We have all been managing disruptive lives since COVID-19 came into the world. The data supports what everyone feels: the Consumer Confidence Index recorded an astounding drop of 31.9 points in April. Do you have a plan in place for your (potentially full-time) virtual salesforce? Are your current salespeople equipped with the skills to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world?
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In times of crisis, like the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, certain key transferable skills have been identified to help new job seekers and other professionals plan their next move. This may include changing companies and industries.
1. Project Managers Are The Ones Who Deliver My Stuff On Time<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUwOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMTczMDg0OH0.y5dmkGlgM-B_ALBLY3X__2ltBX12wPgDmn-7YcEgXZY/img.jpg?width=980" id="0db02" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="439b6f3ab00995cc6b9ea220eab3a3d4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Project manager explains something to a co-worker" /><p>As one of the most misunderstood professions, I find it interesting to compare the perceptions and definitions of what project managers do from a generic customer point of view compared to the project manager´s own view.</p><p>For customers who do not have a deep grasp or exposure to the profession, they sometimes think that the project manager is simply the one who gets their orders delivered on time. For the project manager, he/she would normally reply that they run a business within a business, which is far more prestigious and much closer to the truth!</p><p>So, why such a large discrepancy in these perceptions?</p><p>Although the profession celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, I would attribute this discrepancy to a lack of effective marketing or academic recognition of the profession. It is true that many universities have included project management degree programs in their curricula over the years. Many companies have also recognized the importance of the profession, although arguably not in the most consistent way. As such, different definitions of the scope and importance of the profession persist, which only reinforces the sentiment that the profession does not always command the respect it deserves.</p>
2. Project Managers Need To Solve Everyone's Problems<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjY5OTA2MH0.N-1QRPOXT7gYvsvBfA6swQWRhpiVT487gDMN4AXKLHM/img.jpg?width=980" id="b4a9b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1bd98f020e54141526253f25f29eb194" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Project manager outlines a process for her team" /><p>A large component of the project manager's job is solving problems of virtually any nature. This requires strong communication skills; in fact, most surveys conclude that 65% to 85% of a project manager's time is spent on communication.</p><p>Communication has been identified as one of the top transferable skills today, so it would make sense that effective project managers would have strong communication skills. As such, the project manager would have a definite leg up on the competition and I couldn't agree more!</p><p>In a previous article I published on LinkedIn, "The Many Hats of the PM" (1), I give examples of the notion that minimal, working knowledge of all functional areas in an organization is also a fundamental skill of a project manager. As project managers, we are constantly getting involved to solve problems in operations, finance, quality, sales, or HR departments, to name just a few.</p><p>A project manager's days are never alike, and this can be both challenging yet rewarding. The ability to communicate effectively across departments is no easy task so the project manager must tailor the communication style to each situation and individual stakeholder. It is for this reason that an entire module covering stakeholder management was created in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (or PMBoK).</p><p>So, basically yes—the project manager is oftentimes expected to solve everyone's problems!</p>
3. Project Management Is An Operational Function, Or Is It?<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUxMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNTg0NDY1MX0.1c-MP-TxdK8ggu26KijWcRGgOpSMx9H1H0j3Pc_Cci8/img.jpg?width=980" id="bd5ee" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="04b4564b17649cf9f60bbb3ef0c87fcb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Team meets about project management" /><p>This is definitely a trick question and really depends on the organization. From a project manager's point of view, being considered as an operational unit can be quite frustrating since the Project Management Office (or PMO) should really be an independent area, especially if (and since!) it is running a business inside of a business.</p><p>I had a specific experience where, in the same company, one division considered the PMO as an independent department, whereas another division treated it as an operational unit. In the latter case, the company assigned a Director of "Projects and Operations" (POD) to manage both sub-divisions of the same department. Whenever customer situations arose and it was required to choose between the two, the operations unit always won out, as preference was given to the manufacturing facility.</p><p>When following the PMBoK principles, project managers should always resolve matters in favor of the customer. Consequently, the departments who produce products and services are, in fact, suppliers of the PMO. I have been fortunate to have participated in several culture change projects aimed at resolving this very question. This is definitely not an easy concept for more traditional manufacturing companies to accept or implement.</p>
4. Project Managers Don't Have Governing Rules To Play By<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUxNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTYxNDI4M30.FYLKbyqxIWHS9u2tQRyFSBXutHs8QV9cn0wH2BvEe98/img.jpg?width=980" id="1b38e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c4717b1f9a55fdd572c19df445005da0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Project manager writes on a whiteboard" /><p>Project managers must follow the principles of the PMBoK, currently in its sixth edition. This guide book is the basis for the highly coveted Project Management Professional (or PMP) certification (2).</p><p>To be eligible to even take the PMP exam, a project manager must meet the following criteria:</p><ul><li>3-5 years of non-overlapping professional project management experience</li><li>4,500-7,500 hours leading and directing projects</li><li>35 hours of formal project management education</li></ul><p>Even with these minimum criteria, only 50-60% of project managers actually pass the PMP Exam on the first try.</p><p>Once the exam is successfully passed, the credential is awarded for a three-year term, during which 60 PDUs (professional development units) must be earned in order to maintain it, and then for each subsequent three-year cycle.</p><p>From an ethics and responsibility standpoint, the credential can be revoked should the project manager be found guilty of any ethical violation per the rules of the PMI.</p>
5. Project Managers Are Hard-Nosed, Inflexible, And Domineering<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUxNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzAyNTEwOH0.pBDuQ8HvfsCF8XhimhG2oGjcPk9Hg5fsjDyJaxP2uMc/img.jpg?width=980" id="5b64f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f9f5d71ad7a0353c05768c822b605235" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Co-workers discuss project management during a meeting" /><p>While this can be true to some extent, the very fact that PMI included a specific module aimed at stakeholder management in its sixth edition, published in September 2017, reinforces the notion that project managers must properly identify ALL stakeholders that have ANY level of involvement on their project. The key words here are ALL and ANY.</p><p>As such, the project manager's ability to not only identify these people and their perceived effect on the project, but also engage them in an effective way, are paramount to a successful project. This means knowing not only the level or degree of influence, but also the preferred method of communication (email, text/WhatsApp, messenger, telephone, face to face, etc.) for each stakeholder.</p><p>Once this plan has been developed, a communications strategy should then be developed. This will include another important transferable skill: negotiation. When it comes to negotiation, effective project managers can benefit greatly from training or exposure to public debate forums, Model UN simulations, and knowledge of the legal system (among others) to enhance this skill. From my experience, when I am communicating, I seem to always be negotiating something relevant to my project.</p><p>Good negotiators must be flexible enough to arrive at a solution for all parties involved. As such, a domineering, inflexible personality would not be the most desirable one to achieve long-term success and sustainability.</p>
