Planning a Comeback

Updated: Oct 1


As we continue to find our way in the storm, various emotions still arise. It’s still important to give ourselves and those around grace as we define adjust to our new normal. One thing I’ve learned from my psychology training and my years leading large business transformations, is that having an action to take – no matter how small a step – can help us move through challenge, help us deal with mental uncertainty, begin to heal from loss, and shift us to a growth mindset. Yet, even with the knowing, it can still be a challenge to take action when uncertainty is still around us. So, when you’re ready, here are a few ideas and tools that can support you in first step forward in planning your business comeback.  


Disaster planning 101 doesn’t even come close to fully addressing today’s business climate. While we may be successfully propped up with our laptops and video cameras working remote, but that fated plan likely doesn’t touch on the magnitude of impact when the business model has completely gone out the window; an entire customer segment isn’t engaging with your products and services; our employees are stuck in the inter-web without face to face; and the list of impacts go on. For those of you who are furrowing your brow, thinking about how to pivot the business – how to keep your employees engaged (or even on the payroll), and how to continue to add value to your customers, I want to take a look back in time to help us move forward. 


A look back. After the last financial crisis, the Great Recession of 2008, there were companies that not only survived – but thrived coming out of the recession. Our colleagues at TowersWatson and The Culture Works wanted to understand how and dug deep into the companies that had 2 and 3 times better financial performance. They found businesses that thrived had a relentless focus on customers, a deeper level of engagement with employees, slashed through the bureaucracy with decision making and accountability pushed to the front line, and lastly – by celebrating successes and rooting for each other. There was no secret business plan, it was about embracing the human element that made a difference for the companies who thrived. Click here to read more. 


So now we look forward. That’s all great – but how do we create the stage? What is our compelling ‘why? And how can we focus on our customers, engage our workforce and push accountability down the line? The Business Model Canvas is a worthy support tool co-created by 470 practitioners from 45 countries and leveraged by millions worldwide. The Canvas helps you explore new business models and test your hypotheses on how you can pivot your business, i.e., ‘explore’ and ‘exploit’ alternatives, without leaving the safety net of your computer screen. Leveraging the Canvas pushes you to be clear on your customers, the value you deliver, how you deliver that value, and the revenue you can expect to receive. Answering the key Canvas questions, you’ll get specific on the activities, resources, partners you’ll need to deliver on that value – and the cost structure you’ll need to support that delivery model. And double-added benefit, you’re not stuck in the ivory tower trying to go it alone. Leveraging the Canvas with your team will help you better engage your workforce, capture innovative ideas and identify the where the roadblocks that can hinder your relentless focus on your customers. Need a little support on your customer value proposition? The team co-created the Value Proposition Design to help you get clarity on your unique business proposition. 


Today, businesses are turned on their side.  We’re all wrestling with how we come out of the pandemic successfully. By focusing on what makes your business unique – your value to your customers, your employees that help you deliver that value, and your business model that enables your organization eco-system – you may find a new plan for your comeback.


Any other tools that you’ve used successfully to pivot your business? I’d love to know more about them to share across our community. Do you find yourself needing a specific resource or have a specific business need, call or email, and I’ll work the community to get you the right connection. Or, if we need a co-creation session, I'm offering no-charge, 60-minute comeback planning sessions in May for my community. 


Sending you good health, a sound mind, and hope for the future.



PS. Still needing a little more on resilience and mindset, I have a couple of ideas for you. I have no official affiliation – just articles and tools I’ve been leveraging in my own practices. 

  • Wondering why you're feeling mentally drained at the end of the day? Zoom fatigue is a real thing.  Check out HBR's article How to Combat Zoom Fatigue

  • Ten Percent Happier is a recent add to my arsenal to deepen my meditation practice.

  • Mindset 101 a free course from Impact Theory University founded by Tom Bilyeu, co-founder of Quest Nutrition (wait for the pop up window to register for the free course).

  • Needing something new to occupy your mind instead of countless Netflix hours? Check out the best 10 puzzles for adults.

  • Up for a little humor, check out Jason Momoa’s scrunchie challenge.  Who knew? 

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