How Disruption Informs Strategy
So, many of us are in uncharted waters, or it FEELS like we're out of our depth. But I offer that maybe you're better equipped to lead your family, business, and customers in this disjointed time, than you may think.
Brian Funk shared six things he's learned about how disruption can inform your strategy in a recent post on Plenty Consulting's site. If you're skimming for the six, I'll help you out:
1. Lead with transparency and authenticity
2. The wisdom is in the collective
3. Slow your team down before they burnout
4. Empathize with customers, supporters, and critics
5. Plans are not strategy. Agility and adaptability are key.
6. Allow your passion for the mission to inform your next step.
If you really want to dig deep. I bet you can take five minutes and think of a time when you did each one of these things. I know you have....because I've heard from about 160 of you so far who have displayed, relayed or performed each one. I'll prove it.
The very first Wake-Up Wednesday, a member showed up in the chambers FIRST zoom meeting and walked us all through the idea that we're grieving our former roles and days and routines. She held the space for us to vent and reminded us that there's a difference between sympathy and empathy, it's an important distinction and it was exactly what the group needed right then. She was authentic and giving even though she had her own business to lead and a mountain of state and federal guidelines to navigate that day.
A retirement home administrator relayed on our call that everyone at their location was healthy and all he needed was ideas to occupy the residents while maintaining safe distances. He was reaching out to other homes in the area, competitors, to see what they were doing and employ some of their ideas. During challenging times, the wisdom is in the collective - this isn't the time to worry about market-share.
Several of you are concerned about the burnout of your staff and their overall health - mental and physical. Some have closed doors to protect school-aged employees, while others are trying out alternate-days staffing or AM/PM shifts with a gap for cleaning in-between.
Quite frankly, number four has been challenging. I know several members who don't agree with some of the changes the board and I have proposed and haven't exactly "warmed" to me in this role. I'm okay with that because I believe in the original mission and purpose of chambers (to address challenges facing businesses so they may start, sustain and grow, positively impacting the economy of the city they serve). It's still challenging and in some cases a bit awkward to call those folks at home and ask how they're doing, what they might need to get through this situation, and what I or the chamber can do to help. But it's how we're trying to take care of each other and that's what this business community does.
Agility and adaptability is in the entrepreneurial DNA. It's amazing to see so many of you take orders online, devise contact-less delivery methods, start-up delivery services, package your services and products in new ways, launch new marketing campaigns, and generally make several significant operational pivots in the span of just a few weeks, all while, caring for your families, your staff, your community, and learning new federal and state financial programs.
The last one is big - where does your passion for your mission lead you to take your next big step? At the chamber, I see this challenge jump-starting short, just-in-time information and Q&A sessions for members to support you as you navigate this new normal. What do you need to identify your next step? Do you need point-of-sale selection assistance? Branding help? Financial advice to move from one service line to another? I can't wait to hear and see what you all do moving forward.