Communicate with humanity.
Adapt – Organisations moved towards this phase in April. Reinforce probabilities and clarifying priorities.
Rally – Visible from June. Create that rallying cry with a temporary sense of purpose.
Assure – Implemented for many in July. Talk about positive impact and collective wins.    Revitalise – We saw this in the July/August. Create meaning from experience and be clear about new priorities.


The second framework (Golden Threads) Sally shared highlights the ‘how’ – how should we lead now and build our relationships with our team members?









The leaders of 2021 and beyond need to provide clarity and behave with curiosity & compassion.

‘Post traumatic growth comes when you can take meaning from a situation. Looking back at what worked, what we want to keep, what we want to change and act on those. Think carefully about where each team may be in their different phases and this can often depend on where their leader is. It is crucial to have compassion for yourselves as leaders so step back and re-energise so you can go into 2021 with a new plan and new rally.’ Sally Evans


Thank you to everyone who attended – if you would like to receive invitations for future events please sign up to our newsletter -you’ll find this in the right hand column on this page.

Interested in sharing our new leadership model with your teams? Contact us here.

Discover our virtual interactive learning programmes and hybrid working webinars for team leaders and managers here. Ideal for January teambuilding and refreshers for teams.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss how we can help your organisation, then please get in touch with a member of our team.

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