Are we there yet? The little boy asked his parents from the back of the van. Eager to get into the destination, he forgets that the trip itself is one big adventure.
Like that little boy, some of us are still persistently asking the authorities, our leaders, our neighbors, the statisticians, or any one who wants to care, "are we there yet?" in terms of economic recovery.
Are we at the tail-end? in the mid-wing? or completely out of it without us realizing or feeling different? Statistics do not say much. Perception is reality.
Instead of asking 'are we there yet' what can we do right now to steel up and get going despite and in spite the economic woes we are experiencing as a province, with policies left and right that try to suppressed our natural resources and gifts, and the kinds of leaders bent on reversing all the decades of economic development we had built.
All these taken together should give us the fodder to
-strategize not only to survive but to grow, beat the competition, and dominate our markets;
-define our value proposition and solicit more feedback from our loyal customers;
-now is also the time to invest not hoard 'precious dollars' to help us bounce back better when the boom is back;
-seriously create a mindset that takes setbacks as good feedback;
This 'are we there yet? persistence could be driving all of us mad.
Let's stop this whining and moaning to realize we are creating our doom and gloom prophesies. We have the agency, volition, and control within our leadership roles to get back on the right track.
Did I say stop whining?
I caught myself driving in a snow storm last night.
At one point, there was no visibility except the peripheral views of the shoulder and the obscured images I couldn't seem to define.
Except at the end of that episode was the traffic sign that says -drive 60km here, that I felt confident that I was moving steadily towards my destination.
After that, the squall ended, I saw better and had the momentary pleasure to be comforted at the prospect of getting hope fine despite the weather.
How many organizations do not seem to have a clear signpost of where they are supposed to go?
Should they turn here or go straight?
Should they speed up because it is an easy drive or they need to calibrate for the conditions?
Should they be anticipating to stop and pause, or should they run like there is no tomorrow?
Without these signals, it is literally like driving without visibility. Pilots can come down with the plane with less visibility because they have the instruments to help them land safely. Without these, it would be reckless and dangerous to even attempt to do it.
If you are going full throttle, do you have the mechanism to simply get a bird's eye of how things have been from a third-party who can completely, independently, and without self-interest, honestly tell you how things are actually going?
Get yourself a trust adviser. There are no downsides, but many upsides to it.
A few strategies to move from survive to ALIVE:
1. Create a pipeline of diversified short-term, mid-term, long-term sources of business revenue.
2. Don't go hiding yet; let your brand shine when people hold back and stay behind the radar.
3. Impose upon yourself the attitude that this business slowdown will not last forever so concentrate on having the right efforts continuously.
4. Instead of hoarding your last monies until the kingdom comes, invest in critical areas that will have huge acceleration impact for your business.
5. Look for areas of inefficiencies and cost-saving in areas you don't normally look.
6. Look for creative ideas and insights in areas you don't normally consider trail-blazing or earth-moving but have the potential to have an ROI of 10:1 ratio or greater.
7. Despite best efforts, lean on to your family, friends, networks, supporters for psychological help and proper perspective you need.
8. Celebrate small successes than will get you momentum to aim higher for the next steps.
This too shall pass.
I have never talked about silence yet in the context of business and in organizations. Silence is as powerful as the words we speak. Learn to use it intelligently.
Silence during conversations is a sign of real power.
Not trying to fill the void and overpower the other person..
No trying to put words into their mouths...
Not anticipating the negative thereby undermining your efforts...
Not being tentative, uneasy, and ready to compromise...
Just plain silence, creates the conditions to ask the right question.
Let the ideas simmer until it is ready.
When words are not enough, silence is the best expression.
When it is ready, it is time to act.
How are you doing with silence?
If you stop assigning blame, instead finding the cause and then finding the right solution, then the organization or your life will be in much better shape.
It's not your boss' fault.
Everyone in the organization can make a difference and can play a vital role in keeping everyone accountable, responsible, responsive, and connected.
Holding one responsible for the culture, success, failure, or missteps of the organization is too unfair.
Yes, there are paid employees but at the end of the day, there is no culture, success, failure, or misstep that is brought about by a lone gun man. There is no higher power conspiring against you either.
What can you do right now to make your workplace (change it if you want) better than it was yesterday?
Do your part!
There is a vast number of non-profits and start-up companies in the galaxy looking or searching for financial resources to enable them to do what they want to do.
Director A said: Well, we don't know what the government will do next, we just have to wait and see!
Director B said: We don't know what the government will do next, we will go ahead despite the uncertainty and forge a strong future so we can mitigate these vacillations.
Who do you think has a better fighting chance getting out of this stronger, better, and more successful?
All about mindset, my friend.
When every one is trying to defend their previous standing, those that are willing to invest in a longer term sustainability will have the likelihood of actually making it.