Newsletter – May 20, 2020

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Communicating with your team, June online trainings, and resources for reopening

Hi friends!

At TMC, we’ve been thinking about our approach to navigating the pandemic in three phases: reaction, restabilization, and reinvention. In phase one, we focused on rapid response. This phase was a frenzy of triage and reprioritization. In phase two—where many of us are now—we’re focusing on regaining our balance and planning for the medium-term (through the end of the year, in our case). It includes scenario planning, figuring out whether and how to reopen, and setting new expectations for moving forward. Phase three will be a reset moment—we’ll lay new foundations based on our learnings from earlier phases and new information that will emerge. Activities during this phase may include restructuring and pursuing different streams of work and funding. The phases overlap, and each requires leaders to be thoughtful about reprioritization, reflection, and communication.

Over the last few months, you’ve been bombarded with advice (including from us!) about leading through COVID-19—on everything from developing scenarios to managing your cash flow to checking in with your staff. You’ve been hard at work developing plans, getting input, and tracking your finances. (And all while trying to figure out how to pronounce “X Æ A-12”!)

As you’re making more plans and decisions, the challenge is twofold: keeping track of the different threads for yourself, and communicating them in a way that inspires confidence and isn’t confusing to everyone else. As a leader, part of your job is to provide a container for your staff—that is, to make sense of this complex experience to promote the stability, continuity, and sense of purpose that helps us cope during a crisis. The good news is that doing this can help you get to a new level of clarity, too.

So, how do you weave it all together to create a cohesive, holistic picture? Check out our article on how to talk about your organization’s approach to the crisis (including sample language!):

Read “Weaving It All Together: How To Talk About Moving Forward”

Then, get started with our Weaving It All Together Worksheet to help you think through what to communicate to your team moving forward:

Get a copy of the worksheet

Training Announcements

Our next Remote Management through COVID-19 online course is tomorrow (Thursday), May 21, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm EDT. Sign up here to learn how to adapt good management practices to this time of physical distancing, rapid change, and uncertainty. This interactive session covers remote management of assignments, individuals, and teams, all with a focus on clarity, connection, communication, and equity.

Also, June dates for our online trainings are now available. Check out Managing to Change the World, Managing Projects, and Working for Change!

What We’re Reading

As states are lifting restrictions, are you wondering how to handle a potential reopening? Here are some resources:

Join the TMC Community Slack

Since the pandemic started, many of you have told us that you wish you had a platform to connect with others outside your organization to ask questions, share ideas, or simply find community in these uncertain times. To that end, we have launched the TMC Community Slack. Shoutout to all the folks who have joined us already!

To join, please review our community norms and fill out this form to receive an invitation.

If you have questions or have trouble getting set up, email

Thanks for all you are doing in these tumultuous times. And, thank you in advance for pitching in and helping each other out!

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