We take a look at the current turbulence in business and ask – maybe this is the change of focus that can really work for all of us?

It is a fact not commonly understood, that a business that battens down the hatches in times of troubles, will end up in a worse place when the troubles are over – than from where it started.

It’s not me that says that says that. Entrepreneurs that I talk to over recent weeks, have without exception, been quick to advise – give it a few weeks, but then get creative, don’t let your customers and future customers forget that you are there.

And yet every day, as soon as prophets of doom appear on our media radar, we see immediate downsizing, firing of trusted and loyal employees, and the very people that are described as the “most valuable asset” for any corporate, in their PR blurb and announcements – are the first to be discarded when things get tricky.

The result of all this, is that – when the good times start to roll again, companies are in no position to make the most of it, people remain unemployed, and costs go up, – because we are having to hunt for what we want, – when it used to be readily available.

But what if we look a it a different way?

What if, we use the moment to seriously examine the way we are doing things generally, and whether we really need to be doing the same things at all? And there are some good examples.

If we have now found a technology structure where yes indeed, we can work from home, without the stigma of not being “visible” in the office, because nobody is actually in the office – then why don’t we continue with this process?

National Geographic has noted that the waters of Venice are now clear again – because they no longer have the big ships, the industrial output from across the water, the small vaporetti – because none of us are travelling any more.

Pollution above Wuhan, China, has disappeared since people stopped going to work as such. In short, nature and healthy living and better climate resurgence, have come to the fore, by accident.

The question is how can we keep it that way? The answers may be simple and practical.

First – if we do away with the social need for travelling to an “office”, – then we save on our commuting, have time to see our kids, get a better work/life balance, live longer.

Second – don’t cancel the sales outreach. Just do it differently. Use the power of your email and redesign your material to something that actually engages with people. If people now have more time to do something, then make sure what you send and create is something people actually enjoy looking at.

Don’t forget that you absolutely must do something to build your business. This process never stops.

And finally – don’t be afraid of change. Use the moment, now that you are online remotely – to look at your established practices and ask – if they are what you have always done, then they are probably not working or fit for purpose any longer.

As said above, it is a fact not commonly understood, that a company that has been doing things the same way for years, is probably in need of a good wake up call.

Inclusion and Diversity. The two words that will make the biggest difference to your Business. And about which you know – nothing.

This small Note now – is the first of a series of much longer articles where we look at  key aspects  of the Office Family that will take your business forward in 2020.

Almost every medium to large  company – when asked “what are its biggest assets” – will answer; “our people”.

And yet nowhere, amongst  the public targets and mission statements and KPIs of any company, will you find any value or acknowledgement to look after the wellbeing of its same employees.

What happens is the reverse, that employees at every level are driven to their maximum in terms of output, until they have the health problems that such behaviour creates.  And yet it is couched in fluffy and embracing terms.  Being part of the Team.  You are not a Team Player if you don’t stop for a drink with your “people”. after work.

The facts and impressions are that our larger corporate are not waking up to the fact that what drives the ordinary and even exceptional people – is no longer an adherence to corporate values, but rather an acknowledgement that a work/life balance is now an essential given, in the workplace.

In short – with the recognition of lifestyle issues such as Global Warming, Travel by Plane, Electric Cars, Real-Time Health apps – etc – life itself is changing.  And this change is across the board, in even the simplest of scenarios. At our own Office – it is forbidden to bring a dog inside the building.  Yet recognising the therapeutic values of stroking a little pet –  in at least 10 companies, including our own – a little dog bounds up the stairs and in our own office, sits on the sofa, quietly watching thew world go by, and someone in the office takes the little dog to the park at Fika time.

What this means, is that,  that as a corporate leader, it is now imperative to look at the  “diversity”. of the individual rather than assume that all people are the same and thus fit the same values.

Over the next few weeks and months, we will be publishing a series of longer and more academic articles which go into detail, and looking at organising Workshops that can offer practical ways forward.  This first Note is a starting point. Please watch out for more on the vertical challenges that will need to be saved as part of the RoadMap that we aim to publish in due course.