6. Project Managers Have A Limited Career Path<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUxNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMTM2NTMwN30.JmF8GPfPjK8CAiBUa03oJe3tb9i-F_NSPL4sTTT-anw/img.jpg?width=980" id="b2744" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1742f5751e81f28b37332db5f6bf9e81" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Project manager presenting ideas to his team" /><p>As a somewhat misunderstood and sometimes under-appreciated profession, some think that a project manager has topped out in the profession once achieving the "project manager" title. In my 25+ years in the profession, I have seen that, despite the stereotypical stigmas attached, project managers do indeed have a career path and can easily progress to top management positions.</p><p>It really depends on the type of organization you are in or are targeting. Nevertheless, I find that, for companies who have a proper PMO in place, the typical progression is:</p><p>Project Expeditor to Project Planner to Project Coordinator</p><p>Project Manager to Project Director to V.P. of Projects (or Program Manager)</p><p>In other companies, the progression may stop at the Senior Project Manager position, after which another position may be offered. It is always good to ask the company for an organizational chart to see what your career path would be, as well as any gaps you may need to fill.</p>
7. Programs Are Just Glorified Projects<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUxOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5Njk0NTM1NH0.zA10Oi-T4rh5FtGTEqUp9VAiVJ9YQNeDjNTVL445jpQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="fee66" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1b30fa7d2e1d772493441c4ea70abfe1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Project managers meet in a coffee shop" /><p>The rise of the program management function is relatively recent and can also be misunderstood.</p><p>Kim Chan published an article on this (3), and I like how she summarized the differences between project and program management:<br><br>Projects: Have a defined scope, a start and an end date</p><p>Project managers: Manage team, content, scope, schedules, resources, risks, and perform more technical tasks while assessing project requirements. They ensure projects get completed on time, and within budget.<br><br>Programs: Are a collection of projects with NO END DATE</p><p>Program managers: Focus on managing portfolios, people, politics, and negotiations while performing more strategic tasks, such as business strategy. They also handle change management (business, environment) and are responsible for maximizing ROI and value delivery.</p><p>The question I sometimes ask myself is if companies, recruiters, and customers really understand these differences and value propositions when identifying skill sets and job descriptions.</p>
8. Re-Branding Of PMI<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI4MjUyMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzk3MjA5MH0.hMiUeMZyQF0sskkoAohIZiHnfAWpp-TWzf6jWZ6Uf7k/img.jpg?width=980" id="46982" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f9dc5e6587b6063ba848a0ad8c773fe5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Project manager outlines a project with sticky notes" /><p>One of the things I like about PMI is that it remains relevant by identifying and responding to trends in the economy, such as IoT, VUCA, and Design Thinking, along with a variety of ways to manage projects by using methods such as Waterfall, Agile, and Hybrid.</p><p>We are certainly in the throes of the IoT revolution, with most industries having already adopted digital strategies. This, coupled with the cultural transition of power from baby boomers to Gen X and millennials, pushed PMI to re-think the core purpose of its mission and value proposition across industries.</p><p>Based on this new vision, a new logo was launched in October 2019, with 10 pillars identified as keys to success for the future:</p><ul><li>Collaboration</li><li>Determination</li><li>*Change*</li><li>Innovation</li><li>Teamwork</li><li>Outcomes</li><li>Growth</li><li>Vision</li><li>Community</li><li>*Philanthropy*</li></ul><p>For more details on this increased customer-centric approach, please visit:</p><p><a href="https://pmi-dvc.org/about/new-brand-faq" target="_blank">https://pmi-dvc.org/about/new-brand-faq</a></p>
Your company has changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it possible and, frankly, incredibly necessary to reassess your business strategy. You have an unprecedented opportunity to transform your company to ensure success and even gain further progress in the new world we will all be living in.
Employees<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3Mjg0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODkzNjg3MH0.NpfaeSahI-G3YHydZZAFM_l07OTvD69Ws0XPHD4rDtY/img.jpg?width=980" id="fc515" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4349a2e0a7031333160309d1950945f8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of employees at work post -COVID-19" /><p><strong>Your #1 Assets' Concerns</strong></p><p>How you respond to your employees will impact engagement, trust, and loyalty for many years to come.</p><p>Employees are experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress and, according to grief expert David Kessler in an interview with <a href="https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief" target="_blank">Harvard Business Review</a>, "...we're feeling a number of different griefs...The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we're grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air." In addition, there is "another type of grief, anticipatory grief, which focuses on the uncertainty of the future and shatters our sense of safety."</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Provide Well-Being And Financial Security:</u></em> Develop additional employee benefit costs to cover on-going COVID-19 medical bills, stay at home costs, and mental health costs. Provide additional financial assistance to help employees get through this hard time.</li><li><em><u>Focus On Mental Health:</u> </em>Promote your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or other outside resources. Show empathy and compassion and listen to your employees' concerns.</li><li><em><u>Adapt To New Ways Of Working:</u> </em>Continue workplace flexibility by offering flextime and providing remote working tailored to the employee and the company needs.</li><li><em><u>Build Team Morale:</u></em> Create virtual connection opportunities, such as coffee breaks, lunches, around the water cooler topics, happy hours, etc.</li></ul>
Leadership<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3Mjg1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzI3NDg0NH0.1zxzLExllhsS6qFtjJpDJkNYAdTIN9YG7oZznqbUYAM/img.jpg?width=980" id="f1da4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="361bbb655b81e662b39a6e0392237f60" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman leads her company during COVID-19" /><p><strong>Unprecedented Crisis Management</strong></p><p>According to PwC's most recent <a href="https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/advisory/forensics/global-crisis-survey/living-with-crisis.html?utm_campaign=sbpwc&utm_medium=site&utm_source=articletext" target="_blank">Global Crisis Survey</a>, nearly seven in 10 leaders (69 percent) have experienced at least one corporate crisis in the last five years in their companies, and the average number of crises experienced in these firms is greater than three. However, most leaders have not experienced a crisis of this magnitude.</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Develop A Revised Strategic Plan:</u> </em>Review financial assumptions, growth expectations, key strategic drivers, allocation of resources, and processes. Identify on-going initiatives & future investment.</li><li><em><u>Create And Revise Your Crisis And Business Continuity Plans:</u> </em>Ensure that they include plans for pandemics based on what you have learned and experienced. Make them specific.</li><li><em><u>Have A Clear Understanding Of Your Supply Chain:</u> </em>This should include raw materials where possible. Identify vulnerabilities, especially from a global perspective.</li><li><em><u>Identify All Potential Points Of Failure:</u></em> Develop contingency plans for all critical processes and the departments and teams responsible for them.</li><li><em><u>Continue To Drive Innovation:</u></em><ul><li>Challenge Orthodoxies: Widely held and unchallenged assumptions that a company holds. The key is to evaluate your company's beliefs (product, business model, customers) to inspire innovation.</li><li>Forcing Constraints: Help drive innovation by considering how your business would operate under different circumstances.</li><li>Working Outside Of Your Organization: Innovating via collaboration (partnerships, acquisitions, etc.).</li><li>Move Quickly: Consider relaxing constraints and process, (perfect later down the road, right now will cost you valuable time), and ensure you are promoting collaboration.</li></ul></li></ul>
