Organizations across the world continue to face stark challenges, the type of challenges which only come around perhaps, once every century. For many, as a business they can only sit and wait out the storm, whereas others, often driven by grit and determination unknown to them previously, igniting a marriage of creativity and culture, flex and pivot to face the storm head on. These brave hearted organizations and individuals achieve incredible things. In my opinion, the five steps to success are...
Step 1. Believe in your people
It may sound simple, but in these extraordinary times, countless organizations have seen individuals within their ranks step forward and carry their colleagues and business onwards. Be it through a different perspective on how to trade, who to trade to, or what to trade, has seen many individuals within an organization grow during these times, rather than shrink in size. From the employee out in the field, hidden in the back offices or in warehouses – it is often their unique perspectives of what you can achieve is what has ignited a spirit of reinvention.
Step 2. Be ready to move and move quick.
When the challenges start coming, acting fast has multiple positive benefits. Firstly, it can often prevent doubt setting in, vital in times like these. Speed can also facilitate a successful service or product launch, way ahead of time because you were thinking three steps ahead at every move and not dwelling on the detail ( and yes, the detail is important too). Moving fast will also help you gain early traction ahead of your competition.
Step 3. Listen intently
Understanding where you are heading, how you are pivoting your teams, or which new products and services are being onboarded, requires your absolute attention. Listening to all ideas, comments, feedback, customer engagement or staff kick-back is more important than ever in these times. Listening carefully and closely to how your moment of change is unfolding will give you both the knowledge of your conviction as well as give you the opportunity to be agile and make any small tweaks or major changes to keep your business relevant.
Step 4. It isn't always about the money
Sometimes, you need to invest in your business, your marketing or your people to launch into new areas, something Cennox is doing right now. That said, sometimes, pivoting and trying new things can be done at a zero cost base. Zero cost base? Yes! Some of the services and products we have launched during these times, although completely new to our portfolio, have been introduced without any different spend or budget requirement. Challenge your teams to present how they would take your new ideas, release them, promote them, or enact them with little or no cost.
Step 5. Embrace the opportunity
For those of you hunkered down, I wish you a speedy return to service and I hope this time passes with minimal impact to your business. For those able to twist, turn and reinvent your businesses – embrace this as an opportunity to flourish. The world has had to stop, review and change how we all work. The ripple effect on our supply chain, customer base and sales funnel is real. That said, our teams are using this time to change the way we communicate, do business, meet colleagues and clients, report differently, use our facilities more creatively, engage with new markets, sell / cross-sell and even upsell. We have leaned on our capabilities, experience and client base, our people and creativity to invent and share new products and services – all of these are generating opportunities that we have embraced and will continue growing well into 2021.
Looking to the future, although we know many customers are eager to get back to business as normal, we know many are hoping we don’t jettison, too quickly, the benefits and positive new opportunities this time is providing.