27 Mar COVID-19: Week 2 Insights
Friends, clients, partners, and fellow community leaders,
For most of us, the last two weeks have felt like two months. The emotional rollercoaster ride for business owners and community leaders is intense and the ongoing uncertainty exhausting. As we said last week, just do your best. We continue to take inspiration from many throughout our network who are offering support, sharing best practices, pursuing new opportunities, and giving it their all. We see you, we salute you, and we remain confident that together we will make our way through these unchartered waters.
As we evolve our own internal efforts at Incite to adapt to COVID-19, and are privileged to share in the experiences of our many clients across multiple industries, we will continue to share our key learnings operating in this new reality in the hope that they will prove useful to you. Here’s what we’ve taken from Week 2:
- Opportunities will start to emerge…if you look for them. We continue to see clients who are identifying new sectors or unique ways to bring their product or service to market. Even clients in hard hit industries have identified previously overlooked opportunities or new market spaces that are suddenly opening up as a result of how COVID-19 is reshaping the landscape. While these won’t replace all of their traditional business, they may help to mitigate some of the current downside, and over time may present significant future growth. Green shoots are already emerging, and it is incumbent on us to be on the lookout for them. To do that, you have to make time for them. In the current reality, it is easy to be all consumed by the urgent problems and must-do tasks. We suggest clients dedicate time (even just a 1-hour focused brainstorm) each week specifically to research new opportunities, explore new services, and look for new ways of doing things. At a minimum, these sessions are a good way to park the many challenges for a moment and let your creative mind recharge.
- Get up and keep trying. We said last week that this would be more of a marathon than a sprint, and there will be miles where we just want to give up. Keep going. Even more so in tough times, we believe it is the trying, not the result, that defines us. The race won’t be won this week, or next, but each step gets us closer, and the determination to push forward helps model the way for others. So, if Week 2 knocked you down, that’s ok. Get up. Keep going. We move on to Week 3 together.
- Scenario planning and preparing for the future. With a situation that changes as fast as the last two weeks, you can only plan so much. Detailed contingency plans are not realistic right now. However, it does make sense to at least map out three different scenarios, identify what you would do in each one, and know what to look for to tell you when it is time to shift scenarios. A one-pager on each scenario is enough to guide you and it is reassuring to know you have them ready, rather than trying to figure it all out in the heat of the moment. At Incite, we have prepared two, four, and six-month contingency plans for extended business disruption due to COVID-19, and will move between these plans if and as needed. Further, now is an excellent time to start preparing for what comes after COVID-19. You won’t have all the answers, and if you are waiting for clarity before making any decisions, you will end up waiting too long. If your organization has excess capacity right now, invest some of it to enhance your systems, craft new offerings, or tackle those projects you never have time for. There will be market share available for the taking for those organizations that invest this downtime wisely and are ready to come out of the gates hard as the recovery starts to happen. You should operate with the mindset that your competitors are using this time to get ready. Be prepared!
In case you missed it, our insights from Week 1 can be found here: https://incitestrategy.ca/insights/covid-19-week-1-insights/
We have now been operating and fully functioning in a remote work environment for two weeks, and feel we are finding our rhythm. Our team has all of the systems, tools, and resources we need to support each other, our clients, and our community partners and we will continue to be here to provide the support and advice you have come to count on from Incite.
We continue to closely monitor all developments related to COVID-19 and the health and safety of our staff, our clients, and our community remains our top priority. We are all self-isolating and diligently following directions from Alberta Health Services (https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx). We encourage all individuals and businesses to comply with their recommendations. If in doubt, please err on the side of caution.
In this stressful and challenging time, please know that we are here to help. We are happy to connect by phone, email, or video call to brainstorm or discuss ways your organization can most effectively deal with what is going on, whether you are an existing client or not. Please do reach out and we will do what we can to help.
We will continue to provide updates as we work through the realities of COVID-19. If you have any specific questions or concerns about how COVID-19 may impact our work with you, please contact us at any time.
On behalf of the entire Incite team, stay positive, safe, healthy, focused, and just do your best.