What Is Your “5R” Return To Work Plan?

By Major General (Retired) Malcolm Frost, Friday, May 22, 2020

Two months ago, before Covid-19, nobody imagined that businesses, organizations and governments would have to figure out how to re-start and get business moving forward again, nearly from scratch. The addition of unparalleled social, economic, financial, educational and legal constraints has made returning to work a daunting undertaking for both individual contributors and senior executives. This scenario is the definition a global Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. How will executives tackle the formidable task of planning, leading and executing their return-to-work plan?

The Army created the term “VUCA” after the end of the Cold War and focused on creating leaders capable of operating in this new environment. (For more on applying VUCA principles to corporate leadership, read our six-part series.). The U.S. military is specifically trained to lead through crises and VUCA environments. These military lessons also translate directly to any executive leading their organization’s return to work plan.

Developing an organizational return to work plan is very similar to the challenge military units have faced for nearly two decades redeploying from combat zones back to their garrison posts, camps and bases. In 2005 while serving as the Rear (not forward deployed) Chief of Operations for the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, I led the development of the Army’s first 5R Campaign Plan on behalf of the 15,000 soldiers the 25th had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. This was a phased plan to redeploy, reintegrate personnel, reset equipment, reorganize the design and make-up of units, and embark on a retraining plan from individual to collective unit level. Executive leaders can use this framework to develop and execute their own “5R Return to Work Plan” post this pandemic crisis.

Read more at: https://chiefexecutive.net/what-is-your-5r-return-to-work-plan/

Maj. Gen. Malcom Frost (third from left) in combat.