Without the noise of day-to-day fires to put out, many of us are operating in quiet solitude and reflecting on how we will do things both now and when this crisis subsides. I am one of the many.
There are six words that come to mind in describing the events of the past few months: The first two have to do with external stimuli; the second two with our internal reaction to those stimuli. And, the final two have to do with the outcome. So, let me expound on that a bit.
Change and Upheaval
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” Known as “The Serenity Prayer,” by Reinhold Niebuhr, these wise words frame how many of us view the current situation. It is hard to dispute this virus and its ripple effects (which are external forces) have changed things dramatically causing serious disruption and upheaval to the way we live. This health crisis has shaken the entire world. It has drastically affected our social, economic and political strata – all three. Such unprecedented change brings upheaval. And upheaval precipitates more change – change in how we work, how we think and how we feel. For many, even change in our value system. It will and should spark a reaction from each of us. We cannot alter the external force. We can change how we react to it.
Shifting and Redirection
“Tough times never last: tough people do!” This phrase coined by Clergyman, Robert Schuller leads us to respond to negative circumstances in a positive way. So, accepting what we cannot change, we have to shift our thinking to deal with things we can change. How do we do that? We find and focus on the potential silver linings within and beyond the circumstances of the crisis and how they might relate to our businesses – things that represent opportunity shrouded within this disaster; things that we can control and are actionable. We systematically re-evaluate, re-strategize, re-align our strategies and re-direct our activities to accomplish new strategies. Those silver linings will be different from one company to the next. The same shift or redirection will not work for everyone. At S-5!, we are shifting and redirecting. It is energizing –even fun!
Opportunity and Increase
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”―Albert Einstein
When we identify the opportunities within the adversity, we must implement our strategies and do it quickly.
S-5! is working full steam ahead on the re-invention of every department, availing of every opportunity for improvement. From marketing and communications to manufacturing and sales to research and development, we are integrating extensive improvements into all phases and functions of our company. We are reinvigorating the entrepreneurial spirit that underpins this organization. We are performing the same functions but in new and different ways.
Our sales team is facing customers through video conferencing – no planes, airports, rental cars and hotel rooms for now; they are training distribution channels and end-users through educational webinars. We are communicating more and more through social media and online communications. And, we are coordinating interdepartmental functions via digital media. It is actually more time-and cost-effective than the ways of yesterday. We are accelerating the implementation of our new ERP and CRM systems, fast-tracking our manufacturing plant expansion program, stepping up R&D with new products and installing new automation equipment in production. We are working harder and faster than ever before.
S-5! has and will continue to identify the opportunities hidden within this difficulty and align ourselves, our strategies and preparations to emerge on the other side of this pandemic as a more vibrant company. We will be stronger, more effective, more purposeful, more dynamic, more resilient with more fluid operational procedures and infrastructure, closer customer contact and rapport, higher production rates, and lower operating costs in all departments. That postures us for an increase in sales and profits.
Is your business accepting the things it cannot change? Do you have the courage to change the things you can? Do you have the wisdom to know the difference?