Boyden Executive Search

Barry Bloch, Boyden Partner, and long-serving Executive and Non-Executive at several listed, for-profit private and for-purpose organisations drops into the pod to discuss his recent series of leadership articles aimed at challenging leaders to grow another level in a COVID-19 world.

By Alun Parry

Barry Bloch, Boyden Partner, and long-serving Executive and Non-Executive at several listed, for-profit private and for-purpose organisations drops into the pod to discuss his recent series of leadership articles aimed at challenging leaders to grow another level in a COVID-19 world.

Barry currently serves as an Executive and Head of Organisational Transformation in the Victorian public health service and has seen first-hand the extraordinary dedication of the healthcare service over the last six months. This experience, along with his consulting, board and not-for-profit roles, has given him a comprehensive understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting organisations, leaders and society at large.

“COVID-19 is unequivocally unprecedented; certainly not in a century, since the Second World War, have we seen anything like this that has societally fractured the whole globe,” he says. “It has triggered for me some fundamental thinking around questions like: how do we lead through this, can we use knowledge and experience from the past, what new things do we need to do, and how do we pivot as leaders, employees and members of society?”

This inspired Barry to write a series of leadership articles answering these questions. The first three reflections in the series delve into the need for boards to play a more pro-active, contributory role, steps for emotional response and recovery, and why leaders must “Listen Loudly” in our fractured society.

When asked if anything could have prepared him to deal with what he has witnessed over the past six months, Barry is clear that he believes we each have the tools we need – we just have to know how to use them.

“It’s important to recognise the skills you already have as an individual. We’ve all confronted life challenges and distressing situations in the past. The real issue is not whether we need new skills, it’s whether we can industrialise or magnify the skills we have to the scale and speed of COVID-19,“ says Barry. “It’s now time to use all those skills we have developed over our lives and to use every single one of them. It’s not about learning new skills; it’s about owning your old ones.”

 

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