In times of crisis, calamity, and/or disaster, we turn to the people that we trust to get advice, feedback, or correct information.
The Internet and the public space have churned in enormous amount of the same information regurgitated in many forms and at various levels.
After the first few weeks of the pandemic, none of them is useful anymore.
The world had moved on and the people have coped well despite the initial fear and chaos.
We don't need a crystal ball or sooth sayers. We need independent thinkers.
Now, it is imperative to reimagine organizations that can progress past-COVID19, in a new dispensation that does not respect past records of success.
There are two types of organizations responding well to post-recovery:
One type of organization refuses to get behind the public path to recovery and have chosen to enact their own norms and policies that demonstrate clear strategic awareness of their organizational capabilities and understanding of the dynamics around them. They have made 'lemonades out of the lemons' and unafraid to keep on reinventing themselves to get the right challenge they need.
Another type of organization is preparing themselves to have multiple capabilities on various types of implementation and service delivery. At the granular level, it means that staff will be competent whatever the next 6 to 12 months will be. There is no more postponement or cancellation of programming, but all will be migrated to virtual delivery. The knee-jerk reaction is over.
Going above the noise of recovery is a challenge in itself. This means that leaders should have the clarity of intent and objectives with the latest information on what's allowable and not. The rest hinges on the boldness of their imagination.
Cities such as Michigan, BC and countries such as Denmark and Germany are slowly reopening up after a few weeks of lockdown.
This all depends on what industries and movements are allowed to have freedom of access or movement. What it clear is that the restrictions can be staggered in such a way that the spread can be prevented. Socialising with certain limits can be reopened again. Vital industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and retail could be opening up more so than others.
The question I have for your organization is: what is your reopen plan?
Are you putting in place measures to ensure that the return to business unusual is secured, in gradual mode as conditions allow?
What personnel, management, technical, and strategic issues come to play?
What capacities are available now and should be reinforced when the organization reopens?
Who needs to be recalled back? Who needs to be on standby or in anticipation of slow but steady activity?
These questions are not premature, they are ripe for asking and answering now.
This week, I hosted and facilitated a strategic conversation with business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives of associations and service programs in Central Alberta.
Riding the waves of recovery is a fascinating subject, but combined with the insights of surfing, it generated more visual appeal than anything related to riding on the waves. I am not a surfer by any means but there are clear and compelling insights about surfing that can be applied in business and life.
For beginners, you need to consider the following:
1. Health- you need to be in good shape, young and old can quickly adapt to the physicality of the sport. Some sports like snowboarding and swimming are already in the league . In business, your fundamentals must be in good shape. If 'cash is king,' know how to get short-term cash by extending your value to your customers, increasing your offering, and getting better at repeat business.
2. Skills and capacities-you need to be a good swimmer to be safe and have fun doing the sport. Knowing your capacity will help you upgrade your skill and learn to remediate. You can't fake your way into the game unless you have the capacities to deal with different scenarios, starting small and learning as you go. Same is true with business owners who do not have the basic skills in marketing, branding, asking for the sale, and management of key staff and assets. Do you have the right team aboard? Do you keep abreast of current trends and information about your target markets?
3. Go where the waves are-go where the waves are but stay away from crowded areas. You need to go where there are less people to practice your work and allows for quick feedback that can improve your performance. Staying safe and having fun while learning is the best environment. In tough economic times, look for opportunities that are occasionally missed because they are not 'sexy' or normally considered a profitable segment or niche.
4. Best tools you need-is it for gliding and recreation or is it for meeting big waves? There are tools you need to be able to perform properly and optimally. Some of these are equipment and tools and some are expert advisors you need to have so that you get the best information that is catered to your unique needs.
5. Judging the opportunity- a skilled surfer they say should be familiar with waves, how they are produced, the effect on the ocean, and the kinds of safety measures you have to do to maneuver into situations that are not expected. As Dixon would say, "surfers are alert for the unexpected at all times." Experienced ones can be on top of the waves one minute and can stay back, holding their ego in check when conditions are not favorable.
Riding the waves of recovery is a science and an art in itself. Instead of accepting that a wipeout is looming and that you will be at the bottom of the ocean again, consider using these strategies to take control and navigate the complexity of the situation on your advantage. Positivity as a mindset is contagious that it can create a better environment for your team and your workplace.
Start 2020 with a bang! How, go from a running start and not from an idle position.
It's hard to steer something when the object is not in motion. Take the case of the horse in carriage, whether you want it to turn to the right or to the left, if the horse is not moving, it won't budge and you won't get a inch of a motion. Also, when you are driving, if the car is not in motion, you can't get to your destination in the surest fashion.
Momentum is critical in three points:
1. Momentum builds confidence and inspires you to take more action;
2. Momentum helps when an activity takes more time, effort, and diligence to get it done in a proper way; you are already on the way, passed the 'thinking' mode which could be debilitating and paralyzing;
3. Momentum is like the oil that accelerates your progress in a nick of time;
Let this new year be a year of speed, effectiveness, and discipline as you carve out new resolutions and plans that will take your business, career, and organizations to the next level of success.
From my family to yours- Have a safe and happy new year!
This year, I have written in different ways how moving along the action continuum can propel you and the work that you do in your organizations to new levels of accomplishment.
While the rest of the world tells us how little we can actually control the circumstances that are looming and seemingly in perpetual crisis mode most of the time, we can take comfort in some of the ways we can take action in our own spheres of influence- family, neighborhood, company, network, community, province, global communities, and other groupings of great import.
These headlines illustrate only the fact that things are not going well for our society.
SNC-Lavalin chief finds guilty of corruption on all counts;
Sheer resigns as Conservative leader;
Greta Thurnberg is exhausted;
Canadians are complaining of rising food costs;
Yet there are many unreported, unnoticed, and under-published stories of greatness, courage, community, and spirit of solidarity and cooperation that can inspire us to become better persons and contributors to our society. We seem to forget them or they are buried in the 'human interest' section nobody can find to read. Media is wired to focus on the worsening, worst, and bad things happening all over us and that stirs paranoia, unfounded fears, and general anxiety.
There is a tendency to generalize what happened based on a few specifics, or not take specific action from the generalities. We can't say we didn't win because of this or that but we can't also devalue the factors external that lend our efforts to be unsuccessful. Some things are completely out of our hands. But there are sure ways you can do to bring better results next time.
From a standing position, taking action requires more effort than from a moving vantage.
Next year, consider moving forward based on the momentum you have under your feet, not stalling and not stopping when you need to speed up to the next finish line.
My article was featured at the Canadian Women's Foundation blog website featuring women mentoring myths and the joy of finding the right mentor without the baggage we attach to it.
Enjoy the read!