Strategies to Follow as You Re-Open or Re-Imagine Your Business in the New COVID-19 Reality

Strategies to Follow as You Re-Open or Re-Imagine Your Business in the New COVID-19 Reality

Strategies to Follow as You Re-Open or Re-Imagine Your Business in the New COVID-19 Reality

Grant Ian Gamble | Author, Speaker, Business Coach | Blog | Pivoting and Adapting Business to the New COVID-19 Reality | Header Image

Grant Ian GambleBy Grant Ian Gamble | July 15, 2020

Grant Ian Gamble is a business growth consultant, executive coach, author, and keynote speaker. He works in a broad array of industries helping companies build teams, navigate change and drive growth.

A monumental shift in the trajectory of the global economy usually happens over time and is forecast to a greater or lesser extent.

The COVID-19 Pandemic almost instantaneously upended businesses across the global community with little warning or opportunity to prepare. 

Adapting and pivoting your business to the new reality of an upturned world can be daunting when there are very few precursors to many of the challenges this pandemic has created.

Here are some basic strategies and checklists to follow as you plan to re-open and/or re-imagine your business. To download this list, click the button below.

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Strategies and Checklists to Follow as You Re-Open or Re-Imagine Your Business

Build a Re-Opening Strategy

  • This will be a day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month living document.

  • Map out the customer journey to look at all contact points to understand what changes and modifications are needed.

  • Determine the adjustments needed to reduce risk and maximize the ‘new’ customer experience and lay out a path to that point.

  • Ensure this strategy is a lateral extension of your pre-pandemic plans wherever possible to align your capabilities with the pivot (minimizing additional infrastructure where possible).

Reimagine your business by leveraging longer-term trends created by the pandemic. Some of the trends that indicate they’ll be around a while include:

  • A shift to more local sourcing and shorter supply lines; 
  • A general downshift in retail; 
  • A significant reduction in commuting; 
  • Dramatically increased online spending and utilization; 
  • Social distancing; 
  • Increased demand on technology; 
  • Substantial shift to work from home models; 
  • Increased recreational time; 
  • A shift from large group activities to small group activities;

These are just a few layers of our New World Order:

  • Communicate really well. This is probably the biggest differentiator between those businesses that are thriving and surviving and those that are suffering the worst financially. This includes communicating effectively with all stakeholders from your team and customers through to your investors. An example of this would be the  Common House, a social club group, who swiftly implemented a branded daily newsletter that included everything from coping with the shift to work-from-home challenges and easy recipes through to fun health tips. These communications were empathetic, topical, and on point. They also allowed the Common House team to communicate and promote new virtual social experiences they were implementing to maintain the strong community they had built pre-pandemic.

  • Pivot to different offerings that leverage the trends driven by the pandemic. A great example again is The Common House. They started up take-out options with pre-planned meals for members to pick up curbside. This allowed them to continue to charge dues and keep their kitchen staff and some serving team members on the payroll. Any such pivots obviously need to be sustainable and on-brand. 

  • Default to online whenever possible, whether that’s virtual meetings, events, or training. 

  • Use of QR Codes and platforms for signups, waivers, menus, delivery, and what would normally be ‘paper forms.’

  • Develop pre-order forms and platforms for contactless or curbside pickup options or other in-person activities.

  • Keep people safe in your business using education, signage, and protocols. 
    • Stock up on personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Develop effective signage and systems to enhance compliance.
    • Make it easy for people to change or cancel their plans.
    • Use reservation forms or platforms to avoid disappointment or overcrowding.
    • Consider simple screening tests like contactless infrared thermometers.
    • Enforce occupancy limits. This may involve rotating team schedules. 
    • Practice social distancing and be aware of time and type of contact. 
    • Enhance cleaning protocols to cover all contact surfaces.
    • Consider antimicrobial air filters and systems, e.g. UV.  
    • Update policies ranging from work-from-home to sick leave policies.

