“The coronavirus is not only a health crisis of immense proportion—it’s also an imminent restructuring of the global economic order.”
– Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal (McKinsey Article “Beyond Coronavirus”)
If you had a dollar for every time someone said, ‘to survive going forward you must reposition and reinvent yourself’, you’d be rich. But rarely do people give us tips on how to actually reinvent or reposition ourselves and businesses for a new world.
If you have suffered great loss during this crisis, whether in your personal life, career or in your organisation, you know that more of the same is not the answer.
It’s difficult to know how to manoeuvre when everything you’ve worked hard to build is suddenly turned upside down. There is a period of loss and grief for what you’ve lost, that comes with feelings of guilt (I should have been better prepared) and then anger (why 2020, why?). But, after we have raised our fists into the air and cursed the gods, we need to get back to the drawing board and figure our way out of the crisis.
In a recent article on how to prepare for the post-crisis “New Normal”, McKinsey researchers detail five horizons : Resolve, Resilience, Return, Reimagination and Reform. Hopefully you are now at the fourth and fifth horizons where you need to reimagine and reform in order to bounce back.
So, here are three steps you can take to reposition yourself for success:
Focus on Your Brand (Re-Brand)
Your brand is what differentiates you from the rest, it is what you are known for and is your core promise to your customers (or employers). Your old brand might have been enough to get you by in the period of plenty, but now as the scramble for opportunity intensifies, what got you here won’t get you there.
Your old brand could have become a box you couldn’t shake, now is an opportunity to break out of that box. Focusing on your brand might mean communicating aspects of your brand that are more pertinent for your market now. This does not mean changing who you are, but it might mean changing how you present yourself.
You can do this by asking yourself these questions:
- How have my customer needs changed during this crisis?
- Which of my skills and offerings need to be amplified now?
- What is the new/enhanced core promise I am offering my clients?
Café chain Pret was one of the leading brands to take decisive action during the pandemic. The company closed its seating areas and began operating on a takeaway-only basis during the early stages to help reduce social contact.
The brand extended support to the over-worked NHS workers, by offering them free hot drinks, and a 50% discount. They didn’t change who they are, but rather how they responded, thus positioning their brand positively.
Leverage and Repurpose Existing Assets
It’s amazing the number of assets and products that are wasting away in storage rooms or basements because their original demand has dropped. Companies like LVMH (Louis Vuitton) quickly leveraged their assets by switching from perfumes to hand sanitisers using the same materials, instead of letting their factory machines stand still, they just repurposed them.
What can you repurpose and leverage to meet new and different demands? Do an actual audit of your assets and ask yourself how you can leverage these now. For individuals this means if your current (or previous) employer is not currently utilising some of your time and skills, who else out there could use them?
The key is to be out there instead of waiting for the return to normal. Leverage what you have in different ways.
Create A Vision for A New Future
Before this crisis you had a vision of where you were taking your team, business, career and your family. But now for many of us that vision is no longer viable. Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up, take the time to craft a new vision factoring in the new reality.
For my family, our vision of returning to South Africa in August of 2020 was completely shattered and we had to adjust. For your business or career, you need to ask yourself, what you are now aiming for and what goals do you need to put into place to make the new vision a reality? It could be that your vision doesn’t have to be completely uprooted, but just tweaked. If this is not possible, bring out the sledgehammer and start anew.
One of TomorrowToday’s ‘go to’ quotes is by Alvin Toffler – “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Well it’s time for all of us to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn in order to create the future.
About the author of today’s Tuesday Tip – Buhle Dlamini
Buhle Dlamini is a globally sought after, leading speaker helping organisations unleash their greatness and create an inclusive culture. Request Buhle to talk to your leadership about Building Back Better AC/DC (After Covid / During Covid).
This offering is designed for leaders and senior teams to have a strategic conversation about how to thrive during the current crisis and build back better into the future by providing context and guiding leaders to make future-fit decisions about the way forward.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to invite Buhle to work with your team.