On Wednesday night, the National Basketball Assoc (NBA) suspended all games, indefinitely, when one player tested positive for COVID-19. The abrupt cancellation of a game about to start, with fans in attendance, and further cancellation of all games put the league on hiatus. It was a big, bold and costly decision. This took guts, and real leadership….and the ability to look at the long-term health of the league. It is the right step for players, administrative staff and fans of the league.
As a high growth company, how do you maintain top productivity of your employees during a truly disruptive time? When a global pandemic unevenly strikes across the country (and globe), how does leadership show employees that it has their welfare as its top priority without sacrificing the long-term health of the company? How can you achieve a strong level of productivity and be empathetic to all employees while battling a global pandemic?
As an entrepreneur and business owner, I’ve been called to make tough decisions. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Take a long-term approach. It may be painful in the short term, but how does that compare to the long-term effects of inaction? Can you find ways to provide employees a level of safety AND devise ways to make the business productive (or at least break even) now?
Have Courage. It is always hard and unsettling. Be strong and decisive in decision making. Do what is right, and treat people the way you want to be treated. Chance favors the strong and bold.
Communicate with Integrity. Get out in front of things. Be honest and transparent with employees and clients alike. It is appreciated and goes a long way towards good will. Be specific and get granular with policies and procedures.
Build new capabilities and capacity. Take advantage of this opportunity. Re-evaluate your business model…review the policies and procedures you have relied on blindly for years. Look at new employees or consultants that can provide different approaches in a period of upheaval.
Means & ends. Do things the right way, the ethical way. There will be opportunity to cut corners or do some things that are not part of your company’s DNA. Don’t allow yourself to do what you know will harm your brand in the long term. It is just not worth it.
Fulfill the future. Could this be that Liminal Space for your organization? A Liminal Space is that period of time where true transformation takes place? Is this the ‘thing’ that will allow you to try all the ideas you’ve put aside?
If you think about it differently, what if It was a disruptive competitor rather than an act of nature that was forcing your hand? How would you react?