  • Minimize your legal and liability risks.

    • Create and/or update liability waivers and consent forms using online platforms or QR Codes Screen all employees and guests before they enter your establishment.
    • Develop internal contact tracing systems, these could be critical in the future and backtracking is tough.

These are just a few examples and ideas that have come up in my discussions with clients and business brainstorming sessions I have participated in. Hopefully, they might stimulate further dialogue in your team discussions. Feel free to reach out with other ideas to share, or to talk through your specific challenges.

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4 Tips to Proactively Address the Stress of COVID-19

4 Tips to Proactively Address the Stress of COVID-19

4 Tips to Proactively Address the Stress of COVID-19

Grant Ian GambleBy Grant Ian Gamble | June 3, 2020

Grant Ian Gamble is a business growth consultant, author and keynote speaker. He works in a broad array of industries helping companies build teams, navigate change and drive growth.

A good friend of mine expressed how overwhelmed she felt amid all the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many of us, I feel her pain.

Stress levels across the globe are rising to epidemic proportions and long after COVID-19’s debris is trailing in our wake, there’ll be residual side effects of COVID-19 from stress itself.

Well after the dust from 9/11 had settled in the Financial District of NYC, stress continued to take its toll on people affected by this event, directly and indirectly. Health officials have struggled to quantify the exact impact of stress and PTSD post 9/11, but it is a given that it’s in the hundreds of thousands of people.

When we look at the all-pervasive nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the global residual effect from stress and PTSD will be in the millions, if not the hundreds of millions. Everyone from health care workers through to the now unemployed are under unprecedented stress.

Until we find our ‘new norm,’ the impact of stress from the pandemic will continue to climb and manifest in various forms, ranging from anxiety to PTSD.

Grant Ian Gamble Business Consulting | Author | Speaker | The Affinity Formula | 4 Tips to Proactively Address the Stress of COVID-19 | Business People

We do have a choice though.

How you choose to view the potential impact of stress on your health has a synergistic relationship with the actual impact you may see from stress-related illness.

In other words, your perception of how stress will affect your health is a more reliable predictor of the actual manifestation of health-related issues from stress.

This assertion was documented in a study by the National Center for Health Statistics of almost 29,000 respondents. The survey examined levels of stress and respondents’ perception of how that stress impacted their health.

In this study, those respondents that reported a lot of stress, AND perceived that stress had a major impact on their health had a 43% increased risk of premature death. Whereas, those respondents that reported a lot of stress, BUT perceived that stress did not have a major impact on their health had similar premature death rates to those reporting low stress levels.

Based on this study, having a positive belief in your ability to control your health outcomes and taking proactive steps to reduce the impact of stress, is far more likely to lead to better health outcomes.

So, what are some of the things you can do to re-frame and reduce the stress you’re feeling around this ground shaking, mind altering, upside down universe we live in at present?

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4 Tips to Proactively Address the Stress of COVID-19

1. GO OUTSIDE

I spoke in a previous blog about getting outside, in the fresh air. That’s a great start! Get out in the woods, out on the beach, up in the mountains, down and dirty in the garden, or in your local green space. Take your shoes off and do a Richard Gere (see “Pretty Woman” – park scene). It will do you and your immune system a world of good!

2. PRACTICE MINDFUL BREATHING

I have also spoken about breathing and as critical as that is for obvious reasons, mindful breathing has been clinically proven to be able to reduce stress wherever you are. Whether it’s the Wim Hof Method, or the Navy SEAL’s Box breathing technique, breath work can have a significant and immediate impact on the Autonomic Nervous System which controls your response to stress.

3. PRACTICE MEDITATION OR TAKE QUIET TIME

Maybe take some quiet time to contemplate nothing, AKA meditation. The science around the positive impact of this ancient tradition on stress abounds. If that’s not your bag, why not take some quiet time to contemplate good things. Positive things in your life, things to be grateful for, things to look forward to. Either way, when you step back from the pressures of this abnormal state we find ourselves in, we may pull back far enough to look down on all the fuss and realize that it too shall pass.

