The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a dark shadow over the world while shaping changes that will create a new reality.
In addition to being responsible to clarify the uncertainty while assuring employees and other stakeholders of a brighter future (last week’s Leadership Tip), you also have the responsibility of preparing for this new reality.
Our businesses will have a future. And it will be a great future because we’ll make it great. Although it’s unclear at this point what it will look like, be proactive by beginning to prepare now.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying it best: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Don’t wait to create a plan to recover once the crisis is behind you. Make your recovery plan(s) now. When the scope of the new reality becomes clear, then that’s the time to execute it.
The many unknowns shouldn’t stop you and your team from being prepared with various plans: Plan A – most likely case, Plan B – worst case, and Plan C – some version of A and B.
Then as the unknowns become known, you’ll be ready to refine the best plan and execute it.
In preparing your plan, consider these three areas:
Employees – So much has happened in such a short time—layoffs, furloughs, salary cuts, early retirements, work from home. What has been the effect on your culture? How do you re-establish the desired culture? Is it a good time to reorganize your business? Is there an opportunity to upgrade your talent? Could working from home have a more permanent place in your business? How will you celebrate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Profitability – Where do you start to regain the losses you’ve experienced? What cost-cutting measures will you keep? What will the ramp-up schedule for your products/services look like? If you have inventory, how much should you have to meet the anticipated demand?
Competition – Do you see a good opening for a merger or acquisition? Do you have an opportunity to be more aggressive in defending and growing your market share?
The important point: Think about the key elements of your unique business so you have a running start when this COVID-19 crisis is behind us. Do not expect it to return to the way it was; it won’t.
Instead, take responsibility to prepare for the new reality. Let me know if you need help thinking through your specific challenges.