New Normal! Or, Just Normal?

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What’s up! 

How is everyone holding up this week? 

“What will our business look like now?”

That’s the question on so many folks’ minds that I can’t tell you how often I hear it. 

In any crisis, rethinking your strategy and your business focus is important because the environment you are operating in changes, your customers’ needs and desires likely change, and, unfortunately, businesses fail at a much greater clip than they might in normal times.

Right now, folks are killing themselves to talk about the “new normal” and I’ve seen some stories and research from folks like Mark Ritson and others that highlight the reality from decades of data that the new normal looks a lot like the old normal did and that huge changes are often not the norm.

Will this hold up during the pandemic?

No one knows for sure, but if history is any indication, we can bet that the future will have a lot in common with the past.

Which gets me back to the basics…and the idea that this period of uncertainty around the pandemic is a great time to rethink the basics assumptions of your business like

  • What is our value proposition?
  • Who is our customer?
  • Where do we go to reach our customers with our offers?

For a lot of folks, this might be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to really think through these questions in a long time.

What happens if we go a little further? 

What happens if we think about a few additional ideas: 

* What is the specific challenge we are dealing with? 
* What is the framework I’m going to put in place for dealing with this challenge?
* What kinds of actions can I take to move myself forward?

Hopefully, it drives you to define your situation more effectively.

Because we often jump to the conclusion that the obvious or simplest challenge is the one we need to solve for? Is that true now?

Our framework becomes the guardrails that allow us to take action with a certain amount of control over what we do. Not getting caught up in every idea or challenge and giving us something to think through when we come to a decision point.

You need your framework to deliver on the real problem or you will end up trying to solve the wrong problem or falling back on old ideas that just don’t work.

Action! Without action, you have nothing. You must take action. What is the first thing you can do? Can you map out a few easy or key actions that you can take right away to move your strategy forward. 

Right now, we are all dealing with a great deal of uncertainty. And, when we are uncertain, or, if you prefer, scared, we have a tendency to catastrophize our situation, leading us to try and look for complex problems and answers to complex questions.

But right now, more than any time we’ve dealt with in decades, we need to keep in mind that the best strategies are simple and when pulled together well are blindingly simple.

Why?

Because in the face of the pandemic, we are going to hear a lot of things about a “new normal” and “how everything is going to be different this time”, but the truth is likely that the new normal will look a lot like the old normal and everything that was going to be different will actually be remarkably like the old way of doing things.

That just means that the team that has the best grasp on the basics is likely to be in a position to win the most business. Or, to put it another way, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Dave

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