4. PRACTICE HAVING A POSITIVE MINDSET

Based on this study, probably the most important thing we can do is to be positive about how this will ultimately impact our health. And this positive mental attitude can be underwritten by positive actions that we take, like eating well, exercising and taking good care of ourselves and our loved ones.

For most of us, the silver lining in all of this stress-induced tension is that we’re around close friends and family more than many of us have experienced in a long time.

Get out those rose-colored glasses and see these opportunities to spend time together for what they are: opportunities. 

And while you’re at it, marvel at how your body defends itself; how it heals and rejuvenates itself; how resilient your body can be in the face of all this turmoil and upheaval.

The very knowledge that we can actually dictate the course that stress will take in our lives gives us the ability to step back, take a calming breath and realize that we are ultimately in control of our destiny, and always have been.

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5 Steps to Re-Imagine Your Business Post COVID-19

5 Steps to Re-Imagine Your Business Post COVID-19

5 Steps to Re-Imagine Your Business Post COVID-19

(Custom Organizational Visioning Implementation Design)

Grant Ian GambleBy Grant Ian Gamble | June 1, 2020

Grant Ian Gamble is a business growth consultant, author and keynote speaker. He works in a broad array of industries helping companies build teams, navigate change and drive growth.

Every one of our clients has one thing in common: they’re all in un-chartered waters.

As we work through the many intricacies and conundrums created by the COVID-19 crisis, we are beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

Our strategy sessions are shifting from crisis management to re-imagining what the future may look like for businesses as restrictions ease, but many unknowns remain.

Grant Ian Gamble Business Consulting | Author | Speaker | The Affinity Formula | 5 Steps to Re-Imagine Your Business Post COVID-19

When we work with a company to plan their next steps, we find that we’re not just helping with strategy, planning and decision making.

We’re now helping with aspects of team re-engagement and self-care, challenges of customer re-acquisition, and the critical elements of how to lead and manage the inevitable re-engineering of their very business.

During this re-engineering phase, we fall back on a five-step process we usually use to onboard clients. This simple process helps us apply our expertise to clients’ unique circumstances in these uncertain times.

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5 Steps to Re-Imagine Your Business Post COVID-19

Step 1: DISCOVER

It’s amazing what we unearth at times. Very often during the discovery phase, issues or challenges that the leaders have, or have not been aware of come up. We appraise the leadership of fundamental issues and opportunities that exist within the company. In this time of ultimate upheaval, this is a great time to re-imagine your business leveraging some of these opportunities or releasing itself from some of these legacies and holdovers.

Step 2: STRATEGIZE

The fluid nature of this current set of circumstances works well with our approach to strategy. We help our clients look out to the horizon while we place singular focus on the near to mid-term needs. In an evolving situation such as we face at present, making plans for 12 months from now is fraught with peril. We work on a rolling three-month plan, which allows for constant course corrections.

Step 3: PLAN

We feel it’s important to separate planning from strategy. Strategy drives the plan, but this is where we take the strategy and put the detail to it. We work with our clients to allocate resources and responsibilities to get the strategy executed. We consider potential issues and put failsafes in place where necessary.

Step 4: IMPLEMENT

This is where the rubber hits the road. Many times consultants step away at this point, but this is where we step up. There are inevitable gaps and hurdles that come up in the implementation process and our goal is to be a resource to ensure maximum traction for the leaders and their team during this critical phase.

Step 5: RE-ASSESS

This part of the process allows us to help monitor progress and determine if the plan is gaining traction. We feel this is a critical part of our responsibilities to help ensure that things are on course and that we realign the plan, as needed, in real-time.

In truth, our clients do not need us to define this process for them.

Where we offer unique value is by bringing external perspectives and experience to the process.

Our team works in a wide variety of industries ranging from manufacturing to professional sports, and this broad portfolio helps us inform our clients in ways that help them re-imagine their business beyond the normal constraints of their particular industry.

