Preparing for a Brave New World
If there’s one thing we understand from the current dramatic climate is the importance of people; family, friends, colleagues and workforces. How will we look after one another throughout this potentially prolonged and challenging situation?
Personally, I think the most important aspect around this pandemic is not to panic. I do understand though that this is easier said than done. Also, it’s very difficult not to be affected and anxious by the constant updated streams supplied by the media. However, I think we need to face the reality of this and consider just what we can do as corporates and small business owners to continue as effectively as we can.
We must do what we can do wherever and however possible
People may well be self-isolating, and we may face a potential lock down in the UK soon, like other countries in Europe, but right now many small businesses are very much open for business. We are here and we are working. This is quite possibly the very best way to stave off panic by keeping on doing what we do wherever and however it is possible.
Let's get match fit
For me, as I speak with colleagues and clients, I’ve come to the conclusion the key attribute for each one if us is to remain match fit. Sports people who are not playing matches will not stop training or maintaining their fitness.
I remember listening to the advice from the IOC saying that all athletes should continue training. Of course, they should, after all without that continuous effort what chance of success would they have if they stayed at home on the sofa and munched through their hoarded stash of biscuits and pasta? We need to be on the alert and continue preparing for a future, whatever that might look like.
Fight or flight might not be the best option right now
I am in the recruitment business and people are saying, ‘don’t talk to me about hiring I am thinking about how many staff I might have to let go.’ Yes, that’s the flight or fight instinct kicking in but if you sit back and take stock is it really appropriate even if it feels that way in this very moment?
There's no reason not to get processes in place now
I spoke with a client last week who were looking to put on hold the recruitment of a key individual. Their plan was to wait for 3 month or until things had settled down a little. It became evident from the conversation that even if they delayed this project they would still have to fill the role in the future. I then pointed out to them that having conversations with potential candidates would actually be a lot easier as the vast majority of people across Europe are working from home right now. Therefore we could go through the recruitment process, use technology that would allow us to conduct interviews over video. That would mean that in 3 months time we would be in the position to conclude the process rather than just get started.
We must keep talking and collaborating
Right now we are facing a chaotic situation but many people are not sick and hundreds of thousands more will recover and they will want to get on. Business owners should communicate with one another and consider where we might be going and how we might get there in the long term. We need to make sensitive calls that reach out to our customers and prospects, but we need to pay attention to how they might be feeling and what they are facing. What won’t happen is match fitness if we simply sit on our hands. This is the time we have to make actual conversations especially if many are facing isolation. Most of us will be sitting at our desks, maybe working from home but certainly doing less so let’s make the most of this change in circumstance and radically alter business practice.
We will all need a future pipeline
This is an appropriate time to reappraise what we do and how we do it. This is the occasion where we step off the roundabout and reimagine all aspects of our business very carefully. If you are keeping people hired, then take the time to get them trained or have some virtual blue-sky thinking meetings. Think about how you’d like to see your business develop and what you can do to help that process along now we have all been gifted some time. Is this the time to revise rates perhaps or even carry on as normal; what else is there to do?
That doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to struggle or that business opportunities will be taken from us. Some firms will go to the wall, but it is the time to innovate, don’t you think?
If we collaborate, keep talking, sharing what we do have and think of others too it has to be the way forward. We’ve already been told that panic buying jeopardises the supply chain for everyone whereas if we just take what we need we can help to sustain supply. China has been through this and is recovering, we too need to keep that in mind; it will happen.
But at this moment we must work together, plan for the future and start being creative. Any thoughts on further practical solutions? It would be great to chat.