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COVID-19

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We all manage something in our lives. Whether we manage other people, an entire organization, sales or even just ourselves, management is part of our everyday lives and includes careful planning, well-thought-out direction and a sense of control.

What happens when we apply that definition of management to the concept of opportunity? What if we were to identify and act upon opportunity much as we arrange and then manage a meeting, a project or some other form of responsibility that takes place each day in our lives? What transformative opportunity does that foster for your organization?

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A more timely and, in some ways, comforting example involves the ever-changing situation we find ourselves in today with COVID-19. This pandemic has seemingly pressed pause on time, stifling businesses in many ways and rattling humankind as we’re told that each day is fluid, and we’re not sure what the next day will bring. Monday will still follow Sunday, but will it be business as usual? Right now, the answer is no.

But, if Hard Trends, or future certainties, are as easy to identify as I maintain, what is the Hard Trend in all of this?

AMERICA

In the past, organizations have practiced agility more than anything else because it is easy to simply pivot and put out small fires as they arise.

But with the world facing a global pandemic, statewide lock downs here in the United States, and a once booming economy now seemingly frozen in time, organizations both large and small are caught in the blaze as those small fires are now an uncontrollable inferno of a great unknown.

AMERICA

It is consistently shocking to me how little we consider the future to be an important topic in business. How the future affects us and our organization is easy to forget when there are numerous tasks at hand, but since it’s where we will spend the rest of our lives, we should all be devoting more time to our consideration of where we are headed into the future.

AMERICA

As COVID-19 uncertainty spreads around the world at an exponential pace, the global community is finding out that reacting quickly to the societal and economic disruptions that the virus creates, no matter how agile a reactor you are, is not good enough and quite frankly, is simply not working.

With disruptive changes moving so fast, everything seems to be uncertain, and that uncertainty can cause us all to “wait and see,” which is the exact opposite of what we should be doing now! The only way individuals, entrepreneurs, business and government leaders can get ahead of the spread of the virus, and get control of its speed and devastating impact, is to stop focusing on reacting quickly, or “pivoting,” as some have called it, and start becoming anticipatory by separating the Hard Trends that will happen from the Soft Trends that might happen and can be changed.

AMERICA

2020 brought with it a new decade with a strong stock market and strong growth forecasts. In January, companies were growing and everyone was looking at 2020 to be a transformational year in a booming global economy.

Then, suddenly, we went to alarming numbers in the stock market, a lockdown of all nonessential businesses, unemployment and the now common phrase “social distancing.” Millions are quarantined to their homes, only leaving for exercise, groceries or emergencies. Simultaneously, organizations and individuals who traditionally say “yes” to trying new things with innovative strategies and tactics now feel mounting pressure to say “no.”  The culprit: COVID-19 and the global pandemic.

AMERICA

New Year’s Day 2020 was the dawn of a new year, a new decade, and a strong stock market with strong growth forecasts, despite being an election year, in which a high level of uncertainty is prevalent. But now, with the global pandemic causing a much higher level of uncertainty, it’s never been more important to ask, “What are we certain about?”