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Post Lockdown Strategy


River Rat
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My apologies this is a long post inviting you to join me in developing a strategy for a company post lockdown. If it doesn’t interest you don’t read further, if you don’t like the rules of the thread please don’t post on this thread.

So what is the purpose of this process? It’s not about the strategy at the end, it is about creating a methodology to deal with an uncertain future. It is about creating a semblance of control when the very foundations of our lives have been changed beyond recognition. It is about creating a positive outlook when negativity abounds. It is about rebuilding our future. Okay let’s get at it.

 

Congratulations we are 10 days into lockdown and you don’t have the virus or perhaps you did but you are asymptomatic . If you think about it this is about the only reliable fact that we have available to us considering what happens when the lockdown is lifted.  In this fact we are all in the same boat however, what we do next will be different for each one of us but one other similarity is that not one of us knows what future awaits us. So what now?

 

For my sins I chair a number of organizations, we are using the free time during the lockdown to try and position ourselves for an uncertain future post lockdown. I must say in my 25 years at an executive management level I have never had the luxury of this amount of time to ponder and plan the next moves, it’s a curse and a blessing. The curse is that too much time leads to analysis paralysis and the blessing is that none of us have ever been faced the time and latitude to deal with an event of this magnitude or uncertainty.  Across all our organisations we have adopted a scenario planning technique to help guide us through this process and I am watching how it has helped focus these organisations on the right things. For the record these span the following fields airport security, power generation, property, medical and education. The latter is an NGO which adds to the diversity.

 

I have watched the commentary on the various Coronavirus threads and the negativity that the uncertainty creates. So how do we change this? I could share some of the outcomes of our other processes with you but that would have no context nor will it be applicable to the majority of you on the Bikehub. I have had a chat with admin and with their consent I am going to run an interactive scenario planning exercise on the Bikehub. What I need to do this is a group of participants that are committed to a constructive process that leads to an outcome that allows a business (in this case fictional one) to position itself when the lockdown ends (or not) on the 16th April 2020.

 

Before I get your commitment here’s what you are signing up for, first the process  I have been using the book The Mind of A Fox co-authored by Chantell Illbury and Clem Sunter as a guide. It’s best described by using this matrix.

post-13836-0-32849900-1586168692_thumb.jpg

 

We start in numerical order and I will describe each phase in a bit more detail but the description used in the book is quite concise:

You are driving down a main road and there is a crossroads ahead. You are on the main road, logic and law dictate that you have the right of way (this is the rule of the game). However, on the minor road travelling at right angles to you and towards the intersection is another vehicle that, theoretically should stop. This action is out of your control, cannot be guaranteed and is, therefore, uncertain (this is a key uncertainty). In your mind you play out different scenarios:

  1. The driver of the other car sees you and slows to a halt, allowing you to travel through safely.
  2. The driver of the other car doesn’t see you, drives straight through the intersection and you have a near miss.
  3. The driver of the other car doesn’t see you, drives through the intersection and you crash.

Based on these scenarios, you have a number of options:

  1. Maintain your speed on the assumption that the driver is eventually going to see you.
  2. Slow down because you worry that the driver is not going to see you.
  3. Speed up in the hope that you may get through the intersection before the other car arrives.

Your appetite for risk will be the element that will lead to your decision in this regard. “

This is how the matrix works but you can see it is not finite for example a cop arrives at the intersection to direct traffic which changes the rule of the game or the other driver might slow down or speed up which immediately changes a key uncertainty. This means that you start the process over again and develop new scenarios , options and decisions.

 

If you want to join in I need you to agree to the following Rules of the Thread  and we may have to add to these because I have never run this process in an online forum, as a general rule think of yourself as a member of the board and behave accordingly:

  1. I am the Chairperson, my job is to drive the process towards decisions. It may require me to decide on behalf of the group but you can expect me to allow a debate first.  If it needs a vote I will take it there. As stated I have never done this process on this type of platform so I expect to make mistakes so let me apologise upfront.
  2. Treat the exercise seriously, there are more than enough other threads where you can troll and joke. If you feel the need please do it there don’t clutter this thread, admin have agreed to keep an eye on this thread and will deal with any errant poster in terms of the Bikehub guidelines.  But again have respect for your fellow Hubbers and you should be fine
  3. You have to be willing to engage with other viewpoints despite it being the exact opposite of yours (a diversity of views is vital to a robust outcome).
  4. Articulate your viewpoint with as many facts as possible and expect to be challenged.
  5. If you challenge a viewpoint articulate why, again with as many facts as you can. Don’t be disruptive try and seek consensus.
  6. Most of all trust the process. I have run this 4 times over the last 3 weeks with great success it is worth it, despite the inevitable wobble along the way.

 

By liking this post you are effectively signing up to this process and are agreeing to abide by the rules of the thread, see it as your letter of employment. If you don’t sign up we will ignore your input so you’re either in or you’re out. If I get 5 likes or more our first strategy meeting is at 10:00am tomorrow, don’t be late!

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It looks like fun, I cant commit to anything at the moment with all of the work I have to get through. 

So this will be the last post from me, will be following along though.

I fully expect that we won't have continuous engagement, with Hubbers effectively weighing in on an irregular basis. This is going to make the process interesting and unique, but it should not prevent you from participating.

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Like the idea. Would be interested in taking part as i am doing similar for my business right now. Can you tell me when you will meet so i can try and schedule it as i am still busy with my day to day job.

Only one meeting scheduled so far that's 10:00am tomorrow and as said before I expect the engagement to be irregular so don't fret too much about being there every meeting.

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I have signed up, I have read your whole post (and am still alive  :thumbup:) but I could not really gauge exactly what it is you're trying to achieve? 

 

Are you merely looking to get folks engaged and to start talking about what the world will look like "post lock down" or will this become more than a strategy session?

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I have signed up, I have read your whole post (and am still alive  :thumbup:) but I could not really gauge exactly what it is you're trying to achieve? 

 

Are you merely looking to get folks engaged and to start talking about what the world will look like "post lock down" or will this become more than a strategy session?

Exactly this, I am hoping that we can engage constructively in developing possible scenarios. If it follows the same path as my other organizations you have an at best, at worst and a most likely scenario that sits in between. The latter is the one that shapes your decisions (as opposed to strategy) taking cognizance that the trend (of key uncertainties) could be towards either of the first two. As more information becomes available you adjust your decisions in accordance with the trend. So it's not the decision that is important it's the process that rules.

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I am fortunate to have a full work week due to ongoing projects (very lucky to be in this situation)

My contributions may be limited, and ad-hoc, But this will be interesting, due to my line of work being very much dependent on "traditional ways" of having a physical office.

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I am fortunate to have a full work week due to ongoing projects (very lucky to be in this situation)

My contributions may be limited, and ad-hoc, But this will be interesting, due to my line of work being very much dependent on "traditional ways" of having a physical office.

I think you are going to like the "business" that we are going to examine, it's a traditional property ownership with retail and offices in it's portfolio.

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All dependent on your meeting format.

Perhaps after hours may work better, but I don't want to be the only salmon swimming upstream here...

I am getting a sense that having a "meeting" at 10h00 is problematic thankfully because people still have day jobs :thumbup: . So I'm happy to shift the time to 18h00 if that helps.

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I am getting a sense that having a "meeting" at 10h00 is problematic thankfully because people still have day jobs :thumbup: . So I'm happy to shift the time to 18h00 if that helps.

 

Thats wine and wife (after her work) time....

 

But depending on how strict you keep the timings, perhaps we can contribute over a longer period

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