So tell me, I have a business but I need some new solutions

So, just for context, I’m writing this post in a rural Derbyshire village in the UK where my neighbours are generally speaking observing the 2m physical distancing rules and wandering into shops wearing face masks in an attempt not to spread Covid-19. The reality so far as I know in my home village, there has been no cases of infection, but the people, well they’re cautious and probably a little bit unsure of what to do.

As a Business Consultant I have essentially seen paying clients drop away. Conversations tended to go along the lines of ‘I have no money to pay you to help my business, I’m really sorry but I just have no spare cash. What I do need to know though is how do I take what I was doing and keep on doing it?

And my response generally is to tell people to firstly realise and accept the situation as it is, the world we’re now in is all new. Its sad, its frustrating but we cannot live in a fantasy world just because it suits our need to feel comfortable and in control, we’re not. I truly believe in optimism and it begins with recognising reality as it is.

People just don’t have the money or the time for the old problems. People have new problems and they need solutions now!

What the current situation offers is opportunity, we have to show up and offer service. We are very probably in a time when we as coaches and leaders can ask directly “what’s the problem you’re facing right now?” and they, our clients and people can articulate the answer clearly. In the pre-Covid-19 world people had problems but found it difficult to articulate them, they were buried in the deep recesses of their minds and organisational structures. Today, people have a problem, they know what it is and they are willing to say so and describe what it is.

So, the quicker we get to accepting reality, the quicker we get to choosing optimism. And optimism means innovation of products, of services and of ideas. We have to turn up and serve with integrity and that will resonate with customers.

The question then is not to take what you were previously doing and ask how you can replicate this online, or via zoom or slack or by email. The question is how do we accept the constraint and leverage it to deliver something that’s going to work and is maybe even better. The opportunity is to ask yourself what are you actually trying to deliver? What’s it for? Who’s it for? What does success look like? How do we turn up and serve with integrity?

The answer is to be brave enough to blow up your business model and remake it to deliver products, services and innovations taking account of the constraint. You have to begin from scratch and build your products and services optimised for online. You also have to be able to give people responsibility for themselves. You know, you cant be there in the room anymore so you have to engage in trust, and this is liberating for everyone involved. It liberates you to be the coach you ought to be, your people to deliver great service and your customers to demand and receive outstanding products and services.

So there you have it; accept reality, design for the new, leverage the constraints, build your new business model for remote delivery, allow your customers to be responsible for themselves, and allow your people to be responsible for delivering your products and services.

So¬† readers, wherever you are right now I hope that something I’ve written provides a spark of inspiration or an idea about how you might move your own work on all the while embracing reality and choosing optimism. Build something that’s meaningful, that will serve your customers, your community, and the people you care about in this new world.

Philip Dawson MBA | Lead Auditor | ISO 9001 | ISO 14001 | ISO 45001 | OHSAS 18001 | ISO 27001 | Lean 6-Sigma Practitioner

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