Press Release: June 1, 2020
CLAREMONT, CA— Ongoing change and volatility look certain to be with us until the end of 2020, and possibly beyond. According to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC), businesses should move quickly to maintain or grow leadership positions in this uncertain time.
Master Volatility and Build Resilience
“Businesses that master volatility will thrive as we emerge from the pandemic,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based based LMA Consulting Group, Inc. and manufacturing expert known for creating supply chain resiliency. “There will be no new normal. Instead, only those executives who gain comfort with disruption and volatility will succeed. Not only should we create resiliency in our end-to-end supply chains, but we should also take the opportunity to innovate to shape the future.
“Consumer and business buying behaviors are evolving rapidly,” adds Anderson. “Instead of racing to catch up with the latest changes, the most successful clients will be at the forefront of these changes by proactively engaging with customers and collaborating on innovations. Form partnerships to achieve a common end result, diversify as it makes sense to reduce risk, and evaluate technologies to provide a superior customer experience or to make a process more predictable and repeatable.”
Get the Mindset Right and Deepen Relationships
“Businesses are separating and evolving right now. And it is all based on the strength and mindset of leaders,” according to Heidi Pozzo, a leadership and high-performance expert and author of Leading the High-Performing Company. “Yes, businesses are being impacted by shut-down orders. And they aren’t stopping innovators from finding new ways to support customers.”
“This is a time for deepening relationships,” says Pozzo. “While some businesses are blasting out through social media channels daily, others are targeting ideal customers by reaching out one-on-one or through small group interactions. They understand where each customer stands and what they need right now. And as a result, they grow their relationships and business. To grow your leadership position, you must be able to stand out from all the noise in the channel.”
Diversify Funding and Partnerships Now
“There are immediate and medium-term implications of the change and volatility for global impact leaders and organizations,” points out Maiden Manzanal-Frank, President of GlobalStakes Consulting, Alberta, Canada. “There are major disruptions in funding and partnerships from government and non-governmental sources as the economy shrinks and unemployment soars. Much will depend on how much social distancing limits are lifted in the next few months and into 2021.
“Despite the prevalent gloom-doom scenario, organizations that have more diversified financial and programming strategies are well-positioned to absorb the shocks with more room to maneuver for a hybrid operational model, agile to do both regular and/or entirely virtual implementation, she says.
“For the next 6 months up to two years for gradual recovery, it is crucial to have the mindset to mine opportunities, manage risks involved in each phase, and allow for occasional mistakes, putting more premium on learning and adaptation,” adds Manzanal-Frank.
Robust Technology Gives You Flexibility
“The ongoing change and uncertainty from coronavirus have highlighted the importance of technology and software flexibility for business,” points out Praveen Puri, President, Puri Consulting LLC, Strategic Simplicity®.
“Companies suddenly found themselves having to work remotely, and software companies such as Zoom and Netflix have had to deal with exploding demand,” Puri notes. “It’s critical that all companies have robust and streamlined technology processes that give them the flexibility to cope with rapid change.”
Adapt Best-in-Class Practices from Distributed Workforces
“Use the pandemic as a catalyst to examine and strengthen communication within your organization and to business partners,” advises Diane L. Garcia of Lorraine Consulting, an expert in helping clients to optimize their unique operational business processes and supply chain.
“For the rest of 2020, typical in-person meetings or business travel will remain scarce,” says Garcia. “Virtual meetings and remote conversations will be a new norm. The companies that can create clear processes for communication, both formal and informal, will be those that thrive in the future. For example, how do you get the water cooler experience from a laptop? What’s the best way to conduct online meetings? (Hint: start with an agreed upon agenda.)”
“Today, you need to establish best practices, so critical information flows throughout your organization,” adds Garcia. “Not all companies can transition to a 100% distributed workforce, but everyone can learn from those who have.”
Courageous Leadership in an Uncertain World
“The men and women in charge of our organizations are now faced with unchartered challenges: leading their organizations through a global pandemic.” says Dr. Maynard Brusman, a San Francisco Bay Area consulting psychologist and executive coach.
According to Dr. Brusman, “We are in the midst of the most disruptive crisis since World War II. Today, we rely on business leaders in the private and non-profit sectors to create the vision leading us to the future.”
Dr. Brusman advises his executive coaching clients, “While it’s important to be transparent in communications, be mindful that anxiety and fear are contagious. Leaders who are able to think ten steps ahead collaborate, partner, and foster innovative solutions will prosper.”
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
The pandemic has caused major disruption to global economies, yet the fundamentals of good marketing and business strategy remain the same, according to Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic marketing firm Leverage2Market Associates, and author of the book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important that companies maintain a strong brand presence, focus on solidifying relationships with their customers, and ensuring they offer the right products and services for the new environment,” she says. “Everyone has been hit by the same extenuating circumstances. Those organizations that show leadership and integrity will stand out above the noise now, and in the future.”
Act from a Position of Strength, not Defense
“There’s a need for a complete reversal in business thinking,” said SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “Businesses must create disruption and volatility, not merely brace for that caused by others, which is always a defensive position.
“My counterintuitive prediction: Companies that use disruption and volatility proactively will dominate markets. Think FedEx, Amazon, Apple, Uber, and the old Southwest Air under Herb Kelleher,” Weiss says.
The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) is the premier association for independent consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and provide significant consulting results among their clients. Founded by Million Dollar Consulting guru Alan Weiss in 2003, SAC offers a series of in-person and online programs to help consultants share best practices and learn from industry experts and thought leaders in the business world. SAC today has members in 10 countries around the world.