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by Paul Armstrong
May 08, 2020
by Paul Armstrong
May 08, 2020
COVID-19 is a colossal force. Not just biologically speaking but also from the sweeping changes the virus has caused throughout the business world. Whole companies have pivoted, changed focus, and made unthinkable decisions with an hour's notice. Businesses are suffering through a huge blow, but is there an opportunity hidden in plain sight? Should you be thinking about making the change that’s always talked about but never implemented? Yes, yes, you should.
Throughout my career, one of my favorite questions to ask clients or when stuck is ‘What would it look like if you started over?’. Not only is the question an excellent stop-start questioning exercise, but the question also thinks about the optimal solution with hindsight attached. The question forces people to abandon the issues of old and the sunk-cost fallacies that often come with them to strive for something greater. The COVID-19 could be said to be the embodiment of this question manifested.
You are unlikely ever to have a better time to fix/change/reimagine your business than right now. The rugs have all been pulled ... the chips are in the air ... the clock has been reset. Where you go now is up to you. How you reemerge is a choice. You could fight for the business you had—there is safety in that place—but what if you used this terrible event as a galvanizing force to fix all the issues your business had/s? What if you didn’t strive for business as usual? What if you use the time to build the business you always dream of and talk about having?
Change is hard. Change is challenging what is already happening and not being satisfied, which is often a hard place for people to be or think they can move from swiftly. The biggest issue with change is that it often points at things that are wrong which means blame, and blame is uncomfortable for all parties concerned. Well, you get to blame a common enemy now—Coronavirus! Take solace in that. Change is often associated with being hard and fraught with risks. Sometimes correct but often just "headtrash" as a mentor once told me. Comfort and security are substantial psychological drivers in the business world. Well, you’re uncomfortable now, so do something with that feeling/position!
Now is the time to think about what your business wants to do as much as needs to do. While many will be fighting to keep the lights on, people who will thrive after COVID-19 has gone will use the time to change the bulb. No-one is saying throw baby out with the bathwater, but a long, hard look at what you want to rebuild is now not only possible, it’s likely the best course of action.
Letting go of "headtrash" and asking yourself some tough questions could be the best conversation you ever have with yourself;
I am a huge fan of exploring change for the sake of change – a lot of people aren’t. I enjoy pushing things and buttons to see the result and if something can be improved or what there is to learn. Get uncomfortable now and allow yourself to think big. Fix the problems you find (or decide to let them go) and make bold choices. You’ll never have an opportunity like the one in front of you now.
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