We all find ourselves in new territory. No matter your industry, your number of employees, your location, or your revenue last year, we’re in new territory.
There’s going to be a moment when you have a real conversation with yourself or your business partner or your leadership team. Many of you already had it, and it went something like this: are we going to sit idle, or are we going to fight? Are we going to pretend everything is ok, or are we going to be honest? Are we going to keep doing what we’ve always done, or are we going to find new ways to adapt and innovate?
There may not have been a Braveheart moment, where everyone left in a full sprint ready to conquer the world. You may have been a little more uncertain than William Wallace’s calvary was, but you had the conversation, and the decision was made – it’s time to get over our fears and fight for what we’ve built. It was innovation that built your business and its innovation that will continue growing your business, regardless of what the world throws at you.
We’re with you.
As you seek to adapt, innovation is key. Here are 10 ways to maintain a spirit of innovation during difficult times.
- Kill the sacred cows. You may have a favorite service or a preferred client sector or a certain mode of client communication. You may have a formula of what worked in the past, but it’s all on the table now.
- Engage your team in creative brainstorming. Don’t fight through adversity alone, and don’t assume you have all the answers. You’ve hired an intelligent, creative team, so trust them to be a part of the solution.
- Choose to be humble. Most leaders have pride in what they’ve built, and that confidence is invaluable as you scale a business, but it can also blind you. As you explore answers to new problems, you’ll need to remain humble and open.
- Educate yourself. Endless resources will begin to surface during difficult times. Pay attention to marketing and industry trends, new laws and bills, new access to capital, and the efforts of your colleagues.
- Take calculated risks. There will be new opportunities as a result of the current circumstance, but you must have the courage to leap.
- Seek community. Adversity has the ability to bring us together, all fighting toward a common cause. Many times, this can include your competitors, especially if your entire industry is being affected. Be open to collaborating or sharing strategies during this difficult time.
- Work like heck. Sometimes there’s no substitute for nose-to-the-ground hard work. Just make sure you’re working smart and with a spirit of innovation.
- Maintain normalcy as best you can. When difficult times arrive, it’s tempting to abandon all routines; we exercise less, we sleep less, we eat less (or more, or worse). Normalcy can be our friend during challenging times.
- Stay connected. You need your team and your community. You also need your clients. They may not need your services right now, but they need your support. Be there for them.
- Have faith and remain confident. You will survive. You may look different on the other side, but you’ll come out of this stronger than before, having been tested by the fire.
Commit to the fight. Commit to innovation. Commit to finding solutions. Commit to gratefulness and positivity.