Navigating unprecedented territory like coronavirus means you’re caught in a reactionary mode.
Coronavirus does some damage. The market reacts. You react to the market. And then it repeats again and again.
If you’re reacting, you probably aren’t doing too much worse than probably even most companies. Coronavirus moves faster than many decision making processes.
But how do you get one step ahead of something you can’t control and haven’t experienced before?
It may not be as difficult as you fear. Here’s what to do:
1. Create A Team Solely Focused on Planning Ahead
Specialists got your company to where it is. And specialists can keep you ahead.
Create a team specialized in planning ahead only. Identify leaders in your organization who have experience navigating crises.
Help them create a decision-making process. And then get out of their way and let them do their thing.
2. A Simple Process to Follow
To know where to go, you have to know where you are, no matter how painful it might be to look.
So, your Get-Ahead Team’s first order is to take a baseline measurement and understand the state of your company as it is now.
Once you understand that, then you can figure out where to go. But, the problem is that you don’t know how coronavirus will change the market in the future.
Some people are actively calling for a double-dip recession the likes of which has never been seen.
Others think we’ve made it through the worst. The truth? No one knows the future.
So react with common sense by projecting the possible versions of the future and what you’ll do if each happens. Develop a plan of action should something completely unexpected happen.
At this point, you don’t need to create detailed plans. You simply want to have a broad strategic response. Take time to plan out all the details, and you’ll soon find yourself trailing the problems coronavirus causes once again.
As you develop your list of scenarios and responses, look for common themes across your various planned approaches. You can act on those with confidence.
Other approaches will make sense in some scenarios but not in others. They have some level of associated risk. So, as you move forward, learn as much as you can about each scenario to remove as much risk as possible. Then act on the plans which give you the most confidence.
3. Finally, Get Ready to Act
You need to know when it’s time to act. After all, you’re carefully crafted plans could quickly become outdated.
So, you need to set “trigger points,” which are the set of conditions that tells you it’s time to act.
And, your CEO should be involved with your Get-Ahead Team as you create these.
It will be scary, and perhaps even downright death defying. However, you can make it through. And you may even come out much better than before.