Consumers<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3Mjg2MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjkyMDQ2MX0.N4N1j45GH9Kw_u8xJXD1ppIEP6aImJ6Xj8CvJGygyzk/img.jpg?width=980" id="f19e8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6a484108011340829d0c4e9f3c8f4cd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman presents a plan to transform her company post-COVID-19" /><p><strong></strong><strong>Consumers' Economic Recovery Concerns</strong></p><p>The economy has come to a near-complete standstill with rising unemployment. Thirty million people have filed for unemployment claims for the six weeks March 15 - April 25, 2020 alone. Those who still have jobs are concerned about losing their jobs, making upcoming payments, and are most likely to delay large purchases based on a study from <a href="https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/retail-distribution/consumer-behavior-trends/covid-19-recovery.html" target="_blank">Deloitte.com</a>. Forty-six percent of U.S. consumers said they plan to reduce spending in the coming weeks based on a <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/how-consumer-goods-companies-can-prepare-for-the-next-normal?cid=other-eml-alt-mbl-mck&hlkid=ce57c66b13f24061b9b512b40e5f6b5e&hctky=9530436&hdpid=d0327454-3339-4488-ad3e-c1549f055933" target="_blank">McKinsey.com</a> survey. As consumer expectations change, it will be important for organizations to better align their offerings and activities with consumer interests and values, delivering upon their needs.</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Be Careful About Taking Price Increases</u></em><em><u>:</u></em> Especially during this time of relatively inelastic demand to avoid being seen as profiteering.</li><li><em><u>Trading Down</u></em><em><u>:</u> </em>Value for the money will become a key driver with consumers switching to cheaper brands, private labels, bulk buying, and/or stockpiling.</li><li><em><u>Shoppers Seeking Deals</u></em><em><u>:</u> </em>Fewer more efficient promotions that are personalized and targeted to drive frequency and spending. </li><li><em><u>Cutting Back On Non-Essentials</u></em><em><u>:</u></em> Two-thirds of U.S. shoppers said they would cut back on high-end luxury goods, one-third would cut back on cosmetics based on a <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/how-consumer-goods-companies-can-prepare-for-the-next-normal?cid=other-eml-alt-mbl-mck&hlkid=ce57c66b13f24061b9b512b40e5f6b5e&hctky=9530436&hdpid=d0327454-3339-4488-ad3e-c1549f055933" target="_blank">McKinsey.com</a> survey.</li><li><em><u>Customer-First Approach:</u></em> As consumer behavior changes (more digital/online engagement, refocus on home occasions, shifting channels, etc.) during this pandemic, it's important to take a customer-first approach to inform strategic and tactical decisions.</li></ul><p><strong>Health & Wellness Is A High Consumer Priority</strong></p><p>Health and wellness products are top of mind (42.5%), with consumers reporting buying more personal sanitizers (40.15%), medical care items like thermometers (22.75%), and wellness items like vitamins, CBD, and superfoods (21.6%), based on a survey from <a href="https://www.yotpo.com/blog/survey-how-is-covid-19-changing-consumer-ecommerce-trends/" target="_blank">Yotpo</a>. While everyone is currently trying to remain safe washing their hands, using hand sanitizers, sanitizing their carts & baskets, and wearing masks, post-COVID-19, their desire to remain safe and well will be stronger than ever. This will create opportunities for companies to provide health-boosting measures to make staying healthy effortless for their customers.</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Visibility On Product Sourcing & Safety:</u></em> Consumers are aware of the importance of strict hygiene and food safety and are looking for better visibility and transparency on product sourcing and manufacturing processes.</li><li><em><u>Contactless Focus:</u></em> Contactless payments, contactless delivery, curbside pickup, Instacart delivery service, innovative store layout to minimize chances of coronavirus spread, and incentivize customers to shop/order online.</li><li><em><u>Health & Foods Supporting Wellness And Immunity Are Priority:</u> </em>People are paying more attention to their nutrition and what they eat (supplements, natural ingredients, functional ingredients, clean label products).</li><li><em><u>Potential Growth In Plant-Based Protein As Safe Meat Alternative:</u></em> With COVID-19 threatening consumers' trust in meat, the focus may turn to plant-based protein options.</li><li><em><u>Provide Healthy, Nutritious Easy To Prepare Meal Solutions/Menus:</u></em> Consumers are spending more time in the kitchen cooking from scratch.</li><li><em><u>Emphasize Health & Cleanliness In Marketing Message</u></em></li></ul><p><strong>Consumers Shift To Home-Based Activities</strong></p><p>Consumers are expected to spend more time at home post-COVID-19 driven by a desire to save money, persistent safety concerns, and a newfound pleasure in nesting based on <a href="https://www.nhh.no/en/research-centres/food/food-news/2020/how-fmcg-can-prepare-for-the-next-normal/" target="_blank">McKinsey Experts</a>. Brands need to keep marketing their products and services but must innovate their way through these consumer behavior changes.</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Provide Entertainment Products & Services:</u></em> Live-streaming events, books/materials, games & puzzles, happy hours supplies/events.</li><li><em><u>Offer At Home Eating Solutions:</u> </em>Home cooking ideas & tutorials, cook-at-home kits, food delivery solutions, catering services.</li><li><em><u>Promote Hobby Products & Services:</u></em> Gardening, arts & crafts, DIY, learning something new (i.e. language, skills, etc), home renovations.</li><li><em><u>Showcase Fitness Ideas & Solutions:</u></em> Class tutorials, equipment.</li></ul>
Marketing<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3Mjg1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwOTQyMTEwN30.KJG7GBp1eTMdziwWaWsVdfK0OpspHTJJU6zfCAiWCJ8/img.jpg?width=980" id="d7dda" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1091b1050803445d50a907ee04ee7a0f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Marketing team changes its strategy during COVID-19" /><p><strong></strong><strong>How Marketing Will Need To Shift</strong></p><p>Marketers need to continue to re-evaluate their 2020 marketing plans and stick to their long-term marketing strategies. As they do, they need to keep in mind that people are fearful about their health, jobs, and safety of their loved ones. It will be important for marketers to keep this in mind as they start to build trust and share their message to consumers.</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Transform Into A Purpose-Led Brand:</u></em> Prioritize building a deep relationship beyond selling, focusing on helping customers as they can act as a powerful champion of the brand. Do not exploit COVID-19 as a commercial opportunity.</li><li><em><u>Show Empathy:</u> </em>Promote your brand in a way that shows some awareness of the challenges consumers and businesses are facing right now.</li><li><em><u>Focus On Digital Marketing:</u></em> Online activity and traffic has significantly increased. Coupled with a reduction in digital ad spend, there are opportunities to expand your reach with PPC, both search and display.</li><li><em><u>Effective E-Commerce Tactics:</u></em> Content marketing, PPC ads, email marketing, and social media marketing.</li></ul>
Channels<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3Mjg1MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDc3MDQ5OX0.7QTX3Hue94IUS2yxgZvgHV0u0Bh5MFsjsycm8bhJl7w/img.jpg?width=980" id="67a64" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="92cbf27d078706d23c2e3d961a4cbee8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of professionals meet about changing the company post-COVID-19" /><p><strong>Driving Your Digital Commerce Transformation</strong></p><p>Digital commerce has rapidly accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing businesses to re-evaluate their channel strategy in the hopes of capturing their fair share of the new digital customer segment.</p><p><strong>Actions You Can Take</strong></p><ul><li><em><u>Alternate Payments:</u></em> Provide alternate payment options such as Venmo (cash-based transactions) to offering payment plan options (luxury, discretionary type items).</li><li><em><u>Scaling Customer Support:</u></em> Beef up product information, self-help resources, chat functionality, social media channel support, and a community of brand advocates.</li><li><em><u>Prioritize Consumer Digital Experience:</u></em> Users want a high-quality experience regardless of device, location, browser, or network.</li><li><em><u>Operational Continuity:</u></em> Set customer expectations and establish safety stock levels to ensure you can meet commitments. Optimize buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) and consider scheduled pickups, curbside pickup, and delivery options to reduce exposure risks. Consider purchase limitations for high demand products.</li><li><em><u>Be Honest With Fees:</u></em> Now is the time where customer loyalty is vital. Be honest with all of your fees upfront. Consider removing delivery/shipping costs, as this could make the difference for a repeat customer.</li><li><em><u>Outline Shipping And Return Policies:</u></em> Be upfront with your policies. During this time, consider offering extended returns to keep customers coming back and ensure you are keeping them updated on the status of their order.</li></ul>
This article is for all of the frontline healthcare teams working at hospitals across the country—thank you!
