In uncertain times our emotions can confuse and paralyze our decision making.
I’ve found that writing out a plan is one of the most powerful tools. Get out your legal pad and a pen and let’s do this quick exercise.
- Write down what has actually changed. I’m always amazed by how little things have actually changed. Most of our anxiety is triggered by the fear of an impending scenario, not actual impact to our personal situation. This typically causes us to overreact or simply paralyze us.
- Write down what hasn’t changed. This is a great way to ground yourself as you write your response plan. My guess is that for most of us this list is much longer.
- Build a plan that first deals only with moving forward against the current reality. Don’t make big plans. Work only on the challenge in front of you.
- Don’t be overly optimistic, but rather consider this the likely new normal. Start developing your work and life around the current state. Make this your normal. Begin watching and positioning for new opportunities that exist in this new normal.
- Know that it will be better, even if you just get better in living and working in this new state. Don’t give “getting better” a deadline. Survive, get better at living and working in this reality, and let “better” come to you. It will.
- Write down what is likely to change next. Once you have your right now plan in place and you’re working and living in a realistic way, then you can start to audit the future. Begin thinking through the ripple effects.
- Write down potential future opportunities. How can you diversify your products, services, and customers? What will the new market need and want?
- Work like a startup. Efficiently work on MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) and test your product to market fit until you regain traction.
- Get/Stay lean and watch your cash flow runway. Remember your only goals are to survive today, finish the day a little stronger, and as you gain traction and margin then plan, position, and build for the future.
This is my crisis management model.
What’s yours? I’d love to hear your thoughts.