COVID-19 Is An Opportunity To Press the Reset Button
The world is in a state of fear and anxiety over this virus. Rational thought has been replaced by fear which is leading to mob and hoarder mentality. The worst people are resorting to total exploitation holding toilet paper and disinfecting wipes hostage. Every media outlet is giving us minute to minute updates on the virus. Depending on what news you listen to the information is often contradictory. What we all want is some sort of stability, but we are not getting it externally. When fear and emotions are high, intelligence is low.
Most of our businesses are closed or if we are lucky, we and our staff can work from home. Social distancing, a word I never heard two weeks ago, is now a standard component of nearly every conversation. We are all going through a “Life Altering Event” at the same time. I host a weekly internet radio show on the voiceamerica.com network called “Life Altering Events.” This is what I tell my listeners in 22 countries every week, I think it applies here:
Life altering events present us with opportunities to seize the moment and make difference in our own life, the lives of our loved ones. They are a fork in the road where we have a choice. We can choose to fall apart or we can choose to find the courage, pick up the pieces, deal with our grief and start moving forward toward better times and better people. Always remember this, it is never too late to have the life you want and deserve.
So now what? Consider this, now that we are away from the daily grind of life, it is the perfect time to press the reset button and look at our business and our life. As business leaders, we are always thinking about things we can do better; about how we can improve our processes; and how we can improve our customer’s experience. Unfortunately, we never find to time to sit down and reflect on the hundreds of thoughts racing through our mind. Our staff, who is closer to the situation, can’t offer suggestions because they are overwhelmed with their day-to-day activities. Well now you have the time – so let’s use it wisely. Turn off the news walk to a park or the ocean or whatever place gives you a sense of peace. Keep a safe social distance from others, take a deep breath and reflect on these four points:
1. Why are we doing what we are doing? It is more than just making a living. What value do we bring to the world and our customers. Are we doing things the best way for our customers or what is easiest for us? Be honest.
2. How do we do what we do? Talk or email your staff. Ask them how can we make this process better, more efficient and more effective. You may be shocked to hear their ideas. They may be living with an ineffective process because “it is what it is.”
3. Empower your staff to execute their idea. When people have “skin” in the game; when their input is valued enough to implement; they will give a level of effort you never saw before. They become the expert in their area. You may even develop “The Next Practice” rather than following the old best practice that is past its prime. I was always taught if I am the smartest person in the room, then I am in the wrong room.
4. Focus on continuous improvement. Don’t be like most organizations who try to “milk” a product or solution rather than continuing to improve. When your customers and staff see that you are totally committed to improving every aspect of your business, you will become the “go to” company. Your customers and staff will not even consider an alternative because they know you are meeting their needs today and will be there with even better solutions in the future.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; these points are universal. The more we try to control things, the less control we actually have. Something I say every week at the end of my radio show is this:
None of us are in this alone. The secret to walking on water is knowing where the rocks are.
The rocks are out there. You can find them. We can help you. Stop obsessing about COVID-19 and press the reset button. If you do, you will hit the ground running after this crisis is over, while others will be just starting to pick up the pieces.