Whether you engage consultants to assist you in re-imagining your business or not, this simple five-step process is a very practical way to think about how to reboot your business.

Taking the time to envision your business in the coming months and years will pay dividends as the new world order unfolds.

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30 Business Sectors That Are Booming During the COVID-19 Pandemic

30 Business Sectors That Are Booming During the COVID-19 Pandemic

30 Business Sectors That Are Booming During the COVID-10 Pandemic

Grant Ian GambleBy Grant Ian Gamble | April 28, 2020

Grant Ian Gamble is a business growth consultant, executive coach, author and keynote speaker. He works in a broad array of industries helping companies build teams, navigate change and drive growth.

Obviously, a key area to focus your attention on is taking care of your existing customers. But many of your customers are simply trying to sustain their viability in these trying times. In many cases that translates to taking care of their team members and customers, and they may not have the bandwidth to deal with much else. 

As a result, many of us are seeing softness in our pipelines and deal slippage as our existing customers try to survive and adapt. Meetings get canceled, site visits are eliminated, and everyone’s trying to find a new norm. 

Therefore, we need to consider newly emerging opportunities and business sectors to shore up our pipelines and orders. Whereas it might normally be difficult to establish new business opportunities during a crisis, normal supply channels have been disrupted and companies are scrambling for new suppliers and options.

Below, I have listed a number of businesses and sectors that are thriving at present (alphabetically) and many of these have escalating needs that may benefit you and your business:

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30 BUSINESS SECTORS BOOMING DURING COVID-19

  • Board games and puzzles makers and sellers
  • Bread baking companies
  • Canned goods and jarred goods
  • Cleaning services 
  • Coffee subscription services
  • Delivery services and food delivery 
  • Drive-in movie theaters (who would have thought)
  • Home fitness equipment sales
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores
  • Hardware and gardening supplies
  • Landscaping and yard maintenance
  • Logo, graphics and design services (as companies reengineer themselves)
  • Marketing services
  • Mask and eye protection manufacturers
  • Meal preparation businesses
  • Medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers
  • Online Pet supplies
  • Online sales in general, ranging from Amazon to vineyards
  • Outdoor equipment e.g. bikes, canoes etc.
  • Pizza delivery and take-out food delivery  services
  • Restaurants now solely providing take out
  • Segments of the healthcare sector, particularly diagnostics
  • Technology consulting services and repair
  • Telehealth services
  • Telemarketing
  • Trash removal, dumpsters
  • Tutoring and Online learning
  • Video conference platforms (software and hardware)
  • Video production
  • Wine, spirits and beer manufacturers and sellers

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully will provide some ideas and potential opportunities to explore for your business.

The good news is that you may have more access to potential clients than ever as the competition thins and increased sales for these sectors demand more resources and supplies. These blossoming sectors have problems to solve and needs to fulfill.

Take some time with your team to explore this list and even expand upon it. What opportunities exist out there for you and your company to leverage the upswing some other businesses are experiencing in these turbulent times?

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26 Non-Negotiables, Opportunities & Tips for Surviving and Thriving During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

26 Non-Negotiables, Opportunities & Tips for Surviving and Thriving During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

26 Non-Negotiables, Opportunities & Tips for Surviving and Thriving During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Grant Ian GambleBy Grant Ian Gamble | April 28, 2020

Grant Ian Gamble is an international business growth consultant, executive coach, author and keynote speaker. He works in a broad array of industries helping companies build teams, navigate change and drive growth.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and the economy is unprecedented. 

Businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 are faltering. Even the most robust companies will need to fight their way back to their pre-pandemic best, and marginal ones will likely not re-emerge from the crisis.

Companies positively affected by COVID-19 also need to chart new courses. That might mean establishing new supply chains, recruiting additional talent, or retooling their business to cope with massive spikes in sales and activity.

