4 tips to adapt your business to the needs of the world around you
We live in an ever-changing world – and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s truer than ever. Many have seen their personal and professional lives turned upside down by the widespread and continuing influence of 2020.
Supply chain disruptions are set to last for a long time to come and the world is still struggling to regain a sense of normalcy. Many companies still have a predominantly remote workforce and need new policies to run their day-to-day business. All of this required an intense level of leadership adaptability – a trait I found essential during my time as a Navy SEAL.
If adaptability is crucial in the military, it is just as important in the business world. I researched the topics of organizational change, employee engagement, culture and adaptability extensively for my first book TakingPoint: A Navy SEAL’s 10 Safety Principles for Leading Change. There are many possible changes in the way people go about their work, hobbies, and other activities that can completely alter the status quo for any team or organization. Just like in nature, those who can adapt to a changing world will survive and thrive.
In this article, I’ll show you what adaptable business leaders do to ensure their business thrives, even in times of drastic change.
1. Focus on digital
The pressures on businesses over the past two years have forced the need for digital transformation at a pace that would previously have seemed impossible for most organizations. Even if your business is primarily focused on in-person services like ours was, you need to make going digital a priority by embracing new technologies to streamline your business strategy and ensure scalability.
The ability to deliver services virtually has become crucial to the survival of many brands. At TakingPoint Leadership, not only have we rapidly evolved into providing our leadership and organizational development services virtually, but we have also prioritized the design and implementation of our new advanced highly interactive online learning platform. , TakingPoint Academy. Businesses and consumers who were previously skeptical of holding meetings and trainings virtually have been forced to embrace the “new way”.
In our always-connected world, people will view your digital presence and virtual capabilities – or lack thereof – as an indicator of your ability to meet their needs. So be prepared to enter the battlefield with the proper tools and weapons at your disposal. Focusing on digital gives you and your customers a level of flexibility that has become increasingly important.
2. Look for new opportunities
Two years ago, most of us never thought of buying a face mask. The world can change quickly, and with those changes come new opportunities for those who are ready to take action.
This became very clear during a recent conversation with Quim Sabrià, co-founder and CEO of Educational puzzle, a platform that helps teachers create interactive video lessons that can be used for both classroom and remote learning. Hence my company’s adoption of a similar approach for business leaders and managers.
Sabrià explained, “Look at the world through the lens of your business niche. What new challenges are the current circumstances creating in the lives of your target audience? How are they related to your business? Look for a way to connect or adapt what you are already doing to address these issues. Very often a new twist on something you are currently offering will be what is needed to make a big impact on the world.
Leaders are quick to seek out new opportunities when global trends disrupt their current business model. But this does not necessarily mean a complete change in the economic model. Just think of all the fitness instructors who would have been stuck at home doing nothing during the COVID shutdowns if they hadn’t turned to making video workouts for their students.
3. Rethink your processes
Your internal processes can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you continue to do things the same way you did five years ago, chances are you are missing out on valuable opportunities to improve your business. You may even be underperforming for your customers by doing things less productively or efficiently than they could be.
Just because something seems to be working well doesn’t mean you can’t do better. As in the SEAL Teams, successful teams are “learning organizations” and have continuous improvement mechanisms in place to ensure they are continually evolving. New technologies are constantly being introduced to help business owners automate or outsource mundane tasks. Have you given these resources the consideration they deserve?
When you adopt tools (such as internal collaboration or project management systems) that improve efficiency, you can save time on busy work and focus more of your efforts on finding new, innovative ways to serve your customers. .
4. Look for trends
Adaptable leaders are acutely aware of the world around them. In the military, we prefer the term “situational awareness”. The best combat leaders know when to step back, pause tactically, and pay attention to the threats and opportunities looming on the horizon. If you’re not tuned in to global headlines and industry trends, you’re doing yourself and your customers a disservice. You may only become aware of trends that could negatively affect your business when it’s too late to adapt to them.
On the other hand, leaders who are aware of contemporary issues can proactively assess trends that will impact their customers and the way they live their lives. It can influence everything from improving the delivery of products and services to completely changing revenue-generating activities.
Rather than waiting for competitors to act and then becoming an imitator, you can be the one leading the charge into exciting new possibilities. Don’t wait for the ambush to happen. Get ahead with proper research and planning for contingencies. This way, you won’t be caught off guard by trends or events that could affect your business.
Adapt and thrive
On the battlefield, learning to adapt to ever-changing situations may very well dictate your survival. The same goes for your business.
The more you are ready to adapt your business to the ever-changing needs of the world around you, the easier it will be for you to stay competitive in your niche. When you can understand how trends affect your industry and your customers, you can make proactive adjustments that allow you to serve them better.
You will be better equipped to weather economic downturns and take advantage of new opportunities. Building a more adaptable business won’t just help you weather today’s turmoil. It will set you up for success for years to come.
But remember that effective adaptability requires leadership, discipline and total accountability.