I am blessed to have worked with top-notch leaders who frequently informed our team: "If you come to me with a problem, it would be helpful if you had an idea for a possible solution." That's how this article started.
Be Present<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTcxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDE0Nzc1Nn0.vjhR5RpP5d4UswRIz4tE-_EIBIYSHO8pIaM7OvO16dM/img.jpg?width=980" id="c2c2e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="81ca5933c63bf78bf6d5e11576dfb42d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Female healthcare worker stressed during the COVID-19 global pandemic" /><p>Your career in healthcare challenges you to have difficult conversations with the patients and families you serve. Because of this, physicians and nurses use the defenses necessary to manage their emotions during each interaction they have.</p><p>When you consider that there are over thirty defenses you can use to manage your feelings and hundreds of words to express the feelings and emotions you have, this can be a challenging process—almost an art form. Because while you're feeling these feelings, you need to maintain composure, professionalism, and tact while having some of the saddest conversations patients and families will hear. "I'm sorry; she's not going to make it through the night." "We have the results of your tests, why don't we sit down and discuss them." "Your son has been in an accident; we'll bring you in to see him in a moment, but first, I need to explain his injuries…"</p><p>When I worked with an Emergency Department team preparing for a code, I never witnessed anything other than intense professionalism, compassion, and collaboration. Some nurses later described their mental preparation as "putting on my game face" to help them work as quickly as possible to save each patient's life in their care.</p><p>When I think of what the term "game face" really means, my thinking is that this consists of the top defenses used to help our teams cope with the challenges faced daily.</p><p>While a "game face" may work for a problematic code or a high-volume period, it will not work for the length of a global pandemic.</p><p>Sir Isaac Newton's third law states: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." In this case, this means that for every "game face" period you (as an experienced healthcare professional) use, you should have an equal amount of time to focus on being present for your colleagues and the patients in your care.</p><p>Presence means drifting back a little (and yes, this is a relative term that depends on your ability to do so during your shift) and having more authentic, supportive conversations with your colleagues and patients.</p><p>The most important lesson is not to just hunker down and use your defenses to navigate through each shift. Take the time to validate the work being done by your team so that you all feel supported.</p>
Analyze Everything<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTcxNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjUyMjkzMH0.ZzMSILiCa_hIMJgISzbeGSSaJiSgcDoZlBlXpEeiDis/img.jpg?width=980" id="398e4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a69f331115234f70aa3ebe9e46ef9c71" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Team of healthcare workers navigate the COVID-19 crisis" /><p>Analyze your shift when it is over, the experiences you had, and the lessons you learned. Ask yourself the following seven questions:</p><ol><li><strong>What was the most challenging situation I experienced during my day?</strong></li><li><strong>What was the most difficult conversation I had with a patient or colleague?</strong></li><li><strong>What was the most intense emotion I felt?</strong></li><li><strong>What was the best part of my day? </strong></li><li><strong>What did I see one of my colleagues do that inspired me or made me change the way I do something? </strong></li><li><strong>What was something a patient or colleague told me that was supportive or motivated me during my shift?</strong></li><li><strong>What is something positive I learned about myself today?</strong></li></ol><p>These debriefing type questions are essential to ask because their answers anchor the lessons and experiences you attained during your shift. </p>
Selfless<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTcxNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NzMxMDAxOH0.z7ykQnVPLyLAMmIf-MgJEtE1phxcuLtOGa7CQhmI1Mw/img.jpg?width=980" id="f8b93" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4a13987dabc4bc83368e4111057b523d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of healthcare workers discuss their concerns during COVID-19" /><p>Across the country, there is an increased awareness that you have exceeded selflessness as a result of your presence every day at your hospitals and clinics without always having the equipment, support, or staffing you need. </p><p>Keep going, but don't lose sight of these three key points:</p><ol><li>Selflessness is an admirable quality, but please pay attention to your needs as much as you do for everyone else in your care. </li><li>Set your team up for success by modeling leadership and professionalism—even if it's not in your job title.</li><li>Anticipating your team's needs will help provide support and cohesion while also reducing unanticipated stress or complications.</li></ol>
Tact<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTcyMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNTc2MDE1Nn0.o0ESKKUTHOTdaMQwaBV2UGr4SLi-f8-yxVLmHyXgYxc/img.jpg?width=980" id="9a434" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bf64133730461c92fea06eb2f56c968c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Female healthcare worker wears a mask during the COVID-19 global pandemic" /><p>In any healthcare environment, you will have conversations with patients, and families are some of the most difficult ones to hear. Your goal is to have the conversations you need to have as tactfully as possible, taking into consideration their feelings and emotions. </p><p>The more authentic you are, the more comfortable and engaging your conversations will be. The other important factor to consider is paying attention to micro-expressions. </p><p>Micro-expressions are the split-second non-verbal expressions you see on the faces of the people you're speaking with. If they appear to be questioning what you're saying or don't understand the words or terminology you may be using, stop the conversation and check-in with them. Ask: "Tell me what you heard me say," or "Do you have any questions that I can answer before I continue?"</p><p>Remember that, like you, the patients and families you are communicating with are also using their defenses to help them manage their feelings and emotions related to their care (or the care of their loved ones). They may feel scared or anxious because they may not understand the terminology or acronyms used. </p><p>Some examples of the defenses we use include intellectualization, rationalization, humor, and sarcasm—just to name a few. While they help us cope with our emotions while we continue to work in our departments, they also serve to conceal emotions like sadness, anger, frustration, resentment, stress, and irritability, among others. </p><p>These defenses are appropriate, and healthcare professionals have a way of using them all in an immensely self-protective manner that supports you and your team throughout your shift. </p><p>The challenge is making sure you can talk about your feelings when the time is right. Strategies such as talking to colleagues, journaling or video blogging, exercise, and talking to family members or friends are all essential when discussing your feelings. Most importantly, make sure you take the time to get them out instead of "stuffing them" or completely detaching them.</p>
Intuition<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTY5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNjI4Nzk2MX0.X16ePzXhBO74UtJatJQNVqjMfI-NxGdGNGY4CliI7MQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="ddfa0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="28c10fe00441c3a35df91ca03dc2c1ec" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Two male healthcare professionals working during the COVID-19 crisis" /><p>Your intuition is critical. It's that gut feeling you have that tells you "look a little closer at this lab result," or "pay more attention to the nonverbal expressions of your patient," or "listen closely to what your team is telling you about how stressed they feel." </p><p>Your intuition is equally as crucial as your intellect and professional experience, especially when having critical conversations with patients and families. Whether it's a pause in a conversation, a look on a patient's face, or a sense that something's not quite right, it's essential to pay attention to your intuition and listen to it.</p>
