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How to Adapt to Lean Times with Resilience and Focus

It’s no secret that the current COVID-19 business disruptions are causing serious limitations on budgets and people resources. Business leaders need to adapt and operate lean by using as few resources as possible. But this is easier said than done.

To succeed in the current climate, business leaders need to take strategic actions that promote resiliency. Below are five critical steps to help you focus while addressing the needs of your employees and customers, despite resource constraints.

  1. Assess and realign to meet your company’s strategic vision

  2. Take personal steps toward efficient problem solving

  3. Get personally involved with communication

  4. Keep your workforce engaged

  5. Connect creatively with customers to capture insight

1. Assess and Realign to Meet Your Company’s Strategic Vision

While I’m optimistic there will be an economic uptick in the coming months, it’s still important to perform consistent temperature checks on your business to avoid pitfalls. Use your resources to maximum effect by aligning market demand to what you’re working on to best serve your customers.

You must assess your strategic initiatives with laser focus.

2. Take Personal Steps Toward Efficient Problem Solving

Business leaders know that time is a limited resource, and during challenging situations it’s more critical than ever to efficiently problem solve. Unfortunately, when it comes to streamlining business processes, organizations waste a lot of time because employees aren’t prepared, don’t know they need to be, or haven’t thought things through. It’s not that your people need to work longer— just smarter.

3. Get Personally Involved with Communication

There is a right and wrong time for leaders to delegate—and delegating communications during challenges is the wrong time. It’s not only weak, it can be destructive to your company culture. Senior managers and executives need to have direct and open communication with their teams. If a difficult decision needs to be made, all employees—including executives—need to bear the burden.

4. Keep Your Workforce Engaged

Keeping your workforce engaged is one of the biggest internal challenges during this unique time. People need to feel connected, and right now they might not.

Listen to your employees while being mindful that each person has unique reactions to the situation.

5. Connect Creatively with Customers and Capture Insight

At a time when physical meetings with customers are largely out of the question, it’s important to look for smart ways to connect and capture their insight.

First, use the resources that are available to you. Instead of phone calls, use social networking tools with video, which allows you to better connect with your customers through virtual eye contact. It also gives them more confidence that you’re fully engaged and focused during the conversation. Video also helps you get more customer insight through body language and facial expressions, the same as you would during an in-person meeting.

The playing field is no longer the same, so keeping your initiatives the same doesn’t make sense.


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