I truly hope and trust you are well and are in good spirits during these extraordinary times during the Covid-19 crisis.
Yes indeed, we live in interesting times. But life goes on. As leaders, we must move forward with the commitment and belief we will get through this, and there will be good times ahead of us.
Navigating Through Covid-19 and beyond
By now you have assessed the situation and have made a series of hard decisions required to navigate the first phase of the Covid-19 era: Survival and dealing with the crisis.
Some of you are fortunate that your business is relatively resilient in that your core products and services can be delivered either digitally and/or via third party delivery services.
(Shout out! Kudos to the men and woman on the frontlines keeping business going and of course the frontline healthcare workers.)
Others of you may have had to make the difficult decision to hibernate, having to wait out the shelter-in-place mandates due to the nature of your products and services (i.e. restaurants, bars, ski-resorts, etc.).
“We don’t get to choose our difficulties, but we do have the freedom to select our responses”
– David Brooks
Strategy and execution must align with reality. And reality will change as we navigate through the crisis phase, to the “next” normal phase (TBD), to the eventual “new” normal phase (TBD).
Shelter-in-place is a reality of the Covid-19 crisis. How long it will take to get through to the next phase is unknown. I hope it will be relatively quickly (by end of May perhaps?), but don’t count on it. We might be in this phase for an extended period. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.
In the crisis phase, what can we do to keep our doors open? How can we best serve our customers, employees and the broader community while being safe and responsible?
But if we have to hibernate, how can we keep our customers engaged and stay relevant during our downtime? How do we best prepare to get back to business when the crisis phase is over? How do we deal with the hardships these times have forced upon us for our customers, employees, partners, and yes you?
Uncertain Times Requires Leaders To Step Up and Lead
We need to be clear with our teams what needs to be done, why and how. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and everyone needs to be clear and committed to getting the job done.
And we need to recognize that the situation is evolving quickly. Our plans need to be resilient and respond to the situation as it unfolds.
Our planning periods need to reflect the pace of change we face. It’s all about learning on the go, being agile and responsive.
Keep your plans clear and simple. Get them down on one page. Be specific what needs to be done and how to measure it. And use the specific metrics in your plans to assess progress, learn as we go, and make adjustments as required.
As Leader, Your Work Is Not Done
Getting through the crisis phase is job number one, but our work is not done. We need to be thinking what comes next. How can my organization navigate the next phases and come out stronger than ever?
What are some of the strategic possibilities that await us? Which ones do we want to strive for? Which ones must we plan for if things don’t go as we hoped? And what will we do about it?
Now more than ever, strategy & execution is essential. Take care of the now, but don’t lose sight of the future. The only thing we can count on is change. Adapt and respond accordingly.
Indeed these are interesting times we live in.
PS: Relationships and conversations are essential in navigating through these challenging times. Do what you can to connect with people, have real conversations and build relationships.
I am always looking to meet interesting people, learning from them and sharing ideas, insights, resources and connections with them.
If you are and interesting person (and I am sure you are), and interested in having a 30-minute virtual coffee meeting with me, please go to my calendar and set a time for us. https://calendly.com/kmcgourty/30-minute-virtual-coffees
If you prefer to correspond with me through LinkedIn, here’s my address: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kbmcgourty/
I am here to help, listen, inspire, provide and share ideas in navigating through these uncertain times.