When things are fine, we rarely think about innovation or doing things differently. “We’ve always done it this way,” “it works,” and “business as usual” are the norm during normal times. I don’t define fine as “fine” though. Quite frankly, I define it as “not good enough” but recognize we don’t always have the energy or ability to prioritize doing something about it. That’s why I’m a firm believer that breakdowns often serve as our best access to achieving powerful breakthrough results. It’s these – sometimes devastating – setbacks that have us stop and rethink everything.
During these difficult times, I feel the depression and anxiety of what seems like complete failure about to take over. It’s this 2-minute pity party though that drives me to assess my current situation and muster up the strength and courage to persevere. I need that time to step back and reflect, to regroup and recalibrate around what matters most. It’s only when that 2-minute pity party lasts 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or more that we’ve allowed it to go too far.
Well, these aren’t normal times. People across the United States and around the world are really struggling, and for many, these 2-minute pity parties are lasting much longer. Some people are facing real life-and-death situations as the Coronavirus spreads throughout their communities. Others may be experiencing financial challenges, or emotional and psychological distractions, making it difficult to get out of bed each and every day.
Regardless of our specific circumstances, we must find a way to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel rather than get stuck in this dark place. Following are some powerful and inspiring examples of how companies have refocused their business practices and core offerings to align with current market needs:
- In the case of automakers like General Motors, Ford, and Tesla, they know people don’t need a new automobile right now, so they are using their existing assembly lines and proven manufacturing capabilities to make ventilators and other much-needed medical equipment to support our strained healthcare system.
- United Airlines, Delta, and American among others are turning to cargo-only flights and finding creative ways to transport fresh food and produce, medical supplies, and other basic essentials throughout the U.S. and around the world while passengers aren’t flying their planes.
- Yum China (operator of Pizza Hut and KFC in China) is even testing new business lines like delivering raw food cooking kits in addition to prepared meals to boost revenue during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- On a smaller scale with many of the multi-generation family businesses we support in the refrigerated warehousing and 3rd-party logistics arena, it’s been as simple as installing multi-purpose scanners and printers in their Receiving offices so that drivers and company staff don’t have to manually sign and hand over their bills of lading and other paperwork to each other.
Are you still with me? Then it’s time to move forward and refocus on what matters most – serving our customers however they need us today and getting back to business to position ourselves for success and be part of the recovery. This is our new normal…for now. Not everyone is going to survive this, but if you are resilient you can be a survivor.
Start by considering what your greatest challenges are that need to be addressed now to maintain a viable business. Evaluate and inventory your core competencies – those activities and functions your organization is uniquely qualified to perform. Then, determine what you can do today to maintain your current revenue streams or generate new ones in light of these circumstances to reinvent your company and position yourself as a market leader for the recovery. The following 7 simple strategies will give you that lift so you can start moving forward –
- Set the stage by acknowledging everyone’s fears & anxieties of this uncertain time before focusing on the future solutions to today’s problems
- Assemble a representative task force of subject matter experts & superstars from across your organization who can tackle your most pressing issues in this crisis environment
- Facilitate an interactive group workshop to brainstorm preliminary breakthrough ideas & determine which alternatives to pursue – there could be a few to consider further!
- Assign an individual owner to not only be accountable for any new processes or procedures you do approve but also report status back to your Innovation team
- Drive quick wins & follow the mantra to “Fail fast,” continuously monitoring the results of your initial efforts & course-correcting as needed to achieve optimal results
- Celebrate your successes & share your accomplishments with everyone, showing sincere appreciation for everyone’s dedication & hard work
- Be inspirational, but be realistic as many are distracted & understandably concerned about their futures
It’s about reinvention and resilience during these trying times. What you did before may not work in a social-distancing, safer-at-home world. With that said, there have to be innovative changes you can implement today to create a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow. Particularly considering many of these innovative solutions can continue and contribute to even greater efficiencies after all of this passes.
Are you concerned with how to keep your employees engaged and focused on your business as the number of Coronavirus cases climbs? Need some ideas on how to bring some future-focused resilience and critical thinking into your work? Give us a call at 310.589.4610 or email us today to discuss what would work best given your specific situation. You can also visit the Change Management page of our website for more information on how we enable our clients to improve performance through Positive ChangeSM. That’s the best way to position yourself for the recovery that is sure to happen!