Last weekend felt like the beginning of the beginning.
Like many here in the US, my family celebrated the start of summer by joining two other families for a camping trip. We planned the trip this winter when Covid rates were soaring, and we were under Shelter in Place orders. We desperately needed to look forward to something. We knew the reservations might be canceled, but we forged ahead.
This planned trip increased our focus on getting everyone vaccinated as early as possible. And to our amazement, a month before our trip, everyone was fully vaccinated, and restrictions continued to drop. It was going to happen!
Around the campfire one night, we discussed plans for the rest of the summer. Everyone had plans, maybe too many. Were we going to wear ourselves out by our post-pandemic emergence?
The same theme is occurring in conversations with clients. As restrictions decrease and vaccination rates increase here in the US, optimism is soaring. Demand is up, and even our desolate business and shopping districts are starting to show signs of renewal. But are businesses going to follow my group of friends and possibly overcommit as they emerge from this pandemic? How do they take advantage of opportunities in this post-pandemic period without putting at risk what, for many, maybe a weak financial or operational position?
Three tips for a sustainable post-pandemic plan.
- Be selective. Saying no is always hard, but is especially so when we can finally say “yes” after so long. However, learning to be selective during this next period will be critical in returning to sustained growth. Define criteria for evaluating opportunities, budgeting resources carefully even as revenues grow, and rigorously assess new partners as some may be overburdened with debt or have lost core competencies due to the pandemic.
- Conserve your human capital. Just as with my friends that have booked up their entire summer with awesome but exhausting plans, carefully review your commitments and plan for recovery and downtime to maintain your momentum. It is estimated that this recovery will be long and robust. You will need to protect your team from burnout to ensure they stay with you for the long term. Review all your commitments and whenever possible, make sure everyone has made time to refill their tanks to be able to maintain their standards of operational excellence throughout this next growth period.
- Reconvene often to make adjustments. These last 14 months have made brilliant tacticians out of us. We have continually modified and adjusted to survive. Now, we can finally start making plans for the future. But to be successful, we still need to rely on our tactical muscles to make adjustments just as we have done to be in this position. Meet regularly throughout the next 12 to 18 months to check progress, update assumptions, and change priorities where necessary.
Now that we are moving from survival to revival, building a post-pandemic plan that is aggressive and sustainable will be critical for success. Use these tips to regain and sustain your momentum.
Need help building your post-pandemic plan? Contact us. We have planning approaches for organizations of all sizes.