Davis Consulting Group

Monthly Archive Of April 2020


Strategic Focus During a Crisis

These are challenging and uncertain times. Business owners are in the midst of a major transition. What business owners are going through today with COVID-19 is very different from the gradual recession of 2008 and 2009. Today’s pandemic has caused a drastic and immediate impact for a large percentage of businesses.

Business owners need to reset expectations. To reduce the long-term impact, it’s wise to alter your planning now and get help from your advisers to make educated decisions.

If you don’t yet have a plan for how the future of your business will look, now is the time to create it. Begin by brainstorming scenarios of what your business will look like in the coming months and how that may impact the next few years. Some thoughts:

  • Executive Level Planning: What will happen if the CEO or a member of your Executive Team falls ill and is no longer able to manage the business?  A succession plan that outlines overall direction and guidance to operate the business in their absence is imperative. The best in class companies have a succession plan in place that both identifies the successor as well as an executable transition plan. Do you have information that addresses financial authorizations, access to staff information and messaging outlined for how to communicate with your customers? Are your systems and processes in place? Have you trained your entire leadership team to take the reins if necessary?
  • Leadership Training: One of the more productive practices that is emerging from the Pandemic is the identification of those within your company who are “rising to the occasion.” This is an opportune time to give increased responsibilities to those you believe may have the skill-sets required to take on more leadership roles. Give them increased duties, let them make non-mission critical decisions and watch how they respond. Who are the natural leaders? Who can you rely on? Who struggles with the new pressure? Your next set of leaders will become apparent quickly.
  • Adapting for the Long Term: All leaders, even the highly successful ones, must be able to adapt and reinvent themselves and how the business is being led. If those executives fail to change, the organization will stall and fail. This means embracing new technology, finding ways for your teams to successfully work remotely, learning to engage with employees in virtual meetings and using technology like AsanaSlackTeams and Zoom to keep organized and productive while in constant communication virtually.

I also invite you to read my last article on optimizing this shift in how your traditional work gets accomplished in this new environment and then be strategic, plan, test, implement and repeat these tools. We cannot be ad hoc in our thinking. Your business needs to be more agile, nimble and more flexible than ever before.

Megan Davis Lightman
CEO, Davis Consulting Group

Leveraging the Change in Your Work Structure in Response to COVID-19

Business challenges present opportunities to approach past practices and processes in a new way. We know that the essence of change is fundamentally the transformation from one state of being to another. A crisis, like Covid-19, can impact how, when, and where you and your employees operate as well as how your company can continue to meet customer demand. However, one thing is clear: this outbreak highlights the need for businesses to be resilient, prepared and easily adaptable, with qualities that will benefit you long after this outbreak is behind us. Now is the time to optimize this shift in how your traditional work gets accomplished in this new environment.

Use your leadership capital to suggest new approaches that make existing work achievable by following the suggestions below:

  1. Assess Systems, Processes and Strategies: When we think of improving a company by improving its processes, the first step is to study them, analyze them and understand them. Take this time to dive deeply into each area of your business and asses what needs to change, improve or remain the same. This could provide the specific opportunity to “course correct” your strategic plan.
  2. Increase Online Training: One of the most common mistakes organizations make is ending staff training after the on-boarding process. Your staff needs training throughout every stage of their employment, regardless of their experience level or position within the company. With more employees working from home, online training’s are easy to implement. This could be a great time for folks to get up to speed on accreditation’s, certificates of completion or adapt how your company will drive its desired culture through remote staffing.
  3. Skill development using Remote Meeting Facilitation:  A great facilitator empowers a group to be more effective and focused, often with an emphasis on open communication and trust. Use this time to let other team members practice and strengthen their facilitation and leadership skills. You’ll be conducting more remote video calls in the very near future.
  4. Update Prospective Client Outreach Strategies: Having a solid customer acquisition strategy is essential for any business. The best time to create and implement an effective client outreach strategy is NOW. Get into the planning phase and begin preparing a personalized, thorough client outreach strategy people can’t ignore. Working remotely will drive all sorts of innovative approaches to how work gets accomplished. Try new approaches to your existing traditional processes and practices.
  5. Asses First Quarter Success and Shifts: While the end of the first quarter is still a couple of weeks away, you may find that demands on your remote working time looks very different from working in the office. Take this opportunity to assess your business under the lens of COVID-19. Are the social distancing approaches requiring a new approach for how to best meet the needs of your customers? The first quarter is significant because it is sets the foundation from which to base the rest of the year.

The most successful business leaders agree, the most effective way to respond to any crisis is to be part of the solution, to act quickly and to make strategic changes to help advance the company and benefit in the long-term.

It’s also essential you take extra care to focus on building and sustaining trust within the organization. In times of uncertainty, great leaders share facts, data and set future direction. Leaders need to “lean in” and create new solutions and opportunities. Now can be the time for positive change. Be courageous and make every effort to take decisive action to leverage this unplanned opportunity.

Best Wishes for Leveraging Change in Your Work Structure in Response to COVID-19.

Megan Davis Lightman
CEO, Davis Consulting Group