Jitske sees the corona virus as a global culture shock. A keynote about dealing with changes, hybrid working and remote leadership

For this time of major changes, Jitske Kramer puts together special keynotes about the impact of the corona virus measures on society, organizations, and teams. And what this requires in terms of leadership and cooperation. For an anthropologist, these are fascinating times. Jitske keeps a close eye on developments in society and in organizations as a result of the corona culture shock. We can learn so much from the world around us right now. This lecture moves with the spirit of the times and is therefore slightly different every month.

Corona culture shock. Work has left the building. And how will it com back in? Connection, hybrid working, leadership and change.

The corona virus calls for getting a grip in uncertain times. How can we keep connecting remotely?

Corona has thrown us into a collective global culture shock. One moment your courage sinks in and the next you feel a surge of energy to persevere. Our human habits and routines have been thrown into disarray. They seem like erratic emotional waves that can overwhelm you. But essentially, they are four predictable phases that everyone goes through at a slightly different pace.

The effect of this culture shock is that we are confronted with sudden, major changes. In this lecture, Jitske discusses what those changes require in terms of leadership and cooperation. In the meantime, these extraordinary times call for leadership with power, love, and a clear plan for change. The essential question here is: Are you going through a crisis or a transformation? When approaching a crisis, your focus is to get back to how things were as quickly as possible, with minimal changes, while maintaining a number of good things. In a transformation, you take this extraordinary time and seize the opportunity to make radical changes and solve long-term problems.

(Online) Keynote: Work has left the building

Moreover, the majority of our work now has to be done remotely. Some of us haven’t been to the office in months. Never before have we been able to – all at once – gain so much experience with working from home. Technically, many things can be done, but in many organizations, the switch to working more from home and working remotely constitutes an immense upheaval. Many organizations have been trying out all kinds of forms of digitization and working from home, and the corona virus has actually accelerated this transition. Some people are working from home, while others are working at the office. Hybrid working is about flexibility in choosing where to do your work. In hybrid work cultures, what determines the choice of your work location is not which building is available, but the type of work, the goal of the activity, the desired level of interaction, the efficiency of communication, and the personal preferences of employees and clients (customers, students, buyers). It is a development that, even regardless of the corona virus, fits within this era of digital possibilities, the need for custom work, and reducing traffic.

Jitske shares anthropological lessons. For example, what can we learn from nomadic peoples who have always worked remotely? Jitske presents an optimistic story full of wisdom from all over the world, full of valuable perspectives and concrete answers to today’s questions – so that leaders and teams know what they have to d

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How hybrid do you want to go? And the organisation? The customers?

Hybrid work is not, nor should it be, a goal in itself. Hybrid working stands for the flexible choice of the location where the work takes place as well as having more freedom in the time allocation of your work agenda. For each activity, you choose the best location and time. Some things you do together and at the same time (online or offline) and for other tasks you can plan when and where you do them. Hybrid working means working together differently than many did before corona.

Not everyone welcomes the idea that working from home is here to stay. Some long for the office and colleagues. Others dread the structural changes it will require in leadership, collaboration, communication and the design of processes and buildings. And let’s face it, it’s not possible or desirable for every type of work and activity. So as soon as the measures are eased or dropped, we will be able to make better and more realistic assessments. And that time is now. Which form of hybrid work best suits the organisation’s culture, goals, activities, ambitions and the preferences of employees, leaders and customers? And what does the competition do? 

More hybrid ways of working mean a change that, also independent of corona, fits in this time of digital possibilities, the need for customisation, more autonomy for employees and the reduction of traffic jams. So: how do you adapt your organisational culture to this new context? 

The four focus areas of this online keynote

Jitske states that hybrid work is essentially about new ways of making space for freedom and connection. It is a cultural change issue in which we seek new answers to the question of the place of work in life. And what place life has in work. The lecture is not so much about technical possibilities or hybrid meeting structures. It highlights the anthropological aspects of the changes we are facing. The story is structured according to four areas of interest. Depending on the available time and content requirements, Jitske will tailor the lecture to your event.

  • Change space: culture shock, design issue
  • Hybrid space: time, place, new work culture
  • Meeting space: hybrid skills, campfires
  • Experimentation space: liminality, rituals, creative power

Practical structure of this online keynote

Jitske has a lot of experience with all kinds of online and hybrid structures, with or without much interaction. From her home studio, empty theaters or other on-site locations. Experience has shown that the following three structures work very well (and we are open to all kinds of other new methods too):

  • Introduction by the chair. First 30 minutes: Jitske’s lecture 15 minutes: questions and/or a panel discussion about the first 30 minutes, including e.g. the question of whether these times constitute a crisis or a transformation. Second 30 minutes: Jitske’s lecture Q&A session to conclude
  • 45 minutes: Jitske’s lecture, followed by Q&A
  • 20 minutes: Jitske’s introduction, followed by a long interview with the opportunity for Q&A by means of the chat function.

An optional but interesting possibility with a wow effect is adding (live) music and/or comedy to an online event. We can bring you into contact with musicians and artists who would be happy to do so. Turn your Webinar into an online experience, an online campfire that people will talk about for years to come.

Based on Jitske Kramer’s latest book

With anthropological expertise, experiences in organizations and inspiration from her many travels, Jitske offers us tools for dealing with these bizarre times. It is an inspiring book full of valuable perspectives and concrete answers to today’s questions. She also wrote two beautiful long-form articles about the impact the corona virus has had on our work cultures. Feel free to share these. About our collective culture shock. This article is also available to read or download as a PDF.  About creating hybrid work cultures. This article is also available to read or download as a PDF.