As businesses recalibrate, strategize, and pivot, one thing remains clear: these are unchartered waters for everyone.

There are some non-negotiables and common denominators across industries and sectors, but for the most part this is a unique set of circumstances that demand novel solutions and strategies. 

I have detailed some non-negotiables, opportunities, and tips below:

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NON-NEGOTIABLES

1. Take all necessary measures to protect your team members and customers.

This is ‘Job 1’. This includes developing and maintaining smart, thoughtful communications with your team, customers, community, and stakeholders. Keeping these essential partners in your business well informed and demonstrating empathy for their particular circumstances is paramount. We are all embroiled in this mess and retaining key team members and as many of your customers as possible is critical to coming out of this crisis relatively intact. These communications should always be empathetic and include proactive steps you’re taking to protect them specifically. Check out the Virtual Standup concept to really stay in touch with your team on a regular basis.

2. Abide by all local, regional and federal guidelines as applicable.

This seems passé, but these guidelines are a moving target, and staying abreast of updates is critical.

3. Know what support and aid packages are available to you and your business and take full advantage of any applicable assistance.

This will continue to evolve as stimulus efforts continue to unfold, but make sure your best person is on this. It could be the difference between getting through this mess or being more debris in its wake.

4. Be flexible.

You will need to show empathy and flexibility for your team, vendors, partners, and collaborators. Equally, you will need flexibility in return from lenders, landlords, vendors, and your team. Don’t be afraid to ask for leniency or moratoriums on rent, repayments, or other normally non-negotiable expenses.

5. Adjust your strategic plan.

What you had documented in January is almost definitely completely obsolete. I typically recommend a strategic plan doesn’t stretch (in detail) past 90 days. That might be reduced to 30 days, or less, at present. Here are 13 More Tips and thoughts on survival strategies in these uncertain times. 

6. Cut any non-essential spending if you haven’t already.

A logical end to this crisis is yet to be determined and therefore we should plan for the worst and hope for the best. For many companies, the definition of non-essential will vary, but if the intended spend won’t fortify your position with your team, your customers, or the market, really question whether it’s necessary.

7. Help your sales team recalibrate how they do business.

This is a key area I’ve been working on with my clients. Giving sales teams the tools and support to modify how they maintain and even build their business is critical. This can range from simple tips on the backdrop and dress code for virtual calls all the way through to specific training on virtual platforms and tools. Investing in online and remote tools, training, and systems for your team as a whole is critical. These might include tools like GoToMeeting, Zoom, Skype, Slack, Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Google Suite, etc.

8. Amplify your focus and communication on hygiene and cleanliness. 

A simple example would be our family’s  AirBNB. We’re informing potential guests of our cleaning regimes, e.g. we space three days between guests, sterilize all bedding and towels, clean all surfaces and contact points with Clorox, etc. These types of assurances can address concerns and position you for opportunities that still exist in your market.

9. Ensure you have amended your standard operating procedures for the current circumstances. 

This may mean implementing new checks and balances, e.g. systems of time tracking or activity management. If your company and team members don’t normally function in a remote environment, you’ll need guidelines and tools to assist all parties to stay on track.

10. Restructure your workforce.

Much of this may have already happened and can range from retrenchments to recruiting. On the retrenchment side, I encourage you to keep in close contact with those key team members you’ve had to release. Keep them updated to the best of your ability so they are most likely to return when things normalize and you need them. If you’re recruiting, don’t hire out of desperation. Easy to say and hard to do. Maybe your hiring cycle needs to shorten, but the usual checks and balances should remain. A poor hire can hurt you just as much now as ever.

OPPORTUNITIES

1. Help your team members stay healthy and active by encouraging them to exercise at home and take care of themselves. 

Hosting some team ‘get-togethers’ so they stay connected can be fun and rewarding, too. A nice touch one of my clients did was to send every team member a bottle of wine and he invited everyone to join (with their families) in an online Company Happy Hour to raise a glass. Check out some ideas of things for you and your team members to do during the lockdown in this blog post.

