Decision-making in a pandemic

Plan. Implement. Modify. Pause. Pivot. Regroup. Re-train. Whew!

COMING IN HOT U.S. Air Force photo by Robbin Cresswell

Aug. 5. Cheryl Kane. With its tumultuous impact on our environments, how do you successfully manage a business in Covid-19 times? With purposeful care and courage. Yes, the unsettling nature of turbulence slamming into our lives in so many ways sometimes makes it easy to get caught up in and dwell panicked in the chaos (unhealthy), stick unrelentingly to our normal routines without adapting to the change (unhelpful), or to wallow in our melancholy (both unhealthy and unhelpful).

Cheryl Kane

So what is a better option?

When I can’t see a clear way to forge ahead full-force into the future, I tend to reach for lessons from classic authors and leaders to assist me in figuring out what to do now-in the present-as I rally my resources, evaluate my changed circumstances, and prepare for the clearing that will, eventually, appear for me to move into.

Perhaps it can help you regain or stabilize good decision-making basics, with familiar friends who have staying power on your summer reading list.

1. Focus on the few critical factors. Strategy first. Evaluate in concrete terms how much the business environment has changed for your customers, your suppliers, your employees, your business and yourself. With this refreshed view, re-clarify your mission, re-assess your strategy, re-define your strategy if need be, re-define your objectives. (Consider a Harvard Business Review’s “HBR’s 10 Must Reads” book of compiled articles on a topic of relevance to you)

2. Protect your time. Your best brain power is essential right now. Don’t fritter it away; put efficiency and effectiveness back in your everyday actions. (Book: Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”)

3. Keep your ‘can do’ attitude. Build in specific efforts to identify and appreciate positive aspects of your ‘today’ situation. (Book: “Mindset,” by Carol S. Dweck, or a book about your most inspirational person.)

4. Preserve your mental and physical health. Be mindful in caring for yourself. Select a non-business book you treasured when you read it years ago, and read it again to re-instill its inspirational effect on you. In a few minutes a day it can serve as a much needed respite.

5. Stay steady but don’t be afraid to make change.

I’m reminded of a wise mentor who decades ago helped me at a fork in the road where I was required to make a significant change—there was no choice, a change had to be made. As I worked through what I viewed as a monumental decision between two reasonable options with no clear answer, I was growing anxious about how to make the “right” decision.

After analyzing the options together she said to me, “Sometimes the best decision is to make a decision, because making no decision is the “wrong” decision.

Sometimes the right decision is to take the first step; if it’s the wrong step you will know soon enough.

Cheryl Kane, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, & professional speaker specializing in strategic planning and service quality. Cheryl welcomes your communication at email: [email protected].


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