Last time, we talked about how there can be no turning back. So, given that we are where we are, we should consider the options for going forward.
One option is to keep going as your business currently operates – the meticulously planned or cobbled together business continuity model that has been employed for the past month or two. Having said that it is, I don’t think that it really is an option.
Sure, for the short to, maybe, medium term the current situation will do fine but look at what most businesses have implemented – a business CONTINUITY program. Not a business growth program, business development program or a business expansion program. Continuity. Designed to keep the wheels turning and little else. This is the equivalent of treading water … you can do that for a while to survive but sooner or later you’ll be overcome with fatigue and, sadly, start sinking.
The second option is to try and go back to how you used to operate. As I pointed out in my last article, I can’t see how that this will ever work. In a world where everyone’s expectations and behaviours have changed, I would respectfully suggest that a return to the “good old days” will be short-lived and unsuccessful.
And so, it seems, we only have one viable option for the long-term survival of your business. The time is rapidly approaching where active and decisive steps will need to be taken to start the process of resetting, re-establishing and regenerating the business.
The reset step is probably the easiest of all. The key-decision makers in your business need to take a decision to reset and implement it. Think of it as Ctrl-Alt-Delete for everything that you have done in the past and an opportunity to create a new playing field. But this is just the first step in a long journey to the new normal.
The next step is the critical one in my mind. It seems that every business, regardless of their preparedness for the COVID-19 crisis, created what might be called a Business Continuity Group / Squad / Tribe whose sole responsibility was to ensure that the business was able to provide at least some services during a time when staff numbers were reduced, people were required to work remotely and people were, understandably concerned and uncertain. There is every likelihood that those people are now mentally, if not physically, exhausted and a looking for something of a finishing line.
But while it was critically important to maintain some business continuity, I would suggest that the next step – the Business Re-establishment Process – is even more critical. How do we maintain the existing business continuity model and, at the same time – develop a Business Re-establishment Strategy? How are you going to do that? Who is going to do that? How are you going to pay for that? Are the same people – the ones who ensured Business Continuity – going to have the energy to develop and implement a Business Re-establishment Strategy? If not, then who are you going to hand that responsibility to?
For many businesses, they don’t know where to start. They don’t know who to choose for their Business Re-establishment team. If they have seriously thought about it, though, they will have realised that this is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to get it right.
These are questions that senior leaders need to think through for their business NOW. Are you one of them? Are you feeling exhausted from everything else that you’ve had to achieve already in 2020? Can you afford NOT to start the re-establishment planning as soon as possible? In my mind, the businesses that are able to find energy and leadership to start that process are the ones that will recover best and most quickly.
And once that strategy is in place, then and only then, will you be able to re-generate your business.
I’ve got some ideas that I’d be happy to share. Please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.