An interview with Emma Kane, CEO of Newgate Communications.

An interview with Emma Kane, CEO of Newgate Communications.

An interview with Emma Kane, CEO of Newgate Communications.

I have been chatting to Emma on how she feels she has needed to adapt and enhance her leadership style during COVID-19 as well as what she will take forward into the new world post lockdown.

Do you think that you have changed your style of leadership or management over the last few weeks, how?

My style has not changed but the frequency of formal communications has increased significantly as well as the format. I am very active in speaking to everyone around our offices but now, instead of the formal monthly All Team Meeting, I am doing daily video conferences with my whole Senior Leadership Team, daily engagements with various groups around the business over Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video messages, regular posts on Workplace etc. I have always had a stunt double within the business in case the proverbial bus gets me, but I have been far more conscious of ensuring that everything I am doing and thinking could be picked up immediately just in case...

How do you inspire and motivate people right now?

I have shared my vision for how we will navigate our way through these unchartered waters. I update the team regularly and celebrate our successes including weekly shout outs for everyone around the business. I listen – I think it is a skill we don’t use enough. We have a clear vision, mission and values and we live and breathe these – I invest in the time needed to ensure everyone knows their part in achieving our mission. Total transparency about our performance and clear goals for each individual is vital I believe.

What has been the best change you have made as a result of social distancing?

Daily meetings with my Leadership Team have been really beneficial and taking the time to have proper conversations with colleagues and contacts.

What will you never go back to doing and why?

Telephone meetings – video conferences are a huge improvement. People focus much more during a video conference and you don’t miss the important clues that can be picked up from body language. People who hide behind emails miss all the nuances.

What will you do more of now life has changed?

Fiercely protecting small pockets of time carved out to think rather than just do. I have also found ensuring that I spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day exercising has been really good in helping me to focus. I also think that I will probably cut down the amount of travel I do now that video conferencing has become much more of the ‘norm’. There is really no way that I can see how anyone will be able to justify flying just to attend one or two meetings.