Forecasting Your Metamorphosis
It would certainly be lovely if we could all anticipate that from our past functional, work-a-day selves toiling in drab predictability we entered our Corona-cocoons and, in short time, emerged an enlightened, vibrant and colorful soul ready to fly in a dazzling display of new awareness and instinct led actions. Yeah, it’d be nice. Unfortunately, poetic hoping doesn’t count much when it comes to professional strategy for business, or life, but that’s not to deny that things have changed and we don’t know all that means. Things continue to change. You have changed.
Perhaps your cocoon has been bent on survival so whatever is next may be a welcome relief but for most of us “non-essential” types the changes in the world have been as much observed than lived. Whether you’ve been busy protecting workers, crying at a dwindling bottom line or fighting on the first response line there’s no denying that professional, and personal life, has changed and will change. Strategically you can get ahead of that if you open your perspective beyond the revised conditions in which you work and live.
Going back to work with modified conditions will certainly be an adaptive response but not likely to be all that life or vision altering. Finding productivity from six feet apart and not having too many people spending too much time in group meetings can pretty easily be absorbed into our workflows considering how much time we’ve had to adapt to it in life all around us. The real metamorphosis, or changes, that will have the greatest impact are likely ones that are newly developed or sharpened and may not yet be conscious or fully comprehended. Taking a scan of how things have to be and combining it with how things could be is the real mother of innovation. You can’t create a change without having a change of some kind within. The question is, what is that change?
Here’s a quick inventory to scan as to some of the mechanical and some of the metaphysical that will combine to map your path for at least the near future:
Manufacturing & Supply Chain
Perhaps you have learned something by how your goods needed now and in the future have been available. What have your vendor relationships yielded? Have you taken care of others and are able to receive that in return? Have you focused so much on “just in time” or “inventory management” or other hyper-efficiencies that you’ve been exposed in crisis time. I can recall in my corporate days getting heat from a CFO who took issue with my strategy of not getting every dime of savings in order to preserve more than one supplier in critical manufacturing. More than once in my career was I able to get a “favor” in a challenging time from a supplier I had done right by. Being boastfully lean can show a few more dollars in short term results but despite a ten year run of good times it is those who had diversity and mutual benefit in their pipelines who will likely come back the strongest, or didn’t sink the deepest, in recent hardships.
Staff & Attitudes
No matter how many people we employ, the range of what they do as well as where they do it and the infrastructure that supports them will obviously be part of revised strategies going forward. What you may not anticipate is how the recent crisis may have changed attitudes, efforts or even skills of employees. It’s not only the relationship you had, who was let go, who will be brought back but also what are their goals and fears now, how do they view their jobs, their security and how did they evaluate leadership during the pandemic.
Without politicizing leadership, and I strongly advise against doing that as a zealot in business public (you’d be surprised who thinks or aligns in a way you wouldn’t predict). Yet leadership examples have been all around us. Witness the differences in country’s strategies and how they differed between male and female leadership. What communication worked and backfired in terms of projecting hope, predicting future events, responding to new information, adapting to the changing needs of others and how you interact with those you may influence but do not directly lead. Where and how did cooperation produce positive results, where did it fail? Adapting these lessons to your leadership can be transformative.
The Mirror on the Wall
Many circumstances and planning will be back on the move soon by necessity. In our favor is a broad shared experience in common but still we will have experienced the crisis differently. Some may not have changed at all, others may have found a new emotional rawness from the empathy of profound hardships, sacrifice, grace or giving. More devastating may be the impact of loss or illness, changes in relationship dynamics or an evolution of life priorities. All of that can only be honestly be told when you look with open eyes in the mirror. I don’t mean because you probably need a haircut, a shave or a coloring, I mean when you look behind your eyes do you recognize and acknowledge how have you changed?
It is essential to success to take an honest internal inventory. Maybe you find tears more easily welling at what was once nonchalantly observed. Perhaps you’ve become hardened or angered in search of someone or something to blame. Could be your perspective about money, family, love, industry or work itself has been altered. Is it permanent? Is it for the better? As one of my least favorite over-spoken cliches properly suggests, “It is what it is.” Your choice, your duty to your better self is to first look inward and reconcile who you are and who you have become with what you want and what is important. If you have a clear vision of that then you will find mapping your recovery strategy will have more clarity, more meaning and likely a more certain direction and goal.
The cocoon has sustained or stained you, or both. Now it is time to emerge but unlike the beauty of a butterfly that transformed with no effort or consideration you will have to use your brain, your heart and your soul to look inward then outward. Then fly to new heights in bold displays with a new appreciation for what matters most to you and a new opportunity to succeed. Won’t that feel good!
©2020 MyEureka Solutions LLC. For help with your strategy or BUSINESS THERAPY insights contact or follow @TomFoxTrainer, at www.myeurekasolutions.com/thoughts, or on LinkedIn. Our current book: Business Therapy: Ideas and Inspirations To Help Build Sales, Leadership, Management, and Personal Performance is available on Amazon.