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  • Writer's picturePeter Wesley

There's a gift in COVID19

POST COVID - 5 things I’d like to keep.


Nobody likes a virus. COVID19 has been devastating across the world, let's face it COVID sucks. As I look forward to the next few months I see some opportunity to return to business as usual, I ponder, what changes would I like to keep POST-COVID.


My top 5 are:


Gratitude:


You only have to look at the news for a few minutes to realise how blessed we are to be on our island Downunder. The list of what I am truly grateful for is nearly endless. Top of mind is those health workers who stood up without hesitation to help us when at the time we all saw what was happening in Spain and Italy and they had PPE shortages.


Many business owners I talked to have mentioned that there is a change of attitude with staff. Where pre-COVID some employees had a sense of entitlement, they now have a sense of gratitude for having work. Profit used to be a dirty word with staff - now they realise it’s just another word for survival.


Flexibility:


Working from home, not having to travel so much, video calls have all made some areas of work better, more efficient, and easier. Time saved in commutes alone is huge. We have seen productivity go through the roof in some team as most people work well when left to get on with it. We are revisiting our work from the home policy as we can all see the benefits of having the flexibility of working remotely when it makes sense. There is growing trust amongst our team between managers and staff and that will go a long way when we return to normal.


Flexibility includes opening up our minds and challenging how we do business. So many businesses have accelerated their digital transformation and developed new innovative ways to serve. Let’s hope we keep that attitude.


Bootstrapping Mentality:


Challenging expenses and decisions from the mindset of a bootstrapping startup is healthy business practice for any company. We have an uncertain economic environment ahead - which is a nice way of saying it is going to be bad. As I plan for FY21 I am viewing each decision with the question of “do we really need to spend the money”. Can we service our customers with less? I’m searching for a simple KPI to show our efficiency so as a team we focus on reducing our cost to serve per job/client/shipment etc. I want to ensure we maintain a continued focus on cost and efficiency even when we return to growth.


Focus:


How easy it is to get distracted from what is truly important when times are good. Nothing sharpens the mind like an impending crisis. As long as we do not freeze in the headlights a sense of urgency helps galvanise a team and keep everyone focused on what is truly important. It seems so obvious but somehow we can lose our way when business is good, but as Jim Collins said “Good is the enemy of great”. All those projects for “business improvement” and ideas for new markets are all under the microscope. We are only looking at what we need and ignoring the noise.


Collaboration:


Within my team, between businesses, in the community, and between states and countries I have seen so much cooperation and collaboration. It’s formed from the sense of a common enemy, that we’re all in this together. It is interesting to note this group behavior and keep in mind how as leaders we can foster this within our teams when Covid passes. A common cause, or enemy, a challenge can all be galvanising for a team.


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