Press Release: August 1, 2019
CLAREMONT, CA— Despite ongoing volatility in the marketplace and political climate, successful businesses continue to discover opportunities to thrive and expand, according to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC).
Successful Clients Adapt to Changing Conditions
“Look at volatility as an opportunity,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based LMA Consulting Group, Inc. and manufacturing expert known for creating supply chain resiliency. “To thrive in volatility, you must build resiliency and agility into your supply chain.
“Our most successful clients are able to adapt on the fly as conditions change, so that they can navigate around disruptions and leverage opportunities created during volatility. Keep your eyes open for ways to gain market share and gain a competitive edge, and be willing to change strategies and invest smartly when your competition pauses due to volatility,” she notes.
Create Opportunity While Others Freeze
“In confusion, there is profit,” said Evan Bulmer, president of Evan Bulmer & Associates. “When everything is changing rapidly and perceived conditions are worsening, everyone is in a heightened state of anxiety. If you know who you are and what you are about, this will be your time to take market share or create new markets while others freeze and desperately try to hang on to what things used to be.”
Develop a New Set of Standard Operating Procedures
“Identify new opportunities when unexpected events arise,” said Stephen Wise, president of Integration Professionals, a firm that helps clients dramatically improve traction on complex initiatives. “Let’s assume your production and/or sales capacity are down for a period. Would that be a good time to do maintenance or upgrade your assets? Should you coordinate product or relationship training for your salespeople?
“Also, in a situation where the volatility is sustained over a significant period of time, make changes to your management style,” he notes. “Monitor these events and meet frequently with your team to discuss how your standard operating procedures have been impacted and what contingent actions should be implemented to weather the storm.”
Do What You Say, When You Say You’ll Do It
“If you want to thrive in a volatile environment, double down on establishing trust in your relationships,” says Ron Evans, nonprofit performance expert and strategic advisor who has helped more than 200 nonprofit leaders exceed their expectations, creating millions of dollars of revenue in the process.
“It means doing what you say, when you say you’ll do it. It means keeping people informed on progress, even if none is being made. It means thinking of the benefits to your client, customer, or business partners first. And it means anticipating problems before they occur, and having contingencies ready,” he says. “Are you the one they trust to use the machete to cut a path through the jungle? Be that person.”
Volatility May Be Internal, As Well As External
“View rapid and unpredictable change in your markets as a source of opportunity for new products and services,” says Bob Legge, president of Legge & Company a New York-based advisor to senior leaders, and author of The Effective Leader. “What Amazon and Uber did on a very large scale, any business can do on a smaller scale.
“To thrive, you have to be willing to take chances, to learn, and to acquire new capabilities on the fly. But you also need to be on the lookout for volatility inside your company. The polarized political climate, combined with the tendency of some organizations to become “echo chambers” where everyone thinks similarly, can create unproductive turmoil,” he notes. “It also may reduce open speech and diversity of thought— both of which are necessary to be competitive. To counter this, be sure to have a clear and distinctive strategy and keep the organization sharply-focused.”
Be Flexible and Nimble
“There’s always opportunity in volatility,” says Kathleen McEntee, president of Kathleen McEntee and Associates, Ltd., a full-service marketing firm based in Southern California and Chicago, IL. “From a marketing standpoint, our customers need to be flexible and nimble.
“Finding new markets, ‘spinning’ the message, using new platforms to reach a target audience or simply staying the course with the ebbs and flows, can all help ride the roller coaster of volatility. We encourage our clients to look at the big picture, revisit strategy and adjust tactics,” she adds.
Stay Hungry and Opportunistic
“Volatility is the new normal in business, especially when it comes to technology,” says Praveen Puri, Strategic Simplicity® expert, IT strategist, and president of Puri Consulting LLC. “Successful companies stay flexible, keep their strategies as simple as possible, and keep watching the trends in their industry. They stay hungry and opportunistic, and change their products/services as needed to stay relevant.”
Build Safety and Trust
“Leaders need innovative ways to understand and adapt to the volatility and uncertainty in our current world,” says Dr. Maynard Brusman, a San Francisco Bay Area consulting psychologist, executive coach, trusted leadership advisor, and emotional intelligence & mindful leadership consultant. “Agility—the ability to learn and adapt quickly—is critical.”
According to Dr. Brusman, “Mindful leaders approach complexity and change by discovering patterns. They approach ambiguity and fear through building psychological safety and trust. They listen with empathy, kindness and compassion, and foster a sense of community and connection.”
Dr. Brusman advises his executive coaching clients, “Use your people skills to foster teamwork and inclusion in an uncertain world. Relationships are foundational to unity. Display passion about your people.”
Find the Opportunity in the Vortex
Opportunities change in turbulent times, but there will still be opportunities—if you know where to look for them, 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.
“Sometimes the fact that things are uncertain is in itself a marketing opportunity,” she says. “While you may no longer be able to serve the same set of customers, you may find either new customers, or new products and services that you can now offer your existing customers.
“The key is to take the blinders off and look with fresh eyes at the new circumstances,” she adds. “And remember, if you don’t quickly adapt to the new reality, your competitors may jump in and beat you to it.”
Create Disruption, Don’t React to It
“There is erroneous thinking (and strategy) that businesses should prepare somehow to “deal” with disruption,” says SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “Disruption is merely modern innovation having exponential impact.
“Therefore, any business that seeks to be a market leader should be thinking about creating disruption, not ‘dealing’ with it, and to be offensively-minded and not defensively-minded,” he adds.
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.
For more information, go to www.consultingsociety.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (909) 563-1803.