It’s largely expected that another wave of COVID-19 lockdowns are in the near future. Maybe even nearer than we expected, as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper this week announced that the state would remain in Phase 2 as cases in the state are surging. While all states are handling the various stages differently, and the national government apparently placing no importance on federal standards and guidelines, professionals who interact across state, and even county, borders will face greater questions now that we are more familiar with how to best combat exposure to the novel virus.
How businesses adjust to the increase in cases as Q3 rolls into the critical Q4 of 2020 will help frame how, or if, our economy rebounds in 2021. Corporate trainer, investor, and global entrepreneur Tony Ewing recently weighed in on what successful folks are doing right now to prepare themselves for the inevitable wave of shutdowns. In this article, he talks about what businesses need to focus on, and maximize upon, some key factors of the “new norm”: disruption, and a shift in marketplace economics. Specifically, he focuses on 7 key success metrics:
- Accepting the paradigm shift as a permanent change. I, for one, harbor hopes that we will eventually return to life as we once knew it; group gatherings, hangouts at the local pub, being able to walk into public spaces without thinking about where your mask is. But the reality is, we’ll likely have to get over the hangups we have in accepting this reality to be able to pivot and truly embrace what the world looks like now.
- Donning more entrepreneurial mindsets. We are going to have to get creative, and innovative, to find new ways to do things. The best entrepreneurs do this. One of the fallouts of the distributed workforce will unfortunately be the elimination of management roles and other jobs that just aren’t as mission-critical anymore. Increasing your marketability, and diversifying your toolbelt will help you when times get tough.
- Realizing the fine art of pivoting. Welcome to the new world of living like a yo-yo. How we adapt to the next, and future, lockdowns will help determine the level of success we can find as individuals and businesses.
- Becoming demand-driven. How do you remain a person or business in demand? How do you need to adjust your business model or personal mission? Ewing talks about using Total Addressable Problem analysis, which says that a customer's problems before a pivot, and a completely different set after.
- Learning to identify new markets for their skills. Now is the time to look at ways you can diversify both your personal skill sets and your organization's key product, market segment, or audience.
- Becoming better risk-takers. We’ve heard stories upon stories of the extraordinary risks that successful individuals have taken to achieve success. How can we become less risk-averse even in the midst of these uncertain times? Some of this country's most successful people, ideas, and businesses have happened in times of great national turmoil.
- Spending time mastering new, necessary tools. Enhancing our toolboxes is something we should all be doing in even the best of times. Developing new personal tools, or exploring ways to expand your company’s product and service offerings. These uncertain times call for the need for self-improvement even more so than before.
The “second wave” of COVID-19 is coming. Which of the above items will you focus on so that you can thrive and master the rest of 2020.