A week into #lockdown, and the reality of the unknown has set in. We all have some serious thinking to do and questions to ask. What we will look like on the other side of this, will come down to the choices we make now.
During a recent talk from one of our UK colleagues, he shared the story about the UK Railway history.
UK railway companies were doing ridiculously well in the early 1900’s, till the road freight industry started to develop in the 1920’s, that is. Many of the railway companies went bust during this time, because they simply couldn’t adapt to this faster, more flexible mode of transport…
They were stuck in the mindset of, “we are in the railway business and we don’t have any roads, so we can’t compete with these guys. So, we’ll keep at it and do what we’ve been doing”.
And they went out of business as a result.
What is your vision? (Really!??)
We all quickly brush away conversations when people ask you what the vision for your business is! I personally hate that question. My answer: "Make tons of money and sip whiskeys on a remote island, watching the sun set. What else did you think?" Joking, but the whiskey sunsets do sound nice.
The bigger question behind this though, is what do you want your business to be able to do for you? If you have small children, you may not want to be stuck in traffic and an office the whole day. If travel is a high priority, again, having to physically manage lots of staff will limit this time you have available to do so.
Going digital 5 years ago for us was a simple decision, as we wanted a practice that did'n own all of our time. We needed the flexibility wanting to be present whilst our 2 little ones grow up. And this also allowed us to scale past physical borders and reach so many more clients, we love working with. In SA and abroad.
So, in essence, keeping your eyes fixated on THAT goal, is absolutely critical. That is the true vision that will allow you to make the necessary changes to your business.
Because what got us to where we are now, may not get us to where we need to be going.
Adapt or die
Frank Perdue wasn't sugar coating anything when he said: "A business that doesn't change is a business that is going to die".
If these Railway Companies, were to “reframe” their business and realize that they were not in the railway business. That instead they were in the transportation of people and goods industry, they could have simply adapted their business model to road haulage instead.
Imagine where some of those companies could have been today, a decade later!
The challenges we currently face, may just be the opportunity we needed to also start thinking about reframing our own businesses?
Questions to ask at the moment, could be
- Apart from making enough money to sufficiently look after my loved ones, what do i want from my business?
- If I had a magic wand and I could have those things tomorrow, what would that business need to look like?
- What does my current business look like and how does it differ from the magic one?
- What would I need to add to - or change in my existing business in order to get it there?
Once we have these questions answered, we can start to see all the possibilities we may have available.
Peter Drucker said it best when he said: