2020 will be a year we talk about for decades to come.

Our world was thrown into chaos, and our lives and the lives of our employees, vendors, and customers will never be the same. Too much has changed in too short a period of time to ever go back to “normal,” and with that, we should not even try.

Our role as leaders is to be looking forward. To assess what has happened, some of it for the better, some not, learn from all of it, and then develop strategies to move forward with the mindset of creating what can be – and not lamenting what should have been.

This is the summer of possibility.

Ask yourself, your employees, your customers, and your vendors: What can we do to be better and more effective?

What are the policies, procedures, assumptions, and sacred cows that you as an organization have been holding near and dear to your heart that no longer apply?

What has been holding you and your people back, and what has not allowed you to be an effective choice for your prospective clients?

Now is the time to assess what has worked, what has not, and why.

What are the policies, procedures, and methods of communication you adopted during the crisis in order to survive? Do they still serve you? Or were they just duct tape you put on the boat in order to keep in from temporarily filling up with water?

This summer is the time to bring your people together. Talk to them about what has happened, what has been effective, and what has not. What innovative solutions should you be thinking of to move the business forward, and how will enacting those help the company and those within it succeed?

What has and has not worked in terms of communication? Did Zoom or other technology you applied during the pandemic serve you well? If yes, why / how / what does that mean for you as an organization moving forward? If no, why not? What were the challenges and how can they be overcome?

For your people, what  insights you have gained about them, and have they discovered about each other? Who stepped up and led, and who took a step back? Who was effective working from home, and who was not? Who showed leadership qualities, and who did not?

Now that you have this information, what changes will you make, and how will you reward the people who went above and beyond to make sure things got done no matter what?

Now is the time to have conversations with your vendors. What innovations and insights have they developed during the pandemic? What efficiencies have they found, or new products have they developed, that can help you better serve both your employees and your customers?

Now that you have dealt with your people in house and those who support your people, it is time to reach out to your clients to find out what has changed for them.

What insights have they found about their business, and what does that mean for them and their goals moving forward?

Now is the time to be creative with them, and to build stronger alliances through more innovative and flexible solutions. To first understand their path to success, and then help them achieve it. To be real partners and consider different ways to support them.

This summer is a time to be talking to everyone about what is next. If we are not focusing now on our people and processes, our purpose, and our customers, they may not be there in September and beyond.

Now is the time to communicate and get creative.

Here is wishing everyone health, safety, and long-term success.

Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to lead teams effectively into the new normal.