The global pandemic has caused everyone to rethink their normal. Finding a new normal has become a worldwide goal.
While there is talk of returning to some kind of old normal, I wanted to challenge you with a simple question.
Have you found your edge or are you standing at the edge?
Let’s tackle the dark side first. Standing at the edge describes a sense of being on the brink. For example, young parents of school-age kids are really expressing the sense of being on the edge. Confinement has been a bit too close for them.
Others have talked about the fatigue of living a groundhog day over and over.
I’ve had coaching clients, leaders in big organizations, admit they weren’t quite prepared for what remote working would do to them and their teams. And I’ve worked with small business owners who have made very tough decisions about releasing staff and cutting back or closing temporarily, if not permanently.
The pandemic has caused concern at many levels. Yet the word I hear most often is resilience. Staying resilient keeps us away from the edge.
Finding your edge is a whole other story. The pandemic has birthed some great ideas and some creative solutions for sure.
Just look at the explosion of the Zoom platform. Many businesses large and small have resorted to using the zoom conference. Schools are relying on the video connection to keep teaching students. There are even parodies of zoom video chats gone wrong.
Some of the small businesses I work with have gotten very creative. One retailer who lost all access to her storefront due to a mall shutdown has resorted to home delivery of her products.
A restaurateur discovered a market for one specialty dish that can be prepared in a more commercial kitchen. They have plans to close their regular restaurant and rely solely on the pickup and delivery of the new dish. This results in almost a 5x margin gain by eliminating the rent for the sit-down restaurant. Plus gross sales have tripled.
My larger company clients are finding an interesting phenomenon. While people admit to missing the interpersonal contact an office setting provides, productivity has increased. The crush of meeting after meeting has settled into a focused format that is highly effective and productive.
Companies who formerly feared allowing staff to work from home are finding the reliability to be refreshing.
People are finding a new edge of efficiency, productivity, and profitability. How long will it last? Who knows? Right now the lessons learned by many are being translated into possibilities for a new normal.
Where are you?
Standing at the edge? Or on a new, more meaningful edge for competitive advantage, effectiveness and gain?
Leaders can make the difference.
Here are five ways to find the right edge.
Be open to change – there is no point in fighting the reality of where we are. Follow the guidelines and roll with the flow.
Over-communicate with your people – don’t let anyone on your team get truly isolated. Communicate even when you have nothing new to say. Tell them that.
Ask for ideas – let your team shine during this period. Open up the lines of exchange of ideas and solutions. Think outside the box. Heck just crush the old box.
Be fearless – don’t get afraid of new ideas that radically impact your work as you once knew it. The new alternative could increase your profitability, your brand, and your effectiveness.
Stay resilient – here’s that word again. Don’t let disappointment or frustration get the best of you. Be flexible and ready to respond.