How are you managing the current uncertainty?
I ask this question having listened to more talk about Brexit this morning and wondering how many business owners are actually engaging in the exercise of considering how best to deal with the current uncertain situation on a national scale and how many could be doing more.
In Action Coach we speak a lot about being above the Point of Power. This means facing any situation and going above the point by acting Responsibly, being Accountable and taking Ownership of the situation. These three thought states enable pro-active planning and decision making and are proven to enable better results to be achieved in any scenario than those who go below the point of power. The three areas here are being in Denial that the situation is relevant to you or needs engaging with, making Excuses as to how it can adversely affect you or Blaming others for the situation and therefore doing nothing yourself. These three states result in passivity, re-active thinking and poor results.
So, as an answer to the first question raised above I would suggest that whether it be Brexit or any other cause of uncertainty you are facing in your business make sure you get above the Point of Power and engage in proactively planning to deal with the situation or conditions you face.
The second part of this though is how to achieve this and what to focus upon. At a conference in 2017 I was given a model that I think applies to this that I would like to share with you.
Picture a two by two square that has Importance on one Axis and Ability to Take Control on the other axis.
This would provide you with four possible areas – High Importance that I cannot Control, Low Importance that I cannot Control, High Importance that I can Control and Low Importance that I can Control.
If you apply this to the plans you could make, the areas you want to affect and the factors on which you can make decisions I believe the Control question is the first to engage on. If you take a realistic view at the issue or situation that you face start by asking “can I control this”. If the answer is no then consider what is happening environmentally that you should be aware of and monitor until a change is made that would give you the opportunity to take control or consider are there any aspects relating to the big picture that you can control or influence.
These are the areas to focus on first. Then apply the importance question and prioritise based on this.
Secondly, consider how you can monitor or influence the Important factors that are not in your control and I would suggest that you are then operating above the point of power in a prioritised and focussed way.
I will now bring this back to the Brexit issue as an example of how this may work. If you decide Brexit is likely to be important to your business then consider what factors you can control related to this. Unless you have a hot line to either Brussels or Westminster it is unlikely that you can control what sort of deal, if any, materialises at end March 2019. However, you may decide that you will build some scenario planning ready to trigger as soon as the deal is understood. This could include market analysis, product or service analysis, pricing policy etc. These are all things that you can control and can put you in a stronger place in early April 2019 when those who were in Denial will be absorbing the news and thinking Oh XXXX, what does that mean to me.
I hope this helps you to build a mechanic to deal with business uncertainty and provides you with a way to determine where your energy and efforts should be directed. If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07511 969690.