Every challenge calls for a strategy – the process of making choices on how to win.
Coronavirus times like these challenge us to be the best. You can start by defining your strategic challenge and clear choices to win.
What are the things you will do and the things you will not do? You cannot win by doing everything. You must choose your battles carefully.
Many families are struggling with what to eat. People are under lockdown in their houses, and they seem to be forgotten. Others have bigger problems – their shops or businesses are under lockdown and every day they are accumulating costs in terms of rent without corresponding revenues to offset it. They also have staff who depend on them to survive.
How do you navigate past these times? What are you doing to win? What is your covid19 response and recovery strategy?
Remember, a strategy is most needed during scarcity and need. The bigger the challenge, the more you need a robust practical strategy. You must figure out how to achieve your outcomes and ambition amid scarcity. If your assumptions have been significantly affected following the covid19 pandemic, now is the time to rethink your strategy and priorities. Things cannot stay the same. Your business has probably lost over 30% of its planned revenue, while costs have increased by over 10%, making a net adverse impact of 40% to your business. This is a significant change. You need a response strategy to succeed.
In these covid19 times, resources are in scarce supply. Supply chains have been disrupted. The 6Ms – money, materials, manpower, machinery, markets, and makeup are not enough. Few people have all these resources in huge supply. These resources are called capabilities. Anyone who has them in lots of supply is said to be wealthy. And are said to be powerful as such are their strengths. Anyone who does not have enough of what they need is said to be poor. Or has weaknesses.
But those are not the only constraints a business or person faces. You face the threats that stand in your way to tap into all opportunities available to you. As you develop a family/personal/business strategy, start with understanding your context (internal assessment) and perspective (external assessment). Following the covid19, are you winning or not. Does your covid19 response strategy require a new business model? Traditionally if you were thriving through a brick and motor, covid19 has changed your delivery channels. Many people are fearing physical contact.
You must do the following to assess your current condition and validate your assumptions:
- First, list all your threats.
- Second, list all your weaknesses
- Third, list all your opportunities
- Fourth, list all your strengths.
Write one statement to summarize your #1 strategic problem, in the form of cause and effect. For example, “lack of a well-paying job/business because of inadequate education and networking.”
Remember the cause and effect must be written in a way that resonates with your current condition. Defining the right problem is the starting point for winning. You cannot have the right solution to a poorly defined problem. The starting point for winning is a proper problem definition.
Take time to define your strategic problem or challenge. What is your strategic challenge?
How do you plan to solve your challenge?
Do you plan to win by being different or you want to win by being like anyone else? What kind of career interests you and has the potential for your success? Who is your target market? How will you win? What capabilities must you develop? And which systems do you need?
During this covid19 pandemic, the operational challenges are many. Do not be tempted to define an operational problem since it will provide you with an operational solution, which may not be sustainable for long term success.
Remember all success is deliberate.
Even for those who are lucky and win the lottery, they first make a deliberate action to prepare by buying a lottery ticket. If you want to get lucky, you must first prepare. And this explains the popular saying that “good luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.”
Having a strategy that makes you well prepared to tap into any opportunity will empower you to win.
- What is your strategy?
- How do you plan to win?
- What are those things that you will do to win, and the ones you will not do to win?
- How will you monitor winning? What is your scorecard that defines how you will track progress?
- What systems and structures have you put in place to implement your strategy?
- What capabilities do you need to win?
- Who shall hold you accountable to achieve your strategic intentions?
Now is the time to review your strategy in light of the new covid19 developments.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020.