2. Reinforce your relationship with your customers through thoughtful communications, offers, free services, and other bonuses.

A client of mine whose business premises are closed at present has been doing a ‘Daily Update’ for their members with recipes, how to stay sane during the lockdown tips, and health tips and ideas. This is keeping them connected to their customers and adds value to the relationship.

3. Find a digital version of what you do.

While e-commerce was pervasive before the crisis, it has become a non-negotiable since. For example, many health clubs are providing online classes now, some social clubs are having regular online Happy Hours, and a nitro coffee company I work with has started up nitro coffee bean subscriptions. Get creative with your online opportunity!

4. Get to marketing your business while the competition hunkers down or regroups.

There may be opportunities to scoop up customers who have become disconnected from their usual sources of supply. However, ensure any campaign you do conduct is not seen as opportunistic. It needs to be appropriately empathetic and acknowledge the current situation we all face. Being tone-deaf to people’s predicaments can create the opposite effect to what you’re seeking. If you need help with your messaging, consult a marketing agency.

5. Consider pivoting into a sector that may not be in your usual line of business. 

One of my printing clients used their promotions business to procure masks and protective wear and shore up the slowdown in their printing business. Another one of my clients is a social club and in order to keep their kitchen team on the payroll, they provided their members with a food credit and started providing curbside pickup for take-out.

6. Let your customers and community know the things you are doing to help in these troubling times. 

Many companies are providing free services, making donations, and offering credits or such, to maintain and grow goodwill.

7. This is an incredible time to reconnect with former customers and maybe win them back. 

Even if you can’t get their business now, it may be possible when this crisis subsides.

8. Get that project done that you’ve been thinking about.

One of my clients took advantage of the downturn to move their warehouse. Another is taking this opportunity to repaint their entire facility. Both of these things would have been really difficult under normal circumstances. 

9. Engage with your customers (and former customers) to get feedback and gain perspective.

Many of your customers have more availability than ever and you can do some great market research and develop relationships in the downtime. 

TIPS

1. Maintain positive momentum.

It is easy to let inertia wane and succumb to all the negative press around the economic outlook for businesses. Stay positive and keep actively pursuing opportunities as they emerge. My consulting business slowed enormously at the onset of the pandemic, so I focused on writing and producing content to keep momentum up. I completed my book, “The Affinity Principle,” and it went off to the printers during the lull. This would not have been possible if I had a full book of business.

2. Focus your energy on the most rewarding activities.

It’s easy to get distracted in times like these, but the rewards will come when we channel our energy to those things that bring the greatest returns. Opportunities will arise and decisiveness is critical as things are moving fast. Retention of customers and of your team is likely the best use of available resources at present, but other opportunities will likely present themselves.

3. Don’t be afraid to try some things that you might not normally consider.

The current climate may be a great petri dish for ‘trial balloons’ on products or projects. Some companies are crowdsourcing for funding, others are giving their products away, or offering discounts they would not normally consider. It is important not to do these things out of desperation, but out of the desire to traverse this rocky landscape.

4. It is also a great time to explore those businesses that are booming and see if you can appropriately leverage their growing sales into momentum for you and your company. 

Here’s a list of business sectors that are thriving at present.

5. Don’t be afraid to project out beyond the pandemic.

Start laying the foundations for post-pandemic success. This can help your team look past the present predicament and set the table for your resurgence.

6. Think about doing some team building events online.

There are some fun online games and Virtual Escape Rooms that could offer some respite to your team in these troubling times. Build your own quiz around your business and team on Kahoot and play it with your team.

7. Share memories with your team and customers.

This is a great time to reflect, and your team and customers will love it. Post pictures, tell stories, have some fun with things that happened before the lockdown, and stay in people’s positive consciousness.

It’s easy for F.E.A.R. to sneak into your thoughts and influence your actions and responses to this crisis. 

