My wife and I are heading out tonight to celebrate our 15-year-anniversary.
It’s been a great 15 years, and the last nine years with our children have been incredible. I’m looking forward to getting away, even just for the night, and reminiscing on all that’s happened in over the previous 15 years.
But perhaps even more important is looking forward.
Let’s be honest. Anyone in marriage this long knows it’s not always perfect. We’ve had our ups and downs, but overall it’s been great.
As I was thinking about today’s Tuesday Tidbit topic, I pondered the concept of time and how the pandemic has pushed organizations and individuals outside of their comfort zones and forced rapid change.
The other day I was listening to a podcast with the Chief Economist for Deloitte Canada. In the episode, he told the story of a business with a strategic plan to develop more e-commerce capabilities over a five year period. When the pandemic hit, they came up with a plan and accomplished everything within three weeks! Amazing that a five-year timeline suddenly becomes a life or death move!
We’ve all heard a lot of similar examples. Your business has likely experienced them.
Companies that never had a website or the ability to accept a direct order; suddenly everything they sell is available online.
Companies that had never produced a video or attended a virtual meeting; now everything is online.
Companies that had never produced a webinar; now they're doing them weekly.
Companies that said their business couldn’t work with employees working from home; now they have daily Teams meetings and regular Zoom calls.
Many of these companies said that maybe someday they would need to do these things, but for now, they could wait. They would eventually get to it.
I have been thinking about that first company mentioned in the podcast quite a bit.
How is it even remotely possible that something they knew was so important, was part of a long-term 5-year strategic plan? And yet, the entire thing was completed and launched within three weeks!?
Well, the truth is, as was the case for this company, we never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. It wasn't important enough to do prior to the pandemic and suddenly it was the only thing they could do to survive.
It’s easy for anyone to say, after the fact, that the demise of Blockbuster should have been easy to see in the early days of Netflix.
Or to say that Taxi companies should have done more, faster, as Uber quickly became a household name.
Are we not witnessing a similar event now with Tesla and traditional automakers? Even when those traditional automakers have said that Tesla technology is at least five years ahead of them.
Once one of the world’s most significant economic and military powers, The Ottoman Empire also met their demise by believing they were too big to fail.
The point here is simple, and history has shown us time and time again that even the biggest giants can and will fall. The key is to look forward and adopt a mindset of constant growth and innovation.
While it’s essential and fun to look back, you need to be looking forward.
What’s on your strategic plan, that is years away, that could be completed sooner?
What’s on your strategic plan that is no longer relevant?
What does your Post-Pandemic Plan look like?
Your strategy needs to be sentient, instead of being rigid and set in stone.
In working with clients, I’ve delivered a new Strategy engagement called Sentient Strategy. You can read more about it here: https://noahfleming.com/sentient-strategy/.
In a one-day Sentient Strategy session, we:
- Assess the strategic success factors that could help or hinder your business in reaching its desired future state.
- (And for many companies this is equally about defining their desired future state!)
- Select the two or three pivotal factors that should be the focus of your actions to drive massive change over the next 12 months.
- Create a roadmap of the actions that need to be taken to maximize the impact of those critical factors.
- Assign accountabilities to ensure progress is made within an agreed timeframe.
The power in an engagement like this is threefold.
- It helps you figure out what you need to be doing right now.
- You prepare a realistic plan for the future (not someday, maybe five years from now.)
- We’re able to hit the ground running. Not next week, not in three months, but tomorrow
If you’re interested in learning more about this and if it’s right for your company or your division (it likely is!), then feel free to reach out by clicking reply or checking out the page here.