Open-Mindedness<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTY5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODY0Njk5OH0.MUCSmI6C4eot4mJzQzEYIHeGwF230vpqHM7EliK097c/img.jpg?width=980" id="feb55" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3326ba7791dfeda1091a955dfb1427dc" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of healthcare professionals working during the COVID-19 pandemic" /><p>One of the biggest challenges in healthcare is not always knowing who will be coming through the door next, how acute their symptoms will be, and who they may or may not have with them for support. </p><p>From your interactions with them, you will learn that your patient is a father or mother, sister or brother, partner, or spouse. The more time you spend with them, the faster they will transcend from the "patient in room 4" to someone with a name, a family, a legacy. You may not have the time necessary to know all there is to know about them, but you will have enough time to engage with them in a manner that shows you their challenges, vulnerability, strength, and heart. </p><p>Keep an open mind about who they are, as their relationship with you may be the last interaction they have.</p>
Navigate To Your True North<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE3NTY5Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTQwMDM3N30._qpCgtbkzcObRE6J3Z3F1rV1ykPVlCzILI6-_a0heb4/img.jpg?width=980" id="e539d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="29a0a5aefe5d74b2fcb7139a538dda07" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Female doctor texts her family during the COVID-19 pandemic" /><p>You chose your career in healthcare for a reason. However, a global pandemic may not have been on your radar, and now the challenge becomes how to navigate your emotions, conversations, interactions, and stress.</p><p><strong>You:</strong> Develop a routine that will help you navigate these difficult days ahead. While you can't always predict what's going to happen, you can control how you respond to it. The more of a routine you can develop for yourself, the less stress you will have.</p><p><strong>Your career:</strong> What's your why? Why did you decide to have a career in healthcare; what was it that attracted you to working with patients and families? The more grounded you are in your reasoning and the foundation of your career, the easier it will be to cope with your stress. </p><p><strong>Your team:</strong> Pay attention to how your team is doing. Are you all working collaboratively and cohesively? If you notice that a colleague has called out, check in with them. While they may say they're "handling everything," they may not be. They may attempt to show you that they can keep up with the team and the demands of what's going on when, in fact, they may not be able to, which is difficult to admit when you know your team is depending on you. Take the lead; you will stay stronger together.</p><p><strong>Your family:</strong> How are you communicating with your family, and how are they managing the "perfect storm" of the stress of your career, being isolated at home, and not knowing how long this global pandemic will last?</p><p>Establish a routine time to check in with each other. The more you can build a set routine that works for you and your family, the easier it will be for all of you to navigate your stresses and challenges.</p><p><strong>Your children:</strong> Pay attention to the way that you're communicating with your family. They know you are under a lot of stress that they may not comprehend (especially if you have younger children). Tell your family a little bit about your day. Using age-appropriate feeling words like "happy," "sad," "good," or "bad" will help them understand a little more about the care you are providing and help reduce their stress.<br></p>
As a former Eagle Scout, the motto of "Be Prepared" has served me well when camping outdoors, navigating young adulthood, and now as a global business leader and parent.
People<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE2OTcyOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NDEyMjM2MH0.SEih3JXHsbSjWqYkJrlUkV8I2ABwOp1p95sCFd7T06w/img.jpg?width=980" id="4d23b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb3d8dead7b28e3edb78302c054464ef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman successfully leads her team after a crisis" /><p><em>"Low tide makes it a lot easier to see the rocks." —Unknown Explorer</em></p><p><em></em>Armed with this improved vision and clarity, proactive leaders and businesses should act quickly to assess and re-tool their teams for the inevitable rebound. Top-tier businesses often strive to use this as a <em>first-mover advantage </em>of sorts, where differentiation and competitive advantage can be gained by the bold.</p><p><span></span><strong>1. Upskill Employees & Leaders -</strong> Current events are clearly highlighting the importance of <em>remote operating skills</em> for formerly office-based employees and the <em>virtual team leadership</em> skills that are needed to make these <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/fun-activities-for-remote-employees" target="_blank">remote teams</a> effective. Even big companies who routinely manage complex global operations are once again learning "on the fly" with different sets of employees being challenged with communication, technology, and infrastructure security challenges like never before.</p><p><strong>2. Retain & Upgrade Talent -</strong> Workforce planning decisions are likely being made quickly, so being prepared with a thorough and up-to-date talent management program is especially helpful when addressing organizational challenges in the crucial areas of:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">a) Retention - Having key talent identified and retention plans in place is critical to stabilizing the organization. Are there opportunities to utilize key talent in unique ways to help broaden and/or deepen skill development in preparation for the rebound?</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">b) Talent Upgrades - Now is the time to revisit bench strength assessments in light of recent learnings. Do we have the technical and leadership capabilities in-house today? If not, how do we best acquire these new and needed skills & leaders?</p><p><strong>3. Adapt The Organization -</strong> Different from the everyday work of consolidating layers, departments, and management to maximize efficiency, a truly disruptive change provides the opportunity to apply new learnings and take an enlightened, longer-term view on how best to adapt the organization:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">a) Empowered Teams - It's refreshing to see remote leaders who are the most knowledgeable on local conditions step up and lead in a crisis. Recognizing these efforts will inspire confidence and build depth & bench strength.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">b) Identify Future Leaders - The likely increase of remote operations and virtual leaders will mean identifying and growing tomorrow's leaders today. </p>
Culture Change<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE2OTcyOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5MTkyODg1NX0.bAXWhJOO9Es1GDLd6B6lT7Oi_X5BJJXNCL--zXeOEY4/img.jpg?width=980" id="2c767" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="50af36216049f2ea10d2d8c955a29a67" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Employees talking about the change in company culture after a crisis" /><p><em>"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste" … "Never waste a failure" … "Crisis is the birthplace of lasting change" —Top Business Leaders & Coaches</em></p><p><em></em>The most difficult part of leading effective change is often just getting started. Leaders and change agents must articulate a case for change compelling enough to overcome the ever-present organizational inertia.</p><p>In times of crisis, though, the script often writes itself and top <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-manage-through-chaos" target="_blank">business leaders</a> aim to seize that momentum and make the needed changes to evolve or transform their teams and companies in preparation for the post-crisis marketplace.</p><p><strong>1. Shaping The Vision -</strong> With the internet and news channels detailing the crisis in depth 24/7 and even fanning the flames to some extent, business leaders can focus their efforts on building and shaping the vision for what makes sense for their particular business. Being able to describe desired outcomes in terms that are observable, measurable, and can be widely understood is the aim.</p><p>For example, the behavioral nuances surrounding <em>building trust remotely</em> or even just holding <em>effective virtual meetings</em> are likely to be formidable challenges for tomorrow's leaders and organizations. </p><p><strong>2. Leadership Commitment -</strong> Once business leaders have secured leadership team support and the cross-functional commitment needed, it's time to roll out the initiative across the entire business. Although post-crisis change initiatives are typically met with significantly lower levels of resistance, key elements such as empathy and social responsibility will likely take on added prominence and will be crucial to cascading a message that resonates through the chaos and builds sufficient organizational commitment.</p><p>This will take hands-on leadership and personal commitment by senior leaders. "Early adopters" who display desired behaviors and have the skillset to thrive in the "new normal" will be critical advocates here as the business aims to transform itself.</p>
