Albu On Strategy

5 Things to Consider to Survive Disruption

We are in a time of uncertainty and disruption that we have never seen before in our lifetimes and hopefully will not experience again.  Business leaders are faced with having to make choices that impact their employees, their families and the survival of their business.  Here are five things to consider as you work your way to the other side of this extraordinary time.

  1. Share information with your employees. Let them know how the organization will deal with the disruption.  Become an open book so that people will understand the challenges.  In our experience, private businesses struggle with this concept because of the privacy of the owners and family.  However, this is not the time to be secretive.  By inviting your employees to be a part of the solution, you will come out as a stronger organization on the other side. John Maxwell, author and speaker said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”
  2. Trust your employees. Start with the assumption that everyone is motivated to come to work to do an amazing job. That each individual has the interest of the company and its success in mind.  If they feel trusted, you will be amazed how people will rise to any challenge.  Vince Lombardi said, “Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen.  The ones who win get inside the players and motivate.”
  3. Be very clear about what great looks like–what you are measuring and what are the expectations. Clarity of purpose will drive teamwork.  Teamwork drives the need for collaboration.  Collaboration will get the kind of results needed to get through this challenging time. Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
  4. Live your values. These are not just words on the wall of the cafeteria.  They are the drivers of your culture and success during both good and bad times.  Living your values starts at the top and your actions will be noticed making it easy for people to follow your leadership.  Orit Gadiesh, Charmain of Bain & Co. said, “In the current environment, companies can’t afford not to have a set of guiding principles; a system of core values that communicates true north to the entire organization.”
  5. Don’t ignore your long-term strategic objectives. Without question, disruption causes everyone to turn attention to the short-term.  In most cases, it is a matter of surviving the storm.  One cannot make light of this reality of business.  However, don’t forget the long-term strategic choices you made before the sky fell in.  As we mentioned in our prior newsletter, look forward and plan for the Re-examine your long-term strategic plan and identifying the revenue and profit growth opportunities you will pursue for the next three to five years. Business leaders will be defining a new normal in the coming months.  Spending time now to anticipate changes needed for the new normal will pay dividends in the future.   The late Jack Welch said, “You’ve got to eat while you dream. You’ve got to deliver on the short-range commitments, while you develop a long-rang strategy and vision and implement it. Getting it done in the short-range and delivering the long-range plan and executing on that.”

You are probably flooded with information and suggestions on how to get through this challenging time.  I hope these five suggestions will help.  Stay safe and optimistic in the future.  Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company said, “What I have learned over time is that Optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.”  Please pass this along to your friends and associates as you see fit.

Posted in Leadership, Newsletter, Strategy Execution.