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We can't fault our wise men and women for not being able to predict the COVID-19 black swan, (although I heard that it was predicted sort-of in a horror novel sometime in the 90s!) Black swans are not subject to predictions or forecasting.
The word 'unprecedented' comes from the root word precedent, which means, "a case that will serve as an example of a later case." This falls under an unprecedented category of events.
In this new dispensation, some are going to be successful and some will not survive, evidently because adaptation is not an inborn trait. Organizations must willing to bear the burden and opportunity to adapt immediately, consistently, and in painstaking way, strategically.
They consistently believe that they have nothing to lose but more to gain from the evolution.
They see the big picture but very pragmatic and practical in their approach to their work, occupation, business.
They know that change is constant, and that instead of fear and trepidation, they should be quick to improvise and test what works.
They consider the fact that timelines are set artificially, for example: "when vaccine is available", setting their own timelines and strategies ahead of the crowd.
They do not sit tight and wait for dole outs or supports. They support others and do not have the scarcity mentality despite the situation.
Some are very fortunate because they are reaping the benefits of a fearful public through goods, services, and cultural supports they can provide right now. Kudos to them! But for us that are not severely impacted, we can make a huge difference with what we have and can leverage.
One thing I like about this new change is that opportunities are new every morning.
Our actions make those containment possible. Our current actions make those future decisions possible.
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In times of crisis, calamity, and/or disaster, we turn to the people that we trust to get advice, feedback, or correct information.
The Internet and the public space have churned in enormous amount of the same information regurgitated in many forms and at various levels.
After the first few weeks of the pandemic, none of them is useful anymore.
The world had moved on and the people have coped well despite the initial fear and chaos.
We don't need a crystal ball or sooth sayers. We need independent thinkers.
Now, it is imperative to reimagine organizations that can progress past-COVID19, in a new dispensation that does not respect past records of success.
There are two types of organizations responding well to post-recovery:
One type of organization refuses to get behind the public path to recovery and have chosen to enact their own norms and policies that demonstrate clear strategic awareness of their organizational capabilities and understanding of the dynamics around them. They have made 'lemonades out of the lemons' and unafraid to keep on reinventing themselves to get the right challenge they need.
Another type of organization is preparing themselves to have multiple capabilities on various types of implementation and service delivery. At the granular level, it means that staff will be competent whatever the next 6 to 12 months will be. There is no more postponement or cancellation of programming, but all will be migrated to virtual delivery. The knee-jerk reaction is over.
Going above the noise of recovery is a challenge in itself. This means that leaders should have the clarity of intent and objectives with the latest information on what's allowable and not. The rest hinges on the boldness of their imagination.
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We were out and about yesterday doing our weekly errands, we thought it would be different to start eating out to help local businesses and save myself from cooking.
The local restaurant is a franchise of a large chain and owned by a young entrepreneur couple who moved to Canada 11 years ago. This couple is commendable in their attitude towards the reopen and how much of their effort is building confidence with their customers by showing how they approach the preventive measures.
Confidence-building is essential in every customer interaction especially in this time. It shows that you are on the ball and are committed to ensuring that they can count on you for safety as part of their experience with your products, services, and programs.
Exuding confidence is like a balm on a very itchy skin. It assuages and builds further confidence that is required if you want to keep more business coming. The right mindset is always an optimistic one-one that is pragmatically positive.
Who can tell you need confidence? We all need confidence. We all need to be boosted up one way or another. We all need a word of comfort and acts of solidarity. We all need to know that others care for us and we care for our community.
Small business owners are particularly hit hard with today's recession. They are the unsung heroes of our community. Every lay-off is a difficult decision especially when a staff has no other options on the horizon. A lot of workers do not have the cushion of savings to rely on during temporary setbacks. Last March, 2M people lost their jobs.
Despite these, they are open and they are serving us with a smile and a confident demeanor that they are ready for better times ahead.
What are you doing to exude confidence and build trust with your customers and stakeholders now?
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My guru at home gave a new term for reconstruction.
"Wreck it and build it again."
