In this episode we discuss the first three of 5 building blocks leaders must consider when rebirthing their business strategy as a result of Covid-19. A free resource with focus questions accompanying this episode can be found at http://www.zeitgeistcomms.com/focus-questions.
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James: Welcome to the Zeitgeist Leadership Pulse podcast where we look at the strategies and the mindset that help leaders drive their businesses forward to succeed in an increasingly complex on certain and digital age.
James: Hello my name is James from zeitgeist communication today we have with us the managing director of Zeitgeist and we’re going to explore some key considerations that leaders need to make in order to re birth replant their strategies in order to meet the new reality that is being created by the code nineteen pandemic and that’s a really valid point isn’t it.
James: Because we must not only re align ourselves with the immediate presence but look forward to the future.
Jutta : Yes thanks James, that’s a really good point we really need to strategize now because the crisis most likely has caused many goals and visions to massively change the reason for this is simple as disaster strikes we must rightly and by default we focus on the now and many of us are doing that.
And this is a completely okay leaders will need to address today and look to the future and realign what they’re doing.
James: Absolutely because well we all want things to return to how they were.
The reality is because of what has happened some things are going to change forever.
Jutta : Yes you’re right and many might think that’s negative it doesn’t have to be negative there’s a lot we can learn from the current situation we can learn positively from enforced home working and maybe want to carry some of the home working into our businesses going forward.
Also we can learn to start preparing better for future disasters or even just for future major change.
So really what we need to do is rather than simply respond read reacting is to respond proactively.
James: We don’t know what’s gonna happen even going forwards with the current crisis we cannot …)
Jutta : Yeah that’s right I mean it’s not so easy obviously but if you have to start and you can’t wait until that special moment when you think everything’s going to be back to normal it’s not going back to normal. So we need to clarify where we are now and then identify where we need to go the same is the case during our current lockdown situation.
So are we going to just sit there and think oh locked honest forever no we’re going to address the lockdown as the now but looking ahead to the future.
The way I see it is that there are five key building blocks leaders will need to develop in order to meet our new realities and what I want to do today and in the next episode is to look at these five building blocks.
So, the first building block is reassessing your vision in light of today.
You know when we go through major changes such as the current situation we can go through a myriad of feelings from shock to denial and even possibly all the way to depression.
All of the stages are very similar to the stages of grief.
So equally though some of us might have already started to see opportunities or to carve out new directions for our lives and for a work.
Somewhere along that spectrum of feelings leaders have a special challenge will in fact they have a special responsibility and that is that they need to signal the way ahead the only way they can do that is if they’re honest about the now.
James: But it can be difficult because the change isn’t just happening to us those around and to our business but actually does impact us as leaders.
Jutta : Yep you’re completely right and that’s really why I wanted to put this podcast out as we want to help our listeners develop some focus. As leaders we are impacted by the crisis but we need to re-establish our leadership and start moving forward, so getting a bit of focus will help.
A friend of mine said the other day it’s clear that we are not returning to the old reality the same is the case for our clients our customers our staff and the wider market as the lockdown is lifted possibly at a partial rate over time dramatic change in consequences will still be felt and they will impact our strategies and how we do business.
So building block number one is reassessing your vision in light of today and that’s all about going back to your original vision of your business or your charity or even for your life and see whether the vision is still where you wanted to heads and whether it is still realistic.
James: So surely adapting to the new unfolding realities means that we need to develop a strong ability to adjust our thinking the way we do business and how we interact with staff supplies and of course Constance.
Jutta : Completely.
We must start with the vision again, strategies without vision are simply like to do lists with hit and miss potential of fifty fifty.
When looking at our vision we need to do so in light of our current circumstances and in fact in light of the current feelings and possibly change our ways of thinking so for example maybe you’ve worked really hard to set up your business, you worked night and day to get it going and accepted a huge level of tiredness accepted that you have less time with your family and maybe accepted that while you’re setting up you will not earn quite as much as you had hoped simply because you still investing in your business and the success that at some point it can have.
Now, with the pandemic however you’re faced with a high level of fatigue or maybe your values have changed and time with your kids starts taking priority – your vision for your business, your career and your life might also change so we must take stock.
