As business leaders we didn't have a choice about COVID-19, It just happened, we do have a
choice how we respond to it!
Of course, we've been in this for a while now and over the last few months we at UpaGear have
been helping clients all over the world make sense of what's happened, where they are now and
how to move forward, restart, adapt etc
In business and in life the good old Henry Ford quote about the power of belief, “If you believe
you can or you believe you can't, you are probably right” is as true now as it has ever been.
Most studies that look at business recovery from significant events suggest that there are
distinct phases we will go through, how we approach and navigate them in respect of the actions
we take and the beliefs we hold will have a significant impact on our likelihood of success and
getting back to thriving again.
The UpaGear ‘Performance Recovery Curve’ shows the stages that most businesses will go through.
In our previous article ‘5 Essentials for Leading Your Team Through the COVID-19 Crisis’ we dealt
with the Respond Phase; realigning your purpose, maintaining positive psychology, creating order
in the chaos, shared ownership and planning for the new world.
As businesses move into the Recover Phase there is the potential for a lot of false starts as
demand and supply chains slowly kick back into action.
Get a strong sense of reality - listen well / talk positive!
Not all customers will come back, so don't get carried away when the first few orders start dropping in.
Gaining absolute clarity on where your customers are and how they see their own recovery is critical.
Positive conversations build confidence, so make sure you're continually reconnecting with your
customers and keeping your Intel up to date.
Keep a tight handle on costs
The future isn't clear at this stage, so keeping a strong hold on your costs and being really deliberate
as to where you are investing; money, time and resources is key to staying agile, enabling you to seize
opportunities as they arise.
Get out there with your ears open and a friendly smile!
All markets are in flux with winners and losers. Make contact with previous clients, missed opportunities
and potential clients that play to your sweet spot. The world has changed, so you need to get rid of any
assumptions that you've previously made about these groups - everything is in play now!
Exceed expectations for the clients you've got!
Now is not the time to let your customers down, if it matters to them it should matter to you, we are all
in this crazy world together and long term relationships will be cemented based on the attitude you take
and the support you demonstrate.
Identify and build strategic alliances
What are the new ways of doing business in your sector? Those that either de-risk your exposure or
give you scale through collaboration, partnerships etc.
Enhance your offer in line with emerging trends
Working out which trends are worth backing / investing in and not spread betting is critical at this stage.
That said, be ready to pivot (yes, another term we are starting to dislike) if you suddenly find you’ve
backed beta-max instead of VHS.
Get rid of the deadwood and the cost drains - start fixing the roof as
the rain stops falling
It's time to kill off ‘pet or legacy projects’ that won't pay back, deal with your poor performers and review
all those big overheads. Fundamentally this is about getting your organisation fit for the future with the
long term in mind.
Be bold with targets that exceed previous highs
To capitalise on the amazing work you’ve done navigating the turmoil, it’s important to set our expectations
based on market opportunity and not previous performance.
Retain focus and intentionality in all you do
It’s easy to drift back into old habits based on the ‘Phew! We’re okay now’ mentality. Great businesses keep
really focused on what’s important
Keep scanning the market
Don’t be too busy to keep scanning the market for opportunities and threats, the linkage between operations
and strategy must be really tight and agile.
Maintain higher reserves to buffer secondary shockwaves
Hopefully this speaks for itself! Government support and interventions are likely to be significantly less in
the future, so self-sufficient businesses will be the ones who continue to emerge and thrive.
Finish fixing the roof now the sun is shining!
It’s easy to sidestep the difficult decisions and awkward conversations when things are going well, but you’re
storing up a problem, so beware!
UpAGear is a community of accredited Team Performance Coaches with vast experience of supporting senior
teams and leaders in their quest for high performance. Our combination of talented coaches, proven team
coaching methodology and a software support package is a winning formula for teams all around the globe.