Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

A COVID19 three-part, three month business plan

4 MinutesIn Blog, Change, Strategy

Staying solvent, staying relevant, staying sane: a three month business plan for unprecedented times

It is far too early to say exactly what the new landscape will be on the other side of our locked-down world. But it is not too early to say that COVID19 is creating seismic shifts in the way the world, and business, works.

We need to move in response. Defensively and offensively. At pace. We have to show our people and our clients how we are relevant now, how we have adapted and what a short-term future looks like.

Your three point, three month business plan.

You can engage me develop your “new world” business plan with you. It has three parts and takes a three month view, set in the context of what you thought was your longer term plan.

The three elements are 1. Staying solvent 2. Staying relevant. 3. Staying sane.

1.Analyse and motivate – cut your cloth to fit

  • don’t be an ostrich
    • assume that the downturn is going to go deeper and faster and longer than you might wish.
    • ensure you have input from diverse, informed and creative sources. Focus on strong decision making processes rather than outcomes:  there is too much uncertainty and too many moving parts to think we can always get it “right”.
  • create COVID19 targets – there is nothing worse than our people feeling they are failing every day. Sitting alongside your typical targets, what are the new targets that our teams can control? How do we motivate and maintain these behaviours when there is generally less business to win?
  • practice extreme empathy if we ask people to leave. People will never forget how we made them feel when we were implementing our commercial decisions.
  • be a pessimist but don’t be a fool: any cuts we make should take account of part B of the plan.

2. Innovate and create – move forward:

  • how is our business relevant in this new world? We need to identify what we want to become, not fixated on preserving what we had.
  • what are our new tactics and actions for showing this and where is our new focus?
  • whose ground can we move into and who might be eyeing up ours?
  • engage experts who can add value at pace and who believe in us.

3. Protect and nurture – be kind: this isn’t “just” an economic downturn, it is a global pandemic too. 2001 or 2009 downturn tactics may be useful but aren’t the whole answer.

  • Be kind to ourselves: What are we doing actively to manage our positive psychology?
  • Be kind to everyone else, who are facing this twin battle too. What are we doing differently with our people to help them manage their positive psychology?
  • Create a new sense of what pace and productivity look like – April or May 2020 ‘busy’ is not the same as February 2020 ‘busy’.  See COVID19 targets above.

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