Reflections on navigating in times of uncertainty
Short talk given at UK Business Award 2020
Over my 25-year career, I have worked with many leaders and their teams during difficult times – both as a coach and a business consultant. Yet, when a client of mine recently asked me what he can do to survive, I had to dig deep to find the courage to tell him “I don’t know”. In fact, in these uncertain times, nobody knows the answer. When we accept that, we can tap into the resources of our teams not only to survive, but to thrive.
Here I offer a simple framework for leading through these uncertain times and hope it will help you navigate your business successfully!
1. Remain healthy and safe. YOU, your family, your staff and their families need to be healthy for your business to survive and thrive! Focus on the whole of the person: physical, mental and spiritual.
2. Manage your liquidity. Financial strain, i.e. cash flow, is the main cause of stress on leaders and their teams. Know your position and what is putting the most strain on your cashflow. Explore diverse options available to you – from working with partners, suppliers to customers. Be open and transparent with your team, ask them to co-develop creative solutions.
3. Make a small bet for the future. The world will continue, businesses will grow again, customers buy, suppliers provide. You need to come out of this pandemic stronger. What is the one thing that you could bet on now that will strengthen your business to thrive in the future? As a team, connect with your purpose: why you do what you do.
Be courageous and tell your teams that you don’t have the answer, so they can feel okay that they don’t have the answer. And that as a whole you can find some answers, learn, grow and thrive.