Dealing with the outcomes of the global COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, where we learned the value of quickly creating a survive and thrive plan.
In our experience working with leadership teams, those that focused on both surviving (reduced expenses) and thriving (discovering the opportunities created by crisis) were the most successful.
A lot of our time lately has been supporting leadership teams by facilitating the meetings in which they are creating their Survive and Thrive Plans. Here are some observations that may be helpful as you engage your leadership team to create yours.
- Let go of old assumptions, beliefs and behaviors. In this case, old could mean a belief from 3 weeks ago that new information or circumstances has shed light on. This is the time to let go of “we have always done it that way” and find a new more efficient one.
- Listen and learn – Seek advice from the front lines about their ideas on how to cut expenses or information on customer opportunities. Thank them for any idea even if not implemented. Let them know if their idea was a success.
- Be Different – If weekly sales meetings are not getting the results you need, do something different. Example – if Sales and Operations haven’t collaborated on customer opportunities, create a meeting for them to do so.
- Keep it Simple: Don’t over complicate the solution. Create a do-able, executable plan that can be understood by everyone.
- Be Decisive: Make the best decision with the information that you have. Rely on the experience of your leadership team to develop a plan and be decisive so resources are not wasted and opportunities are not missed.
- Communicate and Be transparent – make sure everyone in the company understands the specific challenges the company is facing and what the leadership team plans to do about it
- Stack hands: Provide leadership and other critical teams have the opportunity to have a meeting to contribute, understand and vet ideas for the plans and decisions they will be required to carry out.
- Get It Done: Ensure the leadership team is meeting regularly to report on how implementing the survive and thrive plan is going, to find out what has changed and make new decisions in this ever evolving circumstances.