Businesses have 3 choices following the COVID 19 shutdown: Reset, Pivot, or Leap. In this post we examine the choices and when they are appropriate.
Murfield Coaching works with individuals and organizations to solve significant problems through disruptive thinking. One of the most prevalent problems is missing opportunities by not identifying the appropriate action.
A Critical Decision
The economy is reopening and you will have choices as an business and as a professional. You can reset, go back to the way you were working, pivot by adding a new product or service, or leap forward to a completely new opportunity.
To reset is to return to a previous point and work from there. This is when a computer program or electronic device quits working and needs to be reset to the previous settings in order to work effectively.
Business requires a reset following the COVID 19 shutdown. Business cannot survive in that suspended or reduced state. We all need to get back to work and return to productivity and profitability.
- Return to what you know best.
- Return to what your customers need and want.
- Return to your best practices of operation that still work.
You can reset to a previous, simpler way of doing business. Maybe it is reviving an old marketing perspective or product. Sometimes, resetting to an earlier way of working works better than the newest method
For example, during the shutdown, some people went back to what their parents or grandparents did, cooking for themselves.
Notice how we reset our competitive world and were more compassionate during the shutdown? (Ok, except for the fighting for toilet paper.) Seriously, can we take that compassion into the workplace? Resetting to come alongside others in their pain is the best way to engage your employees, vendors, and customers.
CAUTION: Don’t think you can simply go back to the way things were. These crises that I like to call “economic earthquakes” leave some structures of our lives in rubble, never able to be revived. With the exposure to widespread virtual work, we will find some traditional ways of working obsolete. Not changing is not an option. Recognize that failing to change and clinging to our old, comfortable yet antiquated mindsets and practices will spell doom for us.
In what ways can you reset to increase your performance, productivity, and profits?
To pivot is to keep one foot in place while we swivel to change perspective and position. Think of the basketball player dribbling the ball up court and being cornered by an opponent. He stops dribbling to avoid the turnover. The player has one choice at this point – pass the ball to a teammate or call timeout.
COVID 19 has stopped us in our tracks. We pivot because we cannot do a complete reset. Returning to exactly the way things once worked is no longer a viable option. Circumstances demand that we change.
Sometimes we pivot because we are too hesitant to let go and leap. We appreciate the situation we are in but recognize the potential. Before we even think about leaping, we pivot to see what else is available. Like the basketball player guarded by an opponent, we pivot quickly seeking our next opportunity.
Pivoting creates three challenges. First, If we pivot too quickly we may lose our balance and forfeit our success. Second, we must work quickly to find the next viable opportunity. Meanwhile, we must also keep that one foot planted on our current business. Third, we don’t have any choice but to pivot so we must make our new choices quickly.
For example, following the shutdown, many traditional businesses are being forced to consider employees working remotely. Education from elementary to high school and college were forced to offer teaching and courses online. They had to consider several questions.
- Is it viable?
- If so how?
- What policies are needed?
- What additional resources will be needed?
- Can we ensure continued performance, production, and profits?
This may be the time to pivot to offer additional products and services. Many restaurant survived by offering takeout and virtual diner experiences. Is this the time to continue offering those new services?
Other companies realize this is a time to pivot. A haberdashery in Tampa realized that they only sold what people wanted, not needed. They are looking to add to their products items that are more recession proof.
In what ways will you pivot to find new opportunities created by the COVID 19 shutdown?
To leap is to leave the spot you were standing and propel yourself to a new place. That takes considerable effort and planning. We leap in two different settings, when there is no other choice or because we want to get to a place that is much better.
Many are afraid to lead, worried about trying and failing. Fear of the fall prevents them from ever taking the leap. For those looking for stability, leaping is inadvisable.
Sometimes we have no other choice. If our house is burning and we are on the second floor with no other viable choices, we must leap.
At other times, we leap because we want to. As a child, it was fun to run and leap, flying through the air to get to where we wanted quicker. As adults, we don’t run and leap as much as we once did.
- Maybe returning after the COVID 19 shutdown is the perfect time to take a little leap.
- Maybe this is the time to reset our sense of adventure and decide what we ultimately want.
- Maybe this is the time when we as business owners make the leap and embrace innovative thinking.
- At the same time, maybe this is the time to embrace a more compassionate style of leadership.
- Maybe this is the time where you realize how antiquated your company has become. If so, this is the time to make the bold leap forward.
In what ways will you leap forward to find new opportunities created by the COVID 19 shutdown?
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DO the IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Loren Murfield, Ph.D.
Dr. Murfield holds a PhD in Communication and works with leaders and organizations to solve significant problems with innovative thinking. What problem is frustrating you? Contact us today.
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