It’s no secret the world has been put on its head! Business leaders everywhere are just trying to work out how to get things done as efficiently as they can, and not go broke in the process.
And everyone is hammering the concept of a need to ‘PIVOT’!
In reality, that’s the worst thing a business leader can do.
To your team, and your customers, ‘pivoting’ conjures up images of heading in one direction and then all of a sudden doing a 180 degree turn to the opposite direction. The net result of implementing that strategy is that it will simply frighten everyone.
You frighten your team as they add even more uncertainty to their day with new roles and responsibilities.
You frighten your customers, as you lose your company identity and your product or service positioning.
And you frighten yourself with your own decisions.
We all have enough fear to live with right now, so don’t pivot, just rethink the plan.
Start by pulling your business plan out of the draw. Yes, the one you’ve not looked at for the last year amongst the chaos. And have every line item in that document fight its way back into the document.
The simple exercise we do in our businesses is to draw three columns on a page and list every strategic item under one of those columns.
In column 1 – Write down the things you should STOP doing. The strategic items that simply don’t work in the current business landscape. And it might not be because the concepts are out of date, they just don’t work, for now.
In column 2 – Write down all the things that you should START doing. Things you may not have thought were important pre-COVID, or things that have simply landed on your desk as good ideas or new business efficiencies as you’ve continued to rethink your business model in the last 12 months.
In column 3 – Write down the things you should CONTINUE to do. These are the strategic backbones of the business, the things you know to be the drivers that should remain part of the plan to give your business some consistency for both your staff and your customers.
However, before you put pen to paper, stop for a moment of introspection. Because It’s times like this that you find three groups of leaders in your business.
- Those that are seeking to protect the past – They just want it all to be the same as it used to be.
- Those that are proactive in working it out – They ‘get’ that they have to change and evolve, or the business will wither and die.
- And those that are simply paralyzed by the pressure – They are probably never going to get it and need to find a new way to operate with less anxiety.
All three personality types have a contribution to make to your new strategic plan, you just need to find a way to organize their thoughts and include them in the conversation.
This process gives everyone an equal share of voice and helps you identify what should be in your plan moving forward and what should not.
It’s not about PIVOTING, is just about rethinking the plan.