There are plenty of articles out there on handling crises and uncertainty. Of course, the professional skills that we need more than ever at this time include these valuable skills. The world today is vastly different to what was going on a year ago. At the same time, some will offer that their day to day life hasn’t been affected too much given their specific career or business.
The reality is, however, that even those who fail to be affected significantly will still need to find a way to navigate through an altered reality. It is still not over. Handling the trauma of dealing with such an environment of fear is one thing… then we must handle the next challenge of getting back to doing what we were doing with the new conditions imposed on us. Finally, we must try and somehow make it through successfully so we still have our businesses.
This is quite a set of challenges we are facing. To me, the most important thing that the last few months have taught us is that we need to not just adapt but build a more adaptable business model. At the start of this crisis, within three weeks I had 80% of my work for the year cancelled. It was a big shock and I had to think quickly and adapt fast. I did so and managed to cope quite well all things considered. Not everyone was that lucky.
The essential ingredient to successfully surviving and thriving through events like Covid-19 or, indeed, a recession is to increase the level of options you have at your disposal. We need to not just be able to change, we must plan for being able to do so quite easily. This means understanding that we can always have more than one way to solve our customers’ problem.
Sometimes innovation comes with 1) helping people solve new problems. Sometimes it comes with 2) helping people solve the same problems they have had but in a new way. Sometimes it is about 3) a new way to deliver the same solution. Your ability to make sure that you have a variety of ways of solving problems, a variety of new problems that you solve and a variety of ways of solving that is key.
When you build in these options, you put yourself into a position where you can more easily pivot and change to whatever is going on. The truth is that Covid-19 is not the last huge event we will likely deal with over the next few years. So, make yourself more prepared by building a more adaptive business model as a result.