When we hear 'disruption' it's often themes of innovation, technology, and digital transformation that come to mind. But 2020 has brought the unprecedented disruption of a different kind.
With many parts of Australia barely recovering from the impact of the bushfires at the start of this year, COVID-19 is now taking business owners and operators into unchartered territory and completely changing the way we operate – as a society, as businesses, and as an economy.
Some of the challenges we’ve faced in recent months include:
Social restrictions and distancing measures
Disruption to travel
Changes in operations
The majority of the workforce shifting to remote work
Changes to shift scheduling
New ways of communicating
Adjustments in OH&S procedures
Changes to marketing and sales strategies
An increased need for flexibility
Changes to core strategy
It is not enough to try and wait out the coming months – with each day bringing change and more uncertainty. What is known, however, is that this uncertainty is here to stay for businesses for the next three months, possibly six.
Smart leaders: use these uncertain times to get ahead.
To succeed, we will need to embrace a new mindset of agility and adaptability. There are several actions that business owners should be taking immediately – primarily (and something many of us struggle with) looking within and self-assessing to find ways to improve as individuals and as a business. The second being to review current business processes and amending them to suit the current climate.
This is a great time to get ahead of the curve and prepare for when business returns to normal. Use this time to:
Assess your business processes
Invest in technology that will assist you to find efficiencies and lower risks in your business, putting you ahead of your competitors.
Implement technology solutions that will help you work remotely
Ensure you have a BCP in place - SAAS solutions give you peace of mind that your systems will at least be available to you from anywhere with an internet connection.
Implement tools that enable you to communicate with both your staff and workers remotely
Avoid burnout through balance: prioritise your daily tasks
When it comes to your everyday tasks, discerning which tasks to prioritise is key, especially in uncertain times where our judgement can be clouded by what seems to be urgent, losing sight of what is and what will have long-lasting value to our individual or business needs.Stephen Covey's time management quadrantis a good place to start. All of your tasks can be mapped into four quadrants:
Quadrant I is for the immediate and important deadlines.
Quadrant IIis for long-term strategising and development.
Quadrant III is for time pressured distractions. They are not really important, but someone wants it now.
Quadrant IV is for those activities that yield little in any value. These are activities that are often used for taking a break in time pressured and important activities.
Studies show thatwe spend most of our time in Quadrants I and III,whereas Quadrant II (long-term planning and strategy) is often prioritised least.
With enforced self-isolation and social distancing, we have more control over our schedules and time than ever before. I recommend that during this period you should be using this time to focus on Quadrant II activities such as:
Developing a long-term strategy for the key pillars in your business
Improving your processes and efficiencies by investing in leading software solutions
Focusing on personal development, self-education and cultivating healthy habits