Jutta : Both go hand in hand.
James: So are you saying that well we sure you always need to look at whether our current version is still right. With the onset of a major crisis or emergency such as a code nineteen pandemic the need to re evaluate increases.
Jutta : Yes of course because.
The same is the case for the whole strategy not just the vision but the circumstances we base our initial analysis on the market analysis when we looked at the economic climate and technology all of that has changed but not just by an inch it’s changed dramatically you must really look at the strategy afresh in light of the new business climate.
James: So there is a recap, before we re-birth our strategies toward the new realities we must be clear on our current situation take stock of where we are and possibly redefine our vision and your second point.
Jutta : Yeah so the second point really takes us into capacity, so looking at our resources, what is our capacity.
Jutta : It’s about looking at: Do we have reduced capacity.
Jutta : So maybe we have less staff maybe have less time maybe you have a lack of cash flow.
Jutta : What about some of the tangible assets, do we still have those can be used so we need to assess what are the resources we currently have.
And in light of the opportunity. We also need to assess any investment we might want to make.
So I heard someone talk about this the other day so basically if you’re cutting costs. You want to cut costs of things that are not producing any revenue.
But you might want to eat quickly put money into something that will over time create revenue so you need to reassess how do I use my resources what resources do I really have.
Well and in fact some companies right now they’re adding stuff so if we look at Amazon for example we just heard the hiring seventy five thousand new stuff absolutely incredible.
James: That’s helpful I’ve seen too many leaders not take that and simply move along hope for the best it won’t go very far while local businesses will be in a ground zero situation …
Jutta : Yes that’s right so it’s difficult to kind of take yourself back and think about what was it like when I started but the idea is that you do start as if you were thinking afresh you might so do things similarly to before but you need to know that you thought this through.
James: So I guess it takes is the point three.
Jutta : Yeah.
Jutta : So point three is something that we hear a lot about in the media but really I’m not sure they were always so clear what this means and in fact the word itself Isn’t really that helpful so the word is resilience.
So let’s have a chat about that.
So resilience of course is very much about how we manage to.react how we manage to cope and do we bounce back if disaster strikes. That’s fine but the other thing we need.
Is the ability to be flexible or of course another trendy word is to be agile.
Jutta : So for that reason for simplicity sake. Sometimes because we think it’s easier.
We don’t build in resilience or but we just kind of operate in the world which assumes things will tick along nicely and if anything simply get better.
Jutta : If this current pandemic teaches anything – and it should, it is that we must be much more resilient and equally able to meet unforeseen circumstances.
James: Easily said, in some ways we can see that our society is pretty good it’s acting for example the forced lockdowns … has forced us to create mobile and flexible working conditions for work from home we use zoom we have meetings online we take deliberate time to go outside for exercise wear them out we also have the home school children if we have them with a shop in very different circumstances but I mean really amazed about the way people have and I’m managing to cope today.
Jutta : Yeah completely people can really do a lot more than they think.
Jutta : And what we want to do and by looking at that is to see how what can we learn for the future what were you able to do quickly how did we react and how can we possibly in the future do something similar.
Jutta : So greater ability to pivot is key if we want to meet the future and it’s new challenges.
Jutta : So maybe some of us might use the word to you know future proof I don’t quite like that where it’s a mess I would say.
Jutta : We must think about how to future-equip ourselves and our businesses to manage new realities. Leaders must really use the time now to adopt new ways of working.
If you don’t I truly believe you are going to be left behind.
For example.Maybe you’ve agreed to a lone with your bank. Maybe you’ve agreed to I’m a mortgage holiday. Was that something you want to build into your business? is that something that possibly we could do that we agree with our banks a possible emergency loan for the future or with our investors should disaster strike again there are many ways that we could possibly prepare better.
James: So to recap our first three of the five building blocks used to talk to about our number one reassess innovation in line with today secondly being clear on your resource is your capacity to meet the new reality.
Realise what you’ve learnt from Covid-19 build it into your business and include other ways to ensure that you and your business can meet these unexpected roadblocks in the future as you just said future-equip your business.
We really hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Zeitgeist Leadership Pulse. Join us again next time, stay safe.
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