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Shift your mindset in times of crisis to respond - fast

Surviving, and even possibly thriving, in a highly dynamic, quick-shifting crisis, business owners need to build resilience – within themselves and within the business. 

With the current COVID-19 situation that businesses face, in an environment where the crisis has a highly dynamic trajectory, business owners need to constantly reframe both their mental models and their business operations.

To survive, and even thrive in this challenging environment, you need to be able to make fast decisions, rather than becoming trapped in a vicious, potentially crippling cycle of internal processes and slow reaction times.

1. Adapt a resilient business mindset

As you face off against potentially one of your greatest challenges, first consider your business mindset. Are you cultivating a mindset of resilience both as a leader and as an organisation?

A resilient mindset emphasises proactivity, over reactivity.

  • To build a resilient mindset within your business, you not only have to assess your own mindset as a leader, but also that of your organisation.
  • Ensure that your employees have access to the resources and mechanisms so that they may drive proactivity from within the business.

2. Constantly reframe your business efforts

When it comes to resilience in business, this also requires that you reframe your efforts to adapt to external conditions.

  • As companies slowly emerge from lockdown in China, those that survived illustrated the ability to proactively identify the challenges that would arise, and adapt to be well positioned to deal with them.
  • A Chinese instant noodle and beverage producer, Master Kong, anticipated panic-buying and stock shortages. They moved fast to shift from offline channels that had been largely focused on supplying larger retailers – to concentrate instead on supplying smaller local retailers and to expand their own e-commerce platform.
  • They also constantly tracked post-lockdown re-opening plans of the retailers that stocked their products and adapted their supply plans accordingly. Within just a few weeks after the outbreak, Master Kong was able was able to supply 60% of the re-opened stores – three times more than its competitors.
  • The Coronavirus has hit Italy hard – resulting in dire shortages of medical supplies. Textile firm Miroglio Group – a company that source textiles for the fashion industry – responded quickly to retool its operation to deliver hygienic washable cotton and elastane masks for emergency personnel and NGOs.

Key Insights:

  1. Build resilience across your operation, from leadership to operations
  2. Reframe your business efforts to meet the changing market needs in a crisis
  3. Put resources and mechanisms in place that will enable you and your staff to respond fast.

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References:

  • HBR: https://hbr.org/2020/03/how-chinese-companies-have-responded-to-coronavirus
  • CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/fashion-industry-masks-protective-equipment-covid-19/index.html
  • Thrive global: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/4-aspects-of-a-resilient-mindset/