There are many different ways to react to the disruption from coronavirus and the resulting downturn.  My clients have come to recognize it as an opportunity both for their business and for Lessons Found.

We have three choices in the face of a crisis.  1. Give up; 2. Act like nothing has changed; or 3. Adapt. Since my role is guiding owners as they adapt towards growth, I have not encountered any whose actions indicate they are just giving up. I have talked to owners pretending that everything will return to “normal”.  These owners are being naïve. We must face reality.  Even when a cure is found, a vaccine available and all doors reopened, “normal” will be different. Our behavior, work practices and psyche have been changed by these past two months. This means owners need to adapt to these changes if we are going to thrive now and into the turnaround.

On a personal level, I am also in the process of adapting to change.  I recently ended my association with Vistage.  By far, this is a much simpler and easier change then others are experiencing.  I continue to regularly meet and work with my clients.  And I am reviving the Small Business Forum, the peer-to-peer support groups I originated several years ago.

Our Lessons Found derive from the results of our actions during this crisis and in previous economic shocks.  For those of adapting on-the-fly, results of our actions will not truly be known until months after our community starts to reopen.  But we can look for Lessons Found from the last economic crisis.  McKinsey & Company did just that by comparing how 1,000 different companies faired from 2007 through 2011.  From this we learn that the companies which thrived were those companies that acted vigorously and looked beyond the current crisis to also focus on preparing for the turnaround.

As CEOs and business owners, we do not have the luxury of waiting around for a vaccine or for “reopening”.  We need to plan for and create opportunities in the “new normal”.  That is the direction I am guiding my clients towards:  Leverage Lessons Found to create new opportunities and thrive in a future which we are only now beginning to glimpse.

Life brings us lessons every day.  Sometimes from expected sources.  And sometimes from sources and situations we never would have thought possible.  Either way, they are a gift found. I am fortunate to find these types of lessons regularly and wanted to share them with you with this weekly series of “Business Lessons Found”.
Did you recently receive the gift of a Business Lesson Found that has helped you with management, marketing or another aspect in business? I would love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an email to let me know.