In a time where opinions are in abundance, we wondered what research may show in a much needed topic of #CrisisResilience! We invite you on our search for the companies that are thriving during the crisis, so we can determine the “why” together and create a coalition of best practices and organizations to spread to others who are in need of the most help.
As such, we are launching a coalition for change during the crisis – in an effort to determine best practices, and form a unified coalition to help leaders of government, and the private sector in their collective efforts to regain consumer confidence and strengthen the markets again.
Crucial questions: companies
Toward that end, we will explore the two questions about companies.
- What companies are growing their business, either by focusing on what they do well or innovating with new offerings?
- What companies are thriving in midst of a crisis–and more importantly why?
To understand how these companies succeed we need to understand their leaders, strategies, their previous preparations, their ability to pivot, and what makes their particular situations unique.
Crucial assumptions: leaders
Our initial thinking is that what distinguishes successful companies from unsuccessful ones is the caliber and foresight of their senior executives. We presume for the most part that they are highly motivated and highly intelligent.
In our past experience, we’ve observed that what distinguishes the winners from the also-rans is how they see themselves as business leaders. Inspired by McKinsey’s article on organizational value creation vs. value destruction, and Liz Wiseman’s work on Multipliers, we call them value creators and value diminishers.
What distinguishes the two groups is this:
- Value diminishers fear failure and so cut back to avoid risk; value creators embrace prudent risk in order to grow and scale their businesses to meet new opportunities.
- Value diminishers focus on what’s only and immediately in front of them because that’s what they understand. Value creators look over the horizon because that is what’s new and different.
- Value diminishers are comfortable with the status quo; value creators want to design and build something new and different.
- Value diminishers need a roadmap to navigate. Value creators don’t follow a map because there isn’t one to follow.
Bottom line, value diminishers are comfortable with predictability. Value creators are excited by what comes next because it is not predictable.
The answers to these questions and assumptions will come from our research. As we proceed, we welcome your thoughts as well as any examples of companies you know that are doing well in now by positioning themselves for the future.
Just one example:
The coronavirus has strained hospitals’ resources in hard-hit geographies, while tripping up supply chains and production schedules. Last week, a hospital in Italy’s Brescia region needed replacement valves for an intensive care device, but couldn’t get one from the supplier on short notice.
Value Creator: Enter the CEO of an Italian startup, who along with a mechanical engineer went to the hospital, drew up schematics, and within hours 3D printed 100 valves that worked with the hospital’s ICU device. It might’ve saved 10 lives.
Value Diminisher: If manufacturers are willing to share their blueprint reference designs, 3D printing could help plug the gap for specific components. But that’s not happening here. The device manufacturer refused to release the design files, forcing the Italians to reverse engineer and 3D print the valves for about $1; the part normally sells for several thousand dollars.
3D printing, microfactories, and other cutting-edge manufacturing techniques could help industries with offshore production and just-in-time inventory that are essential to national coronavirus responses.
Crucial factor: resilience
Integral to survival amidst crisis is the notion of resilience. Adversity can strike at any time without warning. It may flatten everything in its path. What happens next often depends upon how leaders respond. Those who rise to embrace it are scrappy, creative, and tough. Where some see trouble; they see opportunity.
Their resilience extends to those they lead. They set the example for how to embrace risk and deal with failure. Their ability to bounce back demonstrates an inner resolve that can be contagious.
Who we are?
Our partnership in this endeavor brings together three disciplines: strategy, human performance, and best practices research.
- David Nour is a best-selling author and a strategic advisor of global leaders in driving profitable growth, creating a culture of innovation, and making real change last. Originally from Iran, Nour came to the U.S. in 1981 as a teenager with a suitcase, $100 dollars, and no fluency in English.
- John Baldoni is also a best-selling author and executive coach who has worked with leaders from the shop floor to the top floor. He focuses on helping women and men learn to lead with greater purpose and grace.
- Louis Carter is CEO of Best Practice Institute, an executive coach to CEOs and organizational psychologist for Fortune 500 companies. His latest book is In Great Company: How To Spark Peak Performance by Creating an Emotionally Connected Workplace (McGraw Hill, 2019)
We are excited about pursuing this research. We invite you to send us your thoughts. If you like what we are doing, feel free to “socialize” it through your favorite platforms and tag #CrisisResilience.
Join us in this research adventure – we would love to hear of any examples you come across. And stay tuned for updates on our efforts.