Sports is a classic metaphor for life—sometimes you win sometimes you lose, anything worth having is worth working for, cover your bases, and dozens more. However, there’s one sports concept that receives less attention but is especially pertinent during this time of angst and economic uncertainty. Athletes in many sports, including basketball or soccer, are taught early on that in order to be successful, you need to move in the right direction—with or without the ball. Given the rapid and widespread impacts of the Coronavirus, many of us feel powerless—that the proverbial ball is out of our hands. But rather than retreat, now is the time for people and companies to lean in, taking advantage where we can by moving without the ball. In this way, we can maneuver ourselves into the best position to ensure competitive advantage once our opportunity for a game shot returns and even improve your business during the Coronavirus.
Proactive play in business during the Coronavirus
In basketball, even if all positions shared the ball equally, an individual player would only have the ball a modest 20% of the time. No one would make the case that the remaining 80% of the time a player is powerless or superfluous. Finding open spots, forcing the defense to move, challenging the offense, or just being in the right position at the right time will shift the course of the game. Moving without the ball is paramount to success in these sports.
You may have excess resources during this time as demand fluctuates. Consider using those resources to move without the ball, and develop strategies, workflows, and best practices that will wield success in the long term.
Huddle up and revisit your systems and processes
As companies grow, internal processes and systems need to change. However, when operations are running at full speed, changes and improvements are often delayed by excuses of being too busy to allocate the resources. Why not use these times with available capacity to look inward and build up operational best practices? As the Coronavirus wains, will your company be in a better or worse position to lead from the front?
Are your systems outdated? Is data fragmented and preventing your company from capitalizing on higher levels of efficiency? Amid the shutdowns of business during the Coronavirus, now may be the opportune time to improve upon, or even implement a system to build internal efficiency. For companies that have the ability, this slow time in the economy may be the ideal pause button for companies to affect internal change management.
Build your bench strength—take time out for learning
The continually evolving business world means companies need to constantly get better—education and training are foundational for that development. What better way to improve than to invest directly in your human resources? Excess capacity could provide time to acquire online education and certifications to improve the service you provide. Perhaps even research and spawn a new line of service offerings?
Full court press to leverage the assets you have
As we are all being forced to find new ways to communicate, now may be the time to evaluate your organization’s methods of communication. Consider this an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the competition. Do you promote your service as a key differentiator? What can you be doing to stand out at a time when service is the most important attribute? Is your branding on point and consistent? How has your company changed over the years? Can you identify areas of marketing that could be improved? An audit and update of media content may be a level of change management worthy of a considered look.
It may be the off season, but there’s work to be done
Professional sports teams use the off season to strategize, regroup and come back to the regular season stronger and better able to compete. Consider this phase of your business during the Coronavirus as your off season. What have you been delaying for a slow time that never seems to come? Sir Isaac Newton did some of his best work under quarantine. Use this time to strategically move without the ball and get yourself into a winning position for the long term.