No matter how your business was affected by the Covid pandemic – a little or a lot – Covid has created a great opportunity for meaningful and beneficial change within every organization.
Where there is Change, there is always opportunity – because the ‘status quo’ has disappeared. Business as usual is impossible. As a business leader, you can view the Change negatively or positively.
Because the situation has changed, businesses can’t operate the way they did before, whether they can see any change or not. The entire world was affected – every business, every organization, every group, every family. That creates the opportunity. Everyone is in the same boat at the same time. Change is expected and accepted as never before. Those who move first and quickest – to learn the differences, create new products, and new approaches to providing product(s) – will prevail. You will help customers in ways competitors may not see and before they see. Every change brings opportunities for those who realize it and seize it the opportunity.
A large percentage of people view changes negatively and react simply to protect themselves: defensively. They are so focused on negatives and self-protection that they don’t step back to look at the big picture; they miss more subtle aspects of the change (undercurrents and future trends). These subtle aspects also create new dimensions that enable new markets and demand attention to deal with currently unforeseen needs.
For those who see change as an opportunity and react proactively, there is great potential benefit, especially with opportunities that lead to gaining market share.
How? What proactive steps can you take to assure that your organization will be ready to take advantage of the change even if you initially see it as a potential negative? Develop a plan and processes to ready your people, in advance, to respond to trends before they become obvious to competitors (and friends!).
Here are the steps to assess, analyze, and proactively use a Change plan:
- Interview staff – Select sample individuals and/or groups representing various demographics and functions. Interview them regularly.
- Develop questions – an art in itself – to gain insights about your people’s attitudes and needs – to build trust. The objective is to assure everyone within your Company that Management is sincerely interested, understands, and intends to make decisions related to Change based on the needs, talents, and concerns of its people.
- Summarize collected data (including demographics of interviewed individuals and groups). The data should reflect both positive and negative information about specific impacts on the Company. This will build trust that Management isn’t sugar-coating problems.
- Present data summaries with diagrams and charts, to increase interest and assure comprehension.
These planning/rebooting steps should be done at least annually. The benefit of performing these steps annually is that the process and summaries will keep your people informed and ready to move, efficiently and effectively, as situations change.
This process will also keep your people aware of one another’s assets, individually and collectively – “battle ready”. They can be always informed and prepared to offer hyper-creative solutions and responses to Changes in both the market and for competitors’ product and process changes.