Blog: Business Strategy Meets Life Strategy
As we all know, 2020 has been a year like no other; the sheer amount of change that’s happened, and is still happening, on a local, national and global scale is enormous. Humans, and therefore businesses run and operated by humans, are historically not the best at change. Especially in gargantuan proportions.
What have we learned about how to live and be successful in the midst of constant change?
‘Adaptable’, ‘resilient’ and ‘pivot’ are some of the words that have been used over and over again this year. But what do they actually mean?
Businesses operating in industries which have been affected by Covid-19 have had to be adaptable, meaning they have had to keep creating new business strategies each time a rule change affected their trade. They have needed to pivot many times, meaning they had to change their strategy, and their day-to-day operations, quickly in response to rapidly changing circumstances.
In doing so, these businesses will have built resilience, which means new ways to overcome challenges and a mindset that looks for possibilities over problems. And these businesses may well have developed ways of working, tools and processes which will make them even more successful in the post pandemic world than they were before.
How can we be adaptable and learn to pivot in our personal lives?
By using much the same strategies as we would for a business…
Just as businesses in the hospitality sector have had to change how they operate, their opening hours, who they allow in from week to week and month to month, so our personal lives have been subject to the same constant change and upheaval. We’ve been through Lockdown 1.0, for which you will have developed a strategy for yourself in order to manage it, either consciously or unconsciously. By the time Lockdown 2.0 arrived you probably learned that some of your Lockdown 1.0 strategies worked better than others and therefore what to focus on to successfully move through November 2020. For example, eating handfuls of biscuits with endless cups of tea might have left you feeling a bit lethargic and out of shape after Lockdown 1.0. Therefore, perhaps you decided to buy fruit instead of Digestives for 2.0.
Choosing to eat fruit instead of packets of Digestives is a ‘strategy for life’, just as the local bakery taking their business online during lockdown is a ‘strategy for business’. We can apply the same concept of adjusting, pivoting, and re-adjusting business strategies to our personal lives. Just as business strategy, and how it is carried out, results in business success or failure, the same is true for life strategies.
How do we create life strategies to support us during the pandemic?
The constant change we’ve experienced during this pandemic has meant we’ve needed to ‘turn on a dime’. Gone are the days of planning your year, quarter or even month!
The invitation is to adapt and adjust your life strategy as often as the external circumstances change. For example, as we moved into Lockdown 2.0 in November many people swapped post-work evening socialising in pubs and restaurants for pre-work early morning walks with one friend or relative. Now we’re moving into a post lockdown, pre-Christmas phase: the rules are different again, those early morning walks can be swapped for gym classes and socialising in pub gardens can resume in the evenings.
However, it is likely that we will continue to have lots of dark cold evenings spent quietly at home until vaccinations and improved weather help to slow transmission of the virus. How can you create a strategy to manage the situation in the most enjoyable and successful way possible? Could you make a list of some of the activities you could occupy yourself with? For example, learning a new skill e.g., a language, being creative e.g., building something or knitting a scarf, doing an online course, volunteering over the phone, playing cards with the kids, watching all the Marvel movies in order… the possibilities really are endless, but it takes a concerted effort, a mindset focussed on opportunity and a bit of creativity to pull it off.
Strategy, whether it be for your business or your life, is not rocket science. However, there are skills and energy required in order to keep your strategy fit-for-purpose and to be consistent in taking action aligned with your strategy. Why not change something about your Lockdown strategy, starting tomorrow?