The vast majority of the work that we do can be reconstructed, remodelled, rebuild.
While the tearing process can be painful and exceedingly laborious, it could also be a source of relief (cathartic to some) and release from the burden of perfectionism.
Our most prized goods, services, products, programs are held up high and with finality, judged as best. Where in fact, in other spaces, they wreck their best products so see if it can withstand several iterations for different purposes.
There is nothing wrong with valuing great assets, but if it becomes the 'sacred cow' that nobody wanted to touch for fear of reprisal, retribution, or negative impact, then there is the problem. Either it is perception issue or an accountability one.
The joy of rebuilding is 100x better than the stagnant trophy gathering dust in the library.
"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's the courage that counts" -Churchill said that.
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Something came back to life!
A little plant that was gifted last year by a dear colleague came back to life. I am not good with plants. They die with me. Given that awareness, I thought it was dead as dead.
Little did I found out that, a few weeks ago, two buds started to spring back to life.
I was doing my spring cleaning this morning in the area and found out a simple fact. Life happens!
There are things that are essential no matter what. When you think that everything is starting to go on a wrong tangent, focus on what you can govern.
When you least expect, events or situations can turn into positive accidents waiting to be mined to its full benefit. Life presents its surprises and serendipities.
The question is: are we fully aware that positive unexpected outcomes exist too!
It is a big deal and worth celebrating when it happens.
When it happens more, it's not luck, it's called harvest time!
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The Gloomy Facts in Canada:
1M job losses in March.
2M job losses in April.
More facts to come as we learn more about the state of the economy in the new few months. This the new volatile world.
With these sordid facts, we can hypothesize the following scenarios:
Some businesses and organizations will not survive. This is a fact. Take the case of the Army & Navy.
Some businesses and organizations are still on stabilization and will do a 'wait-and-see" until this is completely over. This is a sad fact when they can start looking up. They are missing a lot of opportunities.
Some businesses and organizations in certain industries are making a killing. They are immune or some are more in demand in this time. What does it say about that-there are inequalities of impacts and unexpected opportunities for some! That is a fact too.
Some businesses and organizations are hell-bent on maximizing this new environment and are up re-rigging continuously until they find the right balance between what works now and what will work in the new future. This is the new fact.
Where are you in this spectrum?
Are you in the first, second, third, or fourth group?
Your current responses dictate your future. Your past successes do not translate to your future success.
Talk to me if you want to be in the fourth group.
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I was on ER for a positional vertigo which, was upon being inspected, was relieved with a simply Epley maneuver by the attending physician. If there is a change in the position of the head, this will cause dizziness or spinning. With one simple physio exercise, the vertigo stopped and normal activities continued.
I am thinking about this in the context of what we are collectively experiencing in our daily lives as part of the besieged population.
What is a simple activity, maneuver, or thinking we can do to alleviate our sense of fear, frustration or ennui today?
Count your blessings.
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Recently, the Alberta Government has released its Reopen Strategy to the public. One thing that did not surprise me is that, reopening is coming sooner that we thought.
Despite the fear and the trepidation felt by some quarters, businesses and institutions will have to reopen due to economic pressures brought by the lockdown. Easing slowly creates the activities we need to get our economy back on its feet or legs again.
Businesses identified to resume operations as early as May 4th will have to be, not just ready for slow but steady resumption of work, but also anticipate that this is a soft relaunch.
The following soft reopen can lead to further intelligence in terms of:
- modification of activities designed for new, emerging, and different demand from customers and clients
-sudden surge or slow demand or uptake for current services and programs
-continued communications to stakeholders about where you are in your transition
-preparation for eventual redeployment of staff-in-waiting or further laying off of unwanted labor
-new configuration of work, a blended approach to having both remote/online order/curb side and steady dine-in/personal in-person contact
- retooling of the business model to account for the new business order
-revisiting of the business strategy in view of these new realities
What are you thinking about right now that will help you get on with business-unusual faster than your competition? Doing a wait-and-see is a cop-out.
Let me help you now.