Business Processes<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE2OTcyMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5ODU1MDA0MX0.iQy4exMwbN4QhR-Y_4dsL473o-YrsS6IHoj988atOsQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="f6267" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="84daabf48fd1afdd5bce55cf726ac190" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man presents new business processes after a crisis" /><p><em>"A new house needs new furniture." —Anonymous Spouse</em></p><p><em></em>For many companies, business operations and organization structures will change significantly as a result of current events. As business leaders, now is the time to contemplate needed post-crisis "step-changes" when assessing business process requirements and optimizing operations for the "new normal" ahead.</p><p><strong>1. Remove Unnecessary Work / Prioritize -</strong> Significant efficiency gains can often be realized by simply eliminating business processes that are no longer relevant. Particularly in a post-crisis recovery environment, business leaders need to eliminate the risk of teams doing all their "old work" in addition to required "new work" by being unrelenting in weeding out activities and processes that are unnecessary and no longer needed.</p><p>Prioritization of required activities will follow as workforce levels begin to ramp back up, but taking the opportunity to "clean house" before volume ramps back up can significantly improve <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/be-more-productive-at-work" target="_blank">employee productivity</a> and workplace morale in these challenging times.</p><p><strong>2. Monitoring Progress / Making It Last -</strong> With major changes likely happening simultaneously throughout the business, keeping teams focused and measuring progress towards the desired end-state is likely an even bigger challenge than usual. Regardless of the process improvement tools chosen, clear communication of goals and objectives with an appropriate level of weekly / monthly / quarterly rigor that holds leaders accountable will likely be the difference between successfully transforming the business to a "new normal" or falling short.</p><p>Clear milestones, early wins, and celebrating success every step of the way is almost always a winning combination.</p><p><strong>3. Changing Systems & Structures -</strong> A final key element worthy of leadership focus is the myriad of underlying business systems and structures designed to support the current state of the business. Following a major crisis, significant changes will likely be needed to support the desired future state as these systems must be able to both influence and reinforce the behaviors you are trying to change.</p><p>Being later in the process, there is risk that funding and resources may have already been used elsewhere, but leaders should understand that not changing systems and structures in a permanent way likely means falling short of their desired future state goal. </p>
Risk Perspectives From The Sidelines: Post-Crisis Risk Management, Business Continuity, And Personal Survival
I admire Coach K, so "March Madness" has turned into March Sadness, and the new reigning champs are our frontline essential workers. The month will be remembered as one of the saddest times on record.
Disruptors<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE1OTQ3NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDc0NjU4MX0.-VOjs069fmjTgocWODi3r5u7uDTpSWGPIkkAjOnw_tA/img.png?width=980" id="2f0f1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="71c17d454b0a684bfe93d31c907934c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The 2011 Japan earthquake resulted in significant loss, including the Fukushima reactor meltdown, and supply chain disruption in the auto industry, auto assembly, and other third-party auto vendors in Japan.</p><p>Hospitals found saline suddenly in short supply after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, one of the largest distributors of saline bags and pharmaceuticals. Other hurricanes caused disruption in construction due to demand and availability of product (lumber, sheet metal, HVAC, etc.). And the WTC attacks were seen, in 2001, as the most significant event "ever." But then there was the "too big to fail" financial meltdown in 2008, which many in the insurance industry saw coming. And now, it appears COVID-19 has so far exceeded our worst of the worst, and we don't know when the end is in sight.</p><p>The coronavirus has finally debunked the nation's perspective that "it won't happen in my backyard" (common for those not in coastal, tornado, wildfire, or earthquake areas). That said, we must look at what we have done, and what we must do going forward to be better prepared for these "anomalies."</p><p>Organizations that have figured out survival have done a couple key things: become creative in response while honoring safety and valuing staff, and put resource plans in place for consequential events. (A colleague of mine noted over two months ago that she needed to go brush off and review her pandemic manual. Yes, they had one, it was tested, and they were able to put it in place immediately.) Much more effective and less costly than going out of business.</p><p>This is the first in a short series of considerations and recommendations to be able to manage your insurance and risk issues during and after the coronavirus.</p>
How To Manage Your Insurance & Risk Issues After COVID-19<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="70193393cc307c1501881fc096ed92ca"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/to8rngUebBc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong></strong><strong>First:</strong> READ YOUR POLICIES and ask questions. Lots of them. Work with your agent or broker now to assess the current disruption in the insurance market (for your business, life, health, benefits, and your home and personal lines). There will be a significant amount of litigation (similar to 9/11) related to insurer bad faith due to vague policy language.</p><p>Expect that your insurance rates may increase, but don't be afraid to ask why. Now might not be a time to "shop" your insurance, since insurers do reward loyalty and this year there are additional incentives. (Allstate, American Family, Farmers, Hanover Insurance, Liberty Mutual, MetLife Auto & Home, Nationwide, State Farm, Travelers, and USAA have all indicated they will be providing some form of premium relief or reduction on personal policies, and Progressive will also include some business clients.)</p><p><strong>Second:</strong> There is plenty of discussion around whether existing property policies have business interruption coverage, and the insurance companies appear somewhat unified. If a business did not have any "direct physical damage," then the coverage likely does not apply for standard property policies.</p><p>Some insurers who write specialized programs and institutions, like higher ed or hospitals, may have some coverage carved into their forms. Ask anyway. Find out if it will be excluded on your renewal.</p><p>If you have the opportunity to "buy back," what are the significant terms and restrictions related to that coverage? Large organizations are re-considering use of their captives to embed this coverage and fund these items within their owned captive insurance companies. This will require substantive discussions with finance and actuarial resources to ensure you have the cash flow to pay applicable premiums into the captive.</p><p><strong>Third:</strong> How will your business's health insurance be impacted by COVID-19? Since health insurers never priced in their actuarial models a pandemic, I suspect the costs will have to be recouped, and I doubt the federal government has a stash waiting to pay for this additional expense.</p><p>With your rates going up, can your employees afford any plan given recent layoffs?</p><p><strong>Fourth:</strong> Workers' compensation may be one of the most significant impacts on your business, so you should spend an equal amount of time assessing pre- and post-risk. How will you re-open? Will you continue to offer <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/tips-working-from-home" target="_blank">working from home</a> for those who request?</p><p>OSHA has issued guidance on handling COVID-19 related workplace operations. Implementation and consistency in managing these guidelines could positively, or negatively, impact the revival of your business.</p><p><strong>Fifth:</strong> How secure is your working from home environment? Have you pre-planned VPNs, regular testing of remote sites, and the security of confidential documents both online and paper?</p><p>If your 9-year-old inadvertently includes a confidential document sitting on your coffee table while she records on TikTok, did a new trade secret just get announced to the internet?</p>
Not all people tell the truth. Some complaints might be coming from elsewhere without realizing. Great marketing professionals can use their insight and experience to understand where the real issues are coming from to execute and take the company to the next level.
