When you are a busy professional running your own business, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Being strategic with your time is the best (and possibly the only) way to achieve all of your daily tasks. If you are...
Having a conversation with a Vistage member this week, he said, that while COVID was terrible from a point of deaths and financial damage, it was exciting. I agree! Business owners and CEOs don’t have to work on eking out an additional few points of revenue or margin in the same manner year on year. Whatever your business plan was on March 1st, that is now in the shredder. If you pivoted in December and invested in resources, those may be to use a economist’s term, sunk costs. You need a new business strategy and plan!
As Rahm Emanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” COVID provides CEOs with many opportunities that were unavailable before. Organizations can:
pivot their strategy;
enter new markets that didn’t exist four months ago;
obtain talent that was once unreachable;
acquire companies that fit their strategic goals;
cut sacred cows, whether they are people, division, or products.
move quickly without some of the usual inbuilt restrictions
try lots of new things in a continuous A/B testing format.
For a great example, I look to Scott Cowen, President Emeritus and Distinguished University Chair of Tulane University who was President when Hurricane Katrina hit. A little like COVID, one day he was welcoming the class of 2009 to a university with 5,000+ students and thousands of employees, and three days he told the thousands of students and families to turn around and get out. A week later he students and employees all over the country, a city in disarray, a large amount of uninhabitable housing for students, employees many of the services needed by employees no longer available.
“In many ways, Katrina wiped the slate clean,” Cowen said. Cowen led a rebuilding and academic reorganization of Tulane through a rebuilding and academic reorganization, Many of his actions were criticized including the decisions:
to merge and eliminate Newcomb College wholly into Tulane, to form a new undergraduate college, Newcomb-Tulane College.
to eliminate several departments in the School of Engineering and merge its remaining departments with the science departments in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences to form a new School of Science and Engineering and a restructured School of Liberal Arts.
Tulane also became the first and only major private research university to incorporate public service into its core curriculum. Many of these things were impossible without the crisis provided by Katrina. Also to house students during the cleanup he chartered a cruise ship and had them docked in the Mississippi to provide housing for students.
As I received my MBA and JD from Tulane, I had the opportunity to hear Scott talk a number of times as he developed and executed his new strategy for Tulane. His concern but excitement and vision during this period were amazing and I was in awe of him and what he had accomplished.
Right now many firms are living their equivalent of Apollo 13, the key to make it “our finest hour.”
Copyright (c) 2020, Marc A. Borrelli
So often, people view leadership as a talent: you’re either born with this quality or you’re not. However, this is not always the case! In reality, good leadership is made up of skills, and anyone can learn how to improve. Some people may pick up leadership attributes...
Do you have questions about how to calculate your business’s sellability score? Whether you’re looking to sell your business in the near future or years from now, understanding your sellability score will help you thrive. The sellability score identifies the...
As an entrepreneur running your own business, you know there are bumps in the road and struggles that both you and your business will face over time. However, with the right people and tools at your disposal, you can anticipate what’s coming, plan for it, and continue...
Every single business in the world wants to evolve and grow. This will happen using a variety of techniques and strategies. In 2022, digital marketing is more than a household name, and most companies will adopt at least a few ideas when long-term planning and coming...
Many entrepreneurs consider executive business coaching when they start struggling on their professional path. A small business coach is an experienced professional mentor who educates, supports, and motivates entrepreneurs. They will listen to your concerns, assess...
Dreams turn into goals when they have a foundation of long-term strategic planning supporting them. They become reality when the ensuing strategic implementation plan is executed properly. With Kaizen Solutions as their strategic planning consultant, small and...
If you are a CEO or key executive who has come to a crossroads or crisis in your career, you'll gain valuable insights and solutions from a peer group connection more than anywhere else. But what is a peer group, and how can that statement be made with so much...
As I mentioned last week, I am down with COVID and tired, so spending more time reading rather than working. I read Bill Browder's Freezing Order this weekend, and I highly recommend it. However, at the end of the book, Browder says that oligarchs, autocrats, and...
I am currently sick with COVID, so, killing time yesterday, I watched Downfall: The Case Against Boeing about Boeing's issues with the 737 Max and how the focus and financial results versus anything else led to the problems with the plane. The company focused on...