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Strategy in the Era of Shut. It. Down.

by | Mar 24, 2020 | Discoveries

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In times of ambiguity and incomplete information, we need agility and intuition to guide us. Your world is changing by the day—and by the hour. 

Here’s your game plan.

First, focus on the immediate future in March and April:

  • Theme: Improvise
  • Get tactical about:
    • People – Attend to your team’s overall wellness and financial security with a recognition that people are overloaded in new and unforeseen ways.
    • Mission – Devise unique ways to deliver mission impact.
    • Operational realities – Use your lifelines to secure money, time, leadership, and community.

By April 15, plan for May and June:

  • Theme: Pivot
    • Be prepared for a slow return to a distorted normal with (perhaps) a mix of in-person programming and service delivery in a disjointed economy.
  • Learn from March and April; assess new realities and revise for:
    • People – Remember, we can only absorb so much information and change; everyone is stretched.  
    • Mission – Keep programming fresh; consider: what matters most to my customers now? 
    • Operational realities – Get creative and innovate.
  • Think strategically too
    • Begin to think (just a bit) about year end and into 2021

By June 15, plan for July, August, and September with an eye toward year end:

  • Theme: Attuned to the times
  • Learn from March – June; assess new realities and revise. Be realistic as you determine the pace, scope, and timing of recovery into 2021:
    • People – What can you anticipate through December? 
    • Mission – Refresh again; let’s not get stale.
    • Operational realities – Use your lifelines to solidify (and hopefully expand) money, time, leadership, and community.
  • Think and act strategically
    • Think through year end and into 2021.
    • Dust off your strategic plan.

Lastly, I advise you to craft a set of messages to use throughout this crisis. These are themes you can go back to, time and again, as you communicate internally and externally. You may want to consider multi-faceted messaging that honors the whole person—mental and emotional wellbeing—as well as your mission.

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