My Experience<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE0OTMzMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTYxMDM0MH0.KuCqiVUXI_6RAyv6Fibta-9V_zvKijNnYAMOnfqxLsA/img.jpg?width=980" id="b3bcb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4416202147cafad3374f9a8b8c7acff" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman presents a solution to the marketing team" /><p>One toy company I worked for had the development and HQ function in the U.S. One country's marketing team told me that they did not like the global unit packaging which the global brand team developed and requested to develop a completely new 3-in-1 packaging. In that new packaging they wanted to add a book. Furthermore, they requested to launch it one month early.</p><p>We showed the development progress to the marketing team many times, and used all of the development budget. During that time, no subsidiaries had anything against the packaging. We had little time left for their ideal launching schedule. The executives rejected the request.</p><p>We did a lot of analysis and communications. We were able to increase sales in that market for this item after the analysis and approval from the executives.</p><p><strong>How did we do that?</strong> I found out where the request came from. The team just wanted the lower unit pricing because they got buyer feedback that the price was too high. And we realized that in their market, their competitor's pricing was lower. If they added a book to the new packaging, it would be an added value and they could hit back-to-school season, too.</p><p>Although the price was still challenging, we were able to amortize the extra development cost because of the significant sales increase vs forecast by the 3-in-1 packaging.</p><p>There was a lot of work. We double-checked all the people on board to support this plan from different perspectives—production capacity, tooling schedule, logistic schedule, commitment from their buyers, packaging development schedule, book development and assembly process, and so on. In the process, the sales team was able to get the purchasing commitment from new retailers (bookstores) because of the book.</p><p>As a result, we were able to have everyone on board not only internally but external buyers as well, and we were able to support their request and had a 250% sales increase.</p><p>This experience helped me formulate my five steps that I use to determine where the real issues are coming from based on complaints and requests.</p><p>Here's how your marketing team can do the same.</p>
5 Steps To Determine Where The Issues Are Coming From<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE0OTIwMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNjUyMDQ5Mn0.cqRMRXpq5DF4Bzjn8CflhPDgM4f_tawcag02cmmEAfM/img.jpg?width=980" id="d1604" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bde451f9b89839587e1feb0d10ddf769" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Marketing team discusses project during a meeting" /><p><strong></strong><strong>1. Ask "Why?"</strong></p><p>If you ask "why?" five times, you'll eventually figure out the essential issues.</p><p><strong>2. Determine People & Place</strong></p><p>Who is complaining and where are they located? Put yourself in their shoes, and try to understand the challenges or problems they could be facing.</p><p><strong>3. Figure Out The Process</strong></p><p>How can you help them? Tools, investments, time, or money?</p><p><strong>4. Find Numbers To Focus On For Evaluation</strong></p><p>You'll know when you've accomplished your goal if you have numbers to strive for.</p><p><strong>5. List Who Needs To Get Involved</strong></p><p>Think about all the people that need to get involved and make them aware—internally and/or externally.</p>
Yesterday, we balanced home-working with office presence, trying to find free slots in each others' calendars for Skype calls with face-to-face meetings. Today, video meetings have become the default and no one can travel.
Four Stages of Team Development<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkzMDkwMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzU1NDYzNX0.4voTZ4zw98HKz9C2JJeCDknnpY7GUZ8_uR5_nhpS1IM/img.jpg?width=980" id="4cfd5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="938bb4e72dcd3d3b61faa3621e67ef8b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Co-workers meet to reach the performing stage of team development" /><p>First, some background.</p><p>In 1965, Bruce Tukman created a model for the stages of team development that reflects human behaviour and called it forming-storming-norming-performing:</p><p><strong>Forming</strong> <strong>-</strong> where team members suss each other out and can be slightly guarded and suspicious of each other, while outwardly the group appears harmonious.</p><p><strong>Storming -</strong> where conflict can arise as disagreements about the approach come to the surface.</p><p><strong>Norming -</strong> where the team settles into an agreed work pattern and roles and responsibilities are clarified.</p><p><strong>Performing -</strong> where the team is working at its full potential and delivering the intended results.</p><p>The challenge here is that the team may only arrive at the "performing" stage towards the end of the piece of work, sometimes never. This article explains how to get to the performing stage, ideally on the first day that the team is assembled.</p>
How To Get Your Teams To The "Performing" Stage<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9af9414748ab157e6177f7c2c11af780"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qntMfrjDqto?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>This is achieved via a "norming" meeting. The team should take a whole day and, ideally, have the meeting facilitated by a person who is not in the team. The facilitator will lead the team through all the roles and responsibilities.</p><p>And this is where the team can eliminate the first area of frustration. Major issues arise when the team assumes that one person will take care of a particular work item. For example, accountants are often asked to do anything that involves a spreadsheet. If they are on the team, perhaps they wanted to learn something else. Another team member may be very keen to pick up this work.</p><p>So, in addition to the work tasks, all the other activities related to the functioning of the team need to be divided out and assigned.</p><p>The second area of frustration concerns the "norms." When are team meetings to be held? What is the format? Who is taking notes? Do team members have personal requirements that the rest of the team can support? Clarifying all these questions can take care of issues before they start to create frustration and enables the team to jump through all the stages of team development in one go.</p><p>The objective is for the team to function at its full potential on the day it is assembled and for each member to enjoy the journey and take a step forward in their career. And the norming sessions themselves can be fun, too.</p>
Keeping your safety professionals happy in their careers can be a challenge for any organization. Just like creating a solid career path for our high performers, we must be able to keep our safety team motivated.
1. Put The Right Person In The Right Spot<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkwODQ5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwODQxMTQyMH0.WqmMDMnsQbsx8q91jWnWudJRTI_YscPifVn3lgUN8h4/img.jpg?width=980" id="19cda" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="85d0f99f31eec190e9215aaf0da601b8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of safety professionals talking on the job" /><p>This may seem like an obvious one, but it often isn't taken seriously enough. In reality, most organizations only tend to look at qualities like <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/develop-your-skills-at-work" target="_blank">hard skills or experience</a>, simply out of need to fill the role. These are important attributes to look for in a job applicant, but they shouldn't be the only consideration.</p><p><strong>When I hire a safety professional (or any professional) I always look at three prerequisites or "Ted's must-haves."</strong></p><p> First, they must show up on time, if not before the workday begins. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but in safety we are in a fish bowl and others are always watching us. We must walk the talk of the employees we are helping.</p><p>Second, never lose your cool with anyone for any reason. This is not easy, but as a safety person, we are being tested to see our true sincerity. If we fail on this we will be seen as uncaring and the whole safety department will be judged on this one interaction.</p><p>Third, and most important, is follow up, follow up, and more follow up. I can't state how important this is to build the trust that creates the culture of caring for one another. This, by far, is the most important step.</p><p>Don't ask your safety person to know everything as long as they follow up within a short amount of time. I have always said less than 24 hours is a good rule. This shows our employees we care enough to get back to them even if it may not be what they want to hear. We are often tested for our sincerity and we must pass this test every time to build our foundation.</p><p>A tool I like to use during an interview is asking <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/behavioral-interview-question-examples" target="_blank">behavioral interview questions</a>. This allows me to get a gauge on "Ted's must-haves." I will also talk with references to ensure they have previously demonstrated these qualities.</p><p><strong>This is why we must take time to choose the right cultural fit. I can teach people safety, but I can't teach safety professionals about people.</strong></p><p>I once hired a safety person when we were on a hiring freeze because I knew he met all three of these requirements. He was the perfect fit for our culture and turned out to be very valuable to our company for many years.</p><p>Safety professionals must be able to obtain buy-in from others to create and promote a strong culture. It is the responsibility of leadership to share our vision and clarify the objectives we expect them to perform. Once the mission is shared, leadership must communicate frequently and authentically, and safety professionals are in the best avenue to send this message with their day-to-day interactions.</p><p>Choosing the right person for the career is not as easy as it appears and I have hired hundreds of employees. In my experience, when I find the right person that can create buy-in for the culture of the company, they are going to be a much more productive and fulfilled team member because they see the greater picture of the organization.</p><p><strong>Employees must be given the opportunity to thrive, and we can assist them in this by creating the right fit from the start, followed by a clear mission and goals (for both department and company).</strong></p><p>Ultimately, an employee is going to be motivated by what they can bring to the organization. Put the right person in the right spot for your organization's culture growth.</p>
2. Focus On Growth And Development<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkwODQ5Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjYwNjMxN30.ITcmbeCqYL710txJ0avfv978Ot5aIDzZCz-KT4Sw7Lc/img.jpg?width=980" id="a0d7e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fae0ea552dcbd8a258d7601e74168bd2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Female safety professional developing her career" /><p>It is important to focus on an employee's effort, not just the outcome. Many times in safety, we are working to improve overall safety but focus on lagging indicators such as incident rates or workers' compensation. We don't accurately reflect our current state of safety or culture. This can be very frustrating for an employee who isn't seeing the results as fast as they would like to due to numbers that are lagging behind.</p><p><strong>It is crucial to offer learning opportunities to our safety employees that allow growth.</strong> They want to <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/words-impacting-career-growth-and-development" target="_blank">grow and develop</a> in their field, and we need to recognize and support these efforts, even if the results may not appear to be there quite yet. I have had employees tell me they are sorry for the way things are going on a project in terms of incidents; however, I measure their performance on culture, not on lagging indicators.</p><p>When I walk around a project and workers are open to talking and have good housekeeping practices, this shows we have a good culture. Good culture equals good safety practices and means our employees are going home safe.</p><p>This tip is not exclusive to safety, but can be utilized in other levels of the company as well.</p><p>I have had many employees receive offers for better pay with other companies. They find out that their career is now a job. Money doesn't motivate employees. Being able to develop them into a role they see themselves in helps their careers grow. I have had many employees move on within our organization and further their own careers. This has helped the companies, and it all stems back to the key area of ensuring their growth.</p><p><strong>We must be committed to our employees even if it means losing them to another department.</strong> This is a huge win-win for the company. We now have a person we know, who has knowledge of the company and knows they are on a career path of growth and high motivation. I win when this occurs because we have another set of professional safety employees within the company, even if they aren't in safety.</p><p>We can further create development within our employees by challenging them and creating milestones for them to reach. It is important to <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/keys-to-career-success" target="_blank">set them up for success</a>, and celebrate those milestones when they are met.</p><p>Through our support, we not only improve the individual but the company as well with a well-rounded employee that can grow into a high performer. Focus on growth and development to form a solid foundation for your organization's culture.</p>
3. Provide Supportive Leadership<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkwODQ5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzgyMTA1M30.C-CwhzvIs0BOKwgNCGq8q61DVZRmBr4W21IPL0oocXI/img.jpg?width=980" id="6a852" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="61e1cc940cfacb9e866a456376a36570" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Safety professional demonstrates his leadership skills" /><p>Safety can feel like a very lonely place at times. Having to ensure that some unpopular procedures or safety equipment must be followed/worn to reduce the likelihood of being injured can be difficult. <strong>Even though we are trying to keep them safe, employees aren't always appreciative of our efforts.</strong></p><p>Often, organizations focus so heavily on production (which is necessary), that the support of our safety professionals can get overlooked. We must recognize that content and fulfilled employees will result in improved safety, quality, and production efforts. This all begins by listening to our employees' needs and their frustrations.</p><p>This seems easy, but we are all very busy with our own tasks and goals. We don't have all the answers, but we must be able to listen.</p><p>As leaders, we must act fairly and make an effort to create trust within the relationships. <strong>Safety professionals desire transparency; they want to be part of the bigger picture and understand what their role is beyond safety.</strong> We can provide supportive leadership by having one-on-one meetings with our employees either in-person or on the phone. Regular department meetings will create an <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/improving-communication-in-the-workplace" target="_blank">open avenue for communication</a>.</p><p>In my weekly department meetings, we have an agenda that is sent out in advance. We have a set amount of time (normally a half hour) to talk on safety issues and what is going on around the company. The employees love learning about what is going on around the company so they can share with others what is going on in the organization which allows them to gain trust of the employees. This way, they become an advocate for the company.</p><p>This helps to build a culture of trust for the entire organization. A <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-be-successful-leader" target="_blank">supportive leader</a> will build trust and inspire his/her employees to reach new heights, resulting in happier employees that perform at high levels—improving the entire organization. We must provide supportive leadership to instill culture within our organizations.</p>
Every business has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in some fashion.
While it may be hard to imagine now, when the crisis does finally abate, there will be several important lessons learned that could actually make many businesses stronger.