Truth is, some companies will not come out of this crisis intact. 

If you can focus your will and direct your efforts toward the inevitable opportunities that come out of a crisis like this, you stand a very good chance of rising above your competition. 

Most importantly, remember ‘Job 1’ and many of the other elements will fall into place as the new order of business unfolds.

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Change Management During Uncertain Times

Change Management During Uncertain Times

Change Management During Uncertain Times

Grant Ian GambleBy Grant Ian Gamble | April 17, 2020

Grant Ian Gamble is a business growth consultant, executive coach, author and keynote speaker. He works in a broad array of industries helping companies build teams, navigate change and drive growth.

I first experienced the joy of sailing as a cadet at the Royal Australian Naval College. Harnessing the power of the wind was both challenging and exhilarating. Since those days of sailing Bosun’s Dinghies around Jervis Bay, I’ve sailed everything from windsurfers and kiteboards all the way up to a 48-foot catamaran on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. 

The one indelible constant in sailing is the ever-changing conditions that demand continuous course corrections and adjustments to the sails and rigging. The wind constantly shifts direction or speed, demanding ongoing course corrections. Currents and tides under the boat influence its path and again demand regular adjustments from the skipper.

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Constant Change & Mindful Communication

This volatility very much reminds me of the current state of the world. As information regardig COVID streams in from hundreds of countries across the globe, the ever changing trajectory, path and profile of this crisis demand constant adjustments to our course.

So how do we approach the ebb and flow of information and the constantly shifting parameters we’re faced with today?

As with the sailing analogy, this is an inexact process.

It requires trial and error and the ability to adjust course or expectations constantly. It may even require many companies to pivot in directions that they would have never contemplated. 

Managing change at this rate is incredibly stressful and difficult. More than ever, it demands great communications between your team, customers, the community and stakeholders.

In times of turmoil developing and maintaining regular, relevant and rhythmic communications with your communities will bring many benefits:

1. Routine and rhythm will help establish a sense of trust with your constituencies. 

2. These communication rhythms will bring awareness around issues and will help develop solutions and facilitate change.

3. These rhythmic communications give you opportunities to recognize your team and simultaneously better understand the challenges that they are facing in this new world order. 

NOTE: Communications should not be limited to work and professional issues. It helps for your team and constituencies to discuss the personal and sometimes unique circumstances they’re facing.

4. Given that many of your team members may be working remotely for the first time, these regular communication opportunities may reduce a feeling of isolation and keep those team members more in touch.

5. Sharing of information and knowledge through regular conversations and briefings can also enhance relationships between teams and creating a variety of groups and forums will help solidify your team and company in these turbulent times.

Constant Change & Clarity

Beyond collaborative communications are the strategic elements of navigating these treacherous waters. Much like Jack Sparrow on “Pirates of the Caribbean,” you need a compass that points toward that which you desire to accomplish.

My point is that you really need to have clarity about where you’re headed. And I don’t mean those rocks that appear all around you! I mean what is the ultimate destination you seek when this crisis resolves itself? 

Regaining clarity around your ultimate destination beyond this crisis will inform the course corrections you need to make now. As information comes to hand and options appear and disappear, you will need to maintain clarity around your final destination in order to navigate the many challenges that stand between where you are today and where you want to be at the end of this crisis.

Constant Change & Strategy Adjustments

In order to redefine the goal/s for your company in the face of these turbulent times, I recommend engaging your stakeholders in the conversation. It also makes sense to engage thought leaders in this dialogue. By bringing in talented third parties that have helped companies navigate crises and re-births, you improve your chance of weathering this storm.

There will be a level of attrition in business that occurs as a function of this pandemic. There will also be opportunities that are inevitably a by-product of chaos. If you beef up the depth and rhythm of your communications and develop and maintain clarity around what you want to achieve at the end of this mess, you stand a much higher likelihood of coming out the other end intact.

I wish you clear skies and an open ocean . . . 

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