Amid the chaos, many business leaders find themselves lost, unsure what steps to take to move forward or even if moving forward is possible. We are all clamoring to grasp some sense of normalcy with little thought as to what normal means.
Should we indeed be striving for this? Yes, we want to return to our physical workplace, collaborate with co-workers, restart routines, or simply enjoy a meal inside a restaurant with friends. We want to return to "normal" because normal feels comfortable and familiar.
But just because it is familiar or comfortable does not mean it is truly desirable or should even be our ultimate goal. So, if we aren't moving towards normal, where do we go and how do we get there? As a business leader, consider leading your team towards something more significant than normal and use your organization's core values as a guide.
Core values are the foundation of a sustainable and thriving culture. They act as a compass for how your team interacts with one another, with clients, and with your partners. They root and define who you are and how you make decisions.
What is normal, anyway? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, normal is defined as "conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern."
We use this term "normal" as a way to validate our habits, choices, and actions. Why are we conforming to ideas or concepts that are not our own? Why are we striving for this label, for this approval? Instead of conforming we should adapt, pivot, and create something more significant than normal. Normal does not close pay gaps; normal does not create success; normal does not change the world.
Keep reading to discover how leaning into your core values will help your business adapt, pivot, and create something more significant than just plain normal.
As COVID-19 spread throughout the world, all business owners and leaders were forced to adapt their business plans. Like most of the global workplaces, you started 2020 with set goals, marketing plans, budgets, etc. And somewhere around mid-February, you had to throw it all out the window.
Businesses have changed overnight, some move to remote work, some reduced staff, hours, and/or services. The companies that adapted are thriving. Early on in the pandemic, a worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer created a dangerous situation for front line healthcare workers. Some businesses saw this shortage as an opportunity to support the men and women fighting the virus while adapting their services/products to keep revenue flowing. Fashion companies adapted their machines to make N95 masks. Distilleries went from making liquor to making hand sanitizer.
These are just a few examples of the companies that adapted their current processes to provide a needed service, keep employees on the payroll, and keep the doors open during a global shutdown.
How can your business adapt?
What service can your business expand?
What product can your business create or adapt?
What new process can you implement at work?
One of DH's Core Values is "be like Bruce Lee-fluid like water." Water is formless and shapeless, it flows or crashes.
What does this have to do with your business? Water adapts to any obstacle it encounters. Water flows peacefully but can also carve out mountains. In the face of the current obstacle, will you flow peacefully [normal], or will you carve out a mountain?
Pivot seems to be the newest buzz word. Let's consider what pivot means. According to Collins Dictionary, "the pivot in a situation is the most important thing that everything else is based on or arranged around." However, in business, this term generally applies to "fundamental changes."
Make fundamental changes to the most essential service or product your business provides or creates.
DH did just that. Our primary services are conducted on-location by our amazingly talented coaches. Of course, as the world began to shut down, travel was not an option. How could DH continue to deliver happiness and company culture?
We relied on another one of our DH Core Values, "be like Macgyver-Do more with less, be creative, be adventurous."
We pivoted! DH began offering most of our services virtually, including:
We were able to provide services without travel [more with less], create virtual platforms [be creative] and rolled it out within a concise period [be adventurous]
How will your business pivot?
What will be the fundamental change?
How will your business be like Macgyver?
In times of crisis, it isn't easy to know how to proceed forward. Business owners and leaders are struggling with "the right answer" or "the right move". These answers are often hard to come by and fluctuate business to business. As you move your business forward, consider moving forward with a focus on your business's core values and higher purpose to create a more significant company than normal-create something extraordinary!