After three to four LONG years of navigating the wrath of the economic tsunami, more and more businesses are drawing the line on ‘victimhood’ and are determined to reclaim the driver’s seat and success. Simply put, they are saying “Enough is absolutely enough!” So you’re ready to get going and create as much distance from the past few years as you can and that’s a great place to be and mindset to have. And now things become easy because you know what you’re doing. Ah … not so fast.
I want to suggest that regardless of how anxious you are to charge forward, there are a couple of key, initial steps related to taking back control that, when acknowledged and acted upon, can make the challenges of achievement actually easier. The first one is making certain that your leadership team is all aligned behind what the forward moving path looks like. The second is revisiting the way in which the company responded to the crisis in terms of how you would respond differently … or the same.
The first area of determining the route an organization takes to success requires serious analysis and decision making. Within the same leadership team we often see a dichotomy. Some of the leaders are so relieved to be back that they want and presume that they will carry the business forward as it was before the upheaval. Why not? They know how to do this and after a few years of struggle returning to what was sounds wonderful. Others are VERY aware that the market they used to cater to has undergone its own, bitter storm and that there may not be the same need or demand for the products or services of the past. Thus, they believe that yesterday’s business model has to change. This lack of alignment within the team must be rectified before moving forward. What is the path that will enable the organization to again be successful? What needs to change? Who is the market of tomorrow? … just some of the questions that should be considered and addressed.
The second area is to capture the lessons and the learning that your company has derived from the experience of the past few years. In other words, while fresh in the minds of the leaders, create the plan for the future that can be ‘on the shelf’ for that next time the business is faced with a similar crisis. How would you respond differently? What would you have done sooner? What tough decisions do you wish you had made early on knowing what you now know? If never used … great. However, if ever needed, you will be far down the road to greater effectiveness in dealing with it. How would your life have been different had you had this i.e. 3 years ago? This is very meaningful and effective because you take time now.
As energized as so many are with the decision to reclaim the driver’s seat of business, moving forward with the restraint to include these steps can mean rebuilding on a solid foundation. It’s not a natural tendency and, in fact, will make it easier … when done.