It is safe to say that many of you reading this article were not around to have seen or experienced the last pandemic that plagued our country over 150 years ago. And suffice it to say, irrespective of your position in business leading up to [ironically] Friday, March 13th, the likelihood is that either you -- or someone you know -- has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is “Business as Usual”?
Your view of “business as usual” has taken on a whole new meaning and, unfortunately, should you be one of the millions that have been displaced due to working for a small company, or being physically affected by the virus, or a combination of both you might perceive that “light at the end of the tunnel” as a train speeding towards you. In your opinion the phrase “business as usual” no longer exists!
There is another phrase that has managed to transcend time and pass itself along from generation to generation and from leadership team to leadership team yet has been discounted, dismissed, or [simply] not taken very seriously. However, it underscores the current human, social, and cultural tones of the local and global business community today. That phrase is…
“The one true constant of business is change!”
As an Organizational Change Practitioner I coach, counsel, consult, & mentor people leaders and individual contributors alike on changes that influence (e.g., cause shifts in business processes, etc.) and/or impact (causing business disruption to the point of business closure) their ability to achieve the common goal.
Although the activities & tasks that equate to achieving the goal may sway in one way or another, the people-side impacts are seldom one dimensional. People are complex and therefore when change occurs or is the result of an unforeseen [new] outlook there are a range of intelligent and emotional factors we process. This is a good place to acknowledge that some people process change better than others.
As business owners and leaders the changes you are attempting to manage range from doing all you can to retain & support your employees to ensuring the well being of yourself and your family and from restructuring debt to abiding time until the PPP stimulus check arrives to secure week to week expenses.
There are many business services, coaches, & counselors within your local small business community that are able to help you through these difficult times. Although it may seem as though you and your team are attempting to navigate these business obstacles alone, understand that it’s only a perception and there are resources and professionals nearby that can lend an ear to hear you, in many aspects can lend a helping hand, and in some cases can do what you thought was impossible.
During a time when it is evident that to need “a hand up” is the norm and “a hand out” is no longer the exception, it takes everyone knowing where the hand is being extended from to reach out and grab it. Those coaches, counselors, and small business service providers are there to support you in the best way possible so do all that you can to reach out to them if the need is there.
I’ll leave you with a few notable quotes as you look forward through the lens of change...
“The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress!” Charles Kettering
“There is nothing so stable as change!” Bob Dylan
“To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often!” Winston Churchill
Be mindful that the changes we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 virus are emotionally taxing for some and daunting for others, yet no matter how challenging the times our small business community will “see the light at the end of the tunnel” as simply that … if we work together and leverage the resources that were intended for all.
As one small business owner to my fellow small business owners across the state of Arizona, I hope that you, your families, and business family members continue to practice those safeguards & protections that promote healthy customer engagements and ensure the reduction of virus transference. Because we are in this together, we will be affected together, and we will get through it together!