There are a lot of questions right now in life and business: What’s next? What’s the impact? How long? Who can we rely on for the latest and most reliable information?
At Floro Business Strategies, we’re working through several business-related questions in our 5-Part Executive Coaching Series, helping business-minded individuals understand how to plan for uncertainty using knowledge from past experiences–and projections from experts. We’ll explore unique universal situations and provide guidance on how to approach them. And for customized strategies, we recommend calling or emailing us directly. We’re always willing to listen to your concerns with the mindset that together we can formulate a plan.
When the urgent part of the crisis has been navigated, companies should consider what this crisis changes and what they’ve learned so they can reflect on their plans. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to start as we settle into this “new normal” and assemble a plan, contact Floro Business Strategies. We are here to discuss your situation and help guide you through uncertainty.
While it’s inevitable that there are decisions leaders will be called on to make during this current crisis, we encourage you to stay informed.
Choose your information wisely. At this juncture, we’re all being bombarded by information from many different sources. Some information is incomplete; some is conflicting; some is being politicized. It’s wise to look to industry experts for guidance, and it’s good to take into account multiple information sources.
Remember that the most trustworthy information sources may differ depending on the situation. For example, if you’re considering a required work-from-home policy or manufacturing shutdown to flatten the spread of disease, local authorities in each specific location – those with the most updated data on current risk levels and advisories – should be consulted. If your business is more widely based, or uses global resources, you’ll want to broaden your information search. Understand that each city, state, and country is handling situations differently, so keep an open mind.
Observe & Adapt
Constantly reframe your understanding of what’s happening. A big-picture synthesis of the situation and a plan to deal with it, once captured on paper, can itself become a source of inertia. Remind yourself that this experience is new to everyone, so we must be flexible. Observe what’s going on around you and be willing to change based on updated information and recommendations.
Managers often prefer certainty when planning, and then they are reluctant to change them for fear of looking indecisive or misinformed, or of creating confusion in the organization. In our current marketplace, it is essential to learn and adapt.
A key ingredient in this batch of lemonade is having partners that work with you and are not merely looking to sell another piece of equipment. Building key relationships with vendors who clearly express a desire to hear you out and listen to your challenges is the first step.
Take inventory of your relationship with your equipment suppliers. Do they bring a willingness to work with you and act as an adviser, especially when there isn’t a purchase order on the line? Can they fully support any solution offered, from design to implementation, installation, training and ongoing support? If not, you might want to evaluate whether what you have is merely a provider, not a true partner.
During this time, there is a rare opportunity to identify the problem (lemons), decide to make something out of the situation and use it as a launching pad (make lemonade). Collaborate with all pertinent parts of the organization as well as trusted partners on solutions (recipes for the lemonade), and then implement the selected solution. By having defined goals, you can make your success measurable and verifiable (your taste test).
If, due to recent events, your organization has seen dramatic change and this has impacted your production, you have been given a bowl of lemons. We don’t get to control whether life or the market hands us lemons. We only get to control how we choose to use those lemons.
Develop a Plan; Prepare to Change
We are well aware that where we are today is far different than where we expected to be six months ago. The lack of certainty is, perhaps, our current constant. Know that the COVID-19 crisis will change our businesses and society in important ways–many for the better.
COVID-19 is likely to fuel areas like online shopping, online education, and public health investments. It is also likely to change how companies configure their supply chains and reinforce the trend away from dependence on select, monopoly factories.
Remember to reach out to Floro Business Strategies if you’d like to have a conversation regarding what’s next, the impact, and where you can turn for reliable information. We’re here to listen and help find you a solution, as well as develop a plan.
Floro Business Strategies: Where Business Leaders Meet the Future…Today