In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power .21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Harari
This powerful statement was written at least two years before corona broke out. Surprisingly, it is the very first line of his book. And while most of us believe that the pandemic will eventually come to an end, have you begun to think what your business will look like afterwards?
As I write this, many of us are emerging from lockdown, while some are facing its threat for a second time. Small business, the heart of all economies, are hurting bad. Civil servants, who have never run a commercial set up, are launching policies suited for a previous era. Who can think straight in this time of distress and uncertainty?
I have spent much of the 2020 summer talking to decision makers of corporates, service providers, retailers and more. And my starting premise is a blog written back in March 2019.
When it comes to disruption on the modern business landscape, company size is no safeguard. 88% of Fortune 500 companies in the 1955 -2017 period have either gone bankrupt, merged with other firms, or dropped off the list for other reasons. What’s more, it’s estimated that digital disruption will wipe out 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies in the coming decade.Titans of Transformation – Samul Medley
The takeaway? Even in the good times, you cannot afford to stand still. Corona is merely forcing you to lead and manage your company as you should have been doing in the first place.
So, what can you do? I commend you to three exciting and doable challenges, all employed successfully by my clients.
First, let’s rephrase the question: What is going to make the difference that places you ahead of the rest of the pack?
Corona allows us all a one-time opportunity to press the ‘reset button’. All those horrendous health and financial stress factors are actually pointing you towards a wonderful ‘exit strategy’. Put all the pervious restrictions to one side and go for it!
Just consider: You are in the clear to do what you want – to activate your dream.
How? Your first step should be to place yourself in an environment that allows for a growth mindset. Gravitate and reach out towards those people who can make that difference. After all, many will have started out from a similar place to you.
Challenge number 2: Look at your business and divide it (figuratively) into two sections; your market and your support structure.
Regarding the market, take your guidance from The Great Depression of the 1930s, when America’s farm lands turned into dustbowls. These were the same years when companies like Boeing, Proctor and Gamble, 3M et al changed direction. They did not hang around for a Roosevelt to save them. As others cut back, they pivoted and also invested in advertising.
That lesson still holds true nearly 90 years on. Early on in the pandemic, MacDonalds had a rethink. Many of the stores that remained open received a new menu. My clients have adopted a similar assertive approach. They have identified what their core clientele want, shouted loud about it, and seen the rewards in increased sales.
Third, consider your ‘back office’ departments. You will already have discovered which positions are needed or not. While working from home, which of your ‘comfort zones’ have you honestly missed? I bet the answer is not what you would have predicted initially!
Installing focus – That is my profession, as a skilled business coach and mentor. Over the years, I have facilitated countless entrepreneurs in establishing their new business. I have formulated strategy creation with service providers, manufacturers and techies. I have created soft landings for clients setting up overseas’ operations.
Corona is a reminder that we cannot take our position for granted. My role is to show leaders how to initiate their own changes. And because of Corona, that job of providing lucid, practical steps towards growth is more pertinent than ever before.