Poolside Popsicles and The Art of Finding a Better Way

My kids are becoming little masters of persuasion.

I've watched in awe as they negotiate with my wife to get poolside popsicles, late-night snacks, and one more roasted marshmallow at the summer campfire.

I'm weaker than she is. I see those sweet little faces and I cave.

But I've pondered those exchanges. I watched as the kids move from one strategy to the next.

They recognized that the approach they used one night might not be the appropriate one the next. They continue to adjust their strategies, trying new things, and taking new approaches.

It got me thinking about the shifts, changes, adaptations businesses have made over the past five months.

For many, the pandemic has forced them into an uncomfortable situation. It's forced them to change – with no choice of the matter.

And yet, for others, even before the pandemic, this was a way of life. Many companies or divisions within a company acted in the way of purposely continuing to ask if their current strategy was ultimately the best one. They were a lot like my girls.

For some companies, this wasn't so easy. Before the pandemic, with the day-to-day busyness or the hunt for the next sale, there often wasn't time for these considerations or important discussions.

Over the past five months, I've watched clients divest pieces of their businesses, acquire new companies, or make dramatic changes to their companies as a whole.

As we approach the sixth month of the pandemic, it's critical to be asking these questions.

You need to look at how you do things from sales to service, to delivery and continue to ask if the way you're doing something is ultimately the best way.

Or could you do something different to be more profitable?

Or to deliver better customer service?

Or to drive more sales?

Or to be more efficient?

The idea that you can follow the same strategy you've followed for the past 100 years is a sure path to failure, and it's more true now than ever before.

The problem is most companies do two things poorly.

First, they are focused on tactics without a clearly defined strategy.

And second, they stop exploring.

They're so set in their ways that by the time they make adjustments, it's too late.

If the pandemic has shown us anything, it's that we never know what's coming next.

If you want to be more successful in a post-pandemic world, you need to adopt an exploration mindset.

Your Challenge For This Week:

Ask yourself (and more importantly, every other member of your senior executive team) these questions:

  • How has your strategy been updated based on our changing world?
  • Have you updated our processes/procedures /structures to reflect the changing market realities better?
  • Which of your competitors have made the most interesting or unique changes during the pandemic? What can you learn from them?

Feel free to reach out and let's discuss the key areas your organization needs to be focusing on right now.

P.S. For a unique and powerful way of setting strategy, check this out.