From a Room Called Fear to a Room Called Hope: A Leadership Agenda for Troubled Times

From a Room Called Fear to a Room Called Hope: A Leadership Agenda for Troubled Times

McKinsey Quarterly. July
2020

For example, while Microsoft’s shift to virtually 100 percent remote work has resulted in impressive productivity gains, Nadella is wary of “overcelebrating” these new ways of working, and worries about “what is lost” by doing all or most work remotely — problems that may become more evident down the road. Henry Ward, the CEO of financial-services software firm Carta, exemplified this “buck stops here” approach in his recent announcement that 161 employees, 16 percent of the company, would be laid off in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Employees also received four months of career-services assistance and were allowed to keep their company laptop, because it “is an important tool to find new work.” But every leader can take responsibility for painful decisions, and every organization can find ways to give employees elements of control over how they leave the organization — and help them find new jobs.