Planning your next steps

‘It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as actually going somewhere.’

In a crisis such as Covid-19 we are dealing with personal and business challenges that many of us have never experienced before.  Adapting to such takes time and it is not a linear, staged process.  It can be a roller coaster of emotion as we try to make sense of what is happening and what the future will look like.

In an attempt to regain some level of control many of us are feeling a desperate need to do something proactive.  If this is the case, be sure to ask yourself ‘what is the objective?’ We are facing a time of ‘jamais vu’ rather than ‘deja vu!’ so do also be wary of some of the advice you are receiving, how you react and what to do. As individuals we will all react differently and need varying ways and time to adjust. Ask yourself ‘is this the best advice for me and my situation?’

As business leaders we have had to act fast to protect the lives of our employees and business and with governmental support hopefully many of us have now implemented our crisis plans. However, before planning your next steps I would suggest pausing for some reflection and collaboration with your stakeholders and business partners. 360 Growth Partners are having such conversations with many of our clients, giving a much needed independent view when businesses are in the ‘eye of the storm.’ How are you going to shift through the gears of survival, revival to ultimately thrive again. What will be your ‘resilience plan?’

Fork in the road or dead-end?

None of us know the depth, or length, of the impact from the current pandemic nor exactly what changes will become the ‘new normal.’ However, we would suggest that you conduct a simple and pragmatic ‘360’ review of your business and be honest about the severity of the situation. Where might you need to ‘pivot’ or is your business model unlikely to survive in its current form? How might changing customer needs impact on your why, how and what? Has digital transformation just become a sharper reality for all businesses?

Getting back on track

Your vision, mission and values are what make your business unique. You have probably taken years to build your brand. These are the anchors you need for turbulent waters. Be careful you stay true to them and don’t go so far off course that finding your way back might be impossible. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater!

What were your plans and objectives before Covid-19? What is still relevant and what needs to change? How does this impact on the objectives of the team? Once we find our ballast we will need to ensure people are performing to these new objectives, that we celebrate progress and the team are working effectively together. Sound familiar?

The ‘Resilience plan’

Once you have put the fundamentals in place for short term survival it is time to create a plan for navigating the months ahead. It is likely to be a long road ahead and remaining agile will be critical. According to a forecast by the EY ITEM Club the UK economy may not return to its late 2019 size until 2023.

Plan for uncertainty, focus on the short term and then have regular progress check ins. A resilience plan acknowledges that the road will not be straight and might have some pretty scary hairpins! There will need to be sufficient fluidity to deal with different scenarios. We don’t know the route or time of arrival but keep your ultimate destination in view. Blend the learning from today with the knowledge of the past, think digital but don’t forget the physical, be prepared to innovate to meet the needs of a changing market and focus on how to improve your productivity

Remember the needs of your team

We are all on a roller coaster but probably not the same one. Check in regularly and remember people may need more, not less communication, under the current lockdown. Be aware of where your team are on the ‘mood elevator’ and share your expectations of each other. Collaborate with your colleagues and remember even communicating uncertainty is better than no communication. Put the health and wellbeing of your team at the top of your priority list. How you lead at this critical time will live long in the memories of your employees.

Get some support

At 360 Growth Partners we don’t claim we have all the answers but we have years of experience finding solutions.  We can add a different perspective, provide a listening ear, help build the plan and support you and your team navigate a path to a more positive future.

Out of adversity comes opportunity but you need to be ready to realise it.

Stay safe, and start planning.