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The Lunatics are Running the Asylum: Ideas on Winning in Turbulent Times

We are all trying to stay sane and focused while dealing with a pandemic, a social revolution/evolution, a recession, global warming, home schooling, mayhem in the streets, demise of the rule of law, policing issues and politics on steroids. One Presidential candidate has been accused of having no “off“ switch. The other has been characterized as needing an IV drip of Five Hour Energy to get through an interview. Our Congressional representatives are lurking in DC, which is the undisputed breeding ground for Swamp creatures. They have a national approval rating of 11%, on a good day! The press continues to manipulate the egocentric politicians like puppets. The DC environment is so toxic, I’m surprised the EPA hasn’t condemned it. These are the people who will determine the regulations and tax rates that will impact the future of millions of businesses? What’s the good news? That with any great social, economic or political upheaval comes vast new business opportunities. What’s the caveat? You need to be bold and opportunistic. That will require the following: ​​​​​​​ Collaboration, Communication, and Culture

  • Ethics in business is critical. If customers believe they can count on a business to deliver, then trust builds which equates to more business. Reputation is paramount.

  • Create a clear and compelling message from the company, communicate why team members would want to be part of the mission.

  • Set expectations early to include defining team members collective roles and responsibilities. People don’t like crossing boundary lines, causing conflicts.

  • Establish team goals on a defined timetable; weekly, monthly? How will you measure and celebrate progress?

  • If you leverage team-member strengths this will help to ensure success because people are more comfortable with knowing who has the expertise to drive the team’s objectives.

  • To “foster cohesion” means including team members in decision making.

  • Encourage innovative thinking; creativity trumps most obstacles and motivates people with a can-do attitude.

  • The humanization of the virtual office opens channels of communication between team members. During this pandemic, try a virtual lunch or a happy hour. It shouldn’t be about work all the time.

  • Recognize, reward and celebrate collaborative team behavior: The key is to break down the walls of individualism, no one is really an army of one in the business world (Sherrie Campbell).

  • There is nothing more important than the company’s culture. Why? It is the foundation of the company’s identity and reputation; it helps with employee retention; ensures higher productivity; betters the work output; clarifies missions and objectives; fosters team collaboration; and encourages team goal sharing to name a few of the benefits.


What Does it Take to be Bold and Opportunistic?

  • Capitalize on opportunities; compete in new markets that are opening due to the pandemic.

  • Dump your legacy software, upgrade your ERP.

  • The adage was to think outside the box; it’s not the same box so go invent a new box; innovate!

  • Think about the trajectory of the changes that you have seen for the past nine months in your business - do you believe we’ve hit the bottom? If so, be a bottom dweller and start acquiring companies!

  • Strengthen your core business

  • Never get rid of talented employees in a downturn. Someone else will hire them and you won’t be ready when the turnaround comes, and it will.

  • Look for disrupters, companies that have already taken risks and figure out how to compete or align yourself with them.

And finally, the most over used phrase in business in 2021 is don’t be afraid to fail. We are all afraid of failure. It might signify poor judgement and it can cost you everything. The phrase I want to leave you with is the following: don’t be afraid to win. Someone is going to benefit from this political/social/economic upheaval and it might as well be you! ​​​​​​​

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