Leading During a Crisis
None of us have ever experienced anything quite like the all-encompassing crisis of these last several weeks. And, yet, this disruption – as massive as it has been – can be an opportunity to let the entrepreneur in each of us shine. Here are three ways thinking like an entrepreneur can help you lead your team to the other side of this crisis.
1. Keep up the structure and the pace
As leaders, we must lead by example, push our teams forward and keep up our daily routines as much as possible. For Werremeyer, that means shifting our 9am daily standup meeting to Slack so we can check in and keep moving ahead without missing a beat. (Thankfully, our resident IT expert, Ken Zarecki, transitioned us to Slack a few years ago.)
In our new normal, we have even more structure with quick (30 minutes or less) check-ins about new business, our own marketing, and our new website build. As a team we are actually more efficient with our time and organized. The days seem to fly by because we have no meetings outside the office, lunches or coffees. (I do miss my coffees.)
2. Adjust the plan
Let’s face it, none of us anticipated this situation when we built our 2020 marketing plans. As this public health crisis unfolds, we understand the need for clear communications and what it takes to get vital information out to our clients’ audiences. That is why we promote having a crisis communications plan, so you can shift gears quickly and be confident that you have everything covered.
As an agency, we have shifted gears and refocused resources. Our goal for all of our clients is to help them emerge from this crisis stronger, with fresh thinking and a plan for the remainder of the year. We adjusted their communications to focus on their core customers with digital marketing, email marketing, website updates and video content.
This is also the time to make sure your messaging is aligned with your core values. Then make sure your communication tools are working in tandem with each other. Think of it as spring cleaning so that when your customers are ready to engage again you will be ready, too, with your plan, website and marketing tools.
3. Keep innovating
It may be tempting to pull back on expenses when facing an unknown as big as this one. But is that really wise? Whether this crisis is over by summer or takes months to fully balance out, you’re going to need to be ready. The world will be different and how we approach business will need to be different, too. Will your brand be ready? Is your website up-to-date? Will you have the leads you need to drive your business forward?
Even beyond that, how can you offer your products and services in new ways? In healthcare, that may mean using telemedicine for wellness check-ups, creating Zoom or Facebook Live sessions for support groups, and home deliveries of medications. In senior living, that may mean an iPad in every room as a portal for family visits, group exercises, community announcements and resident activities. The list goes on.
When we come out of this – and we will – life won’t be exactly the same. And, that’s okay. If we can each think a little more like an entrepreneur, we can reset, think ahead to the future and make for better businesses, better communities, and better lives.