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Things are changing quickly, but making progress slowly. It’s all very confusing.

Certainly my sense of time has gotten all screwed up since March.

The challenge is that you, as leader, are tasked with leading communication for your organization.

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This is a very stressful time, so we’re all doing it.

Making mistakes.

That’s just par for the course, really. And it doesn’t help that information and advice is constantly changing. Something which seemed right yesterday may feel like totally the wrong thing today.

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We’re all experiencing some of the greatest uncertainty of our lifetimes. It’s a time when nobody on the planet seems to have any answers.

What do you do in this environment? How do you keep your business alive?

The first principle is to ask for help. We are fortunate to have so many excellent resources in our state government and SBDCs. These people are doing the best they can to be helpful.

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash
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I spoke recently with a business owner who’s getting depressed about so many opportunists entering his industry. He’s worked hard to establish himself as honest and credible, while others merely come in to harvest profit and then move on.

As we talked, though, we realized that this is part of the nature of an emerging industry.

Many of you are familiar with the concept that products have life cycles. Geoffrey Moore broke it down this way in Crossing the Chasm:

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There are times where everything seems to blow up at once. It might be something specific to your industry, like a drastic new regulation or disruptive innovation.

Or it might be something more general, like a worldwide virus threat or global financial crisis.

Yeah, I know that never happens, but stay with me here. Just in case.

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Some industries are getting more nervous.

Tariffs. Wars. Interest rates. Softer consumer confidence.

The question is what you choose to do with all this swirling information. Because it’s always something. If you want a reason to avoid committing to a decision, there’s always something you can blame it on.

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In the past weeks, I’ve taken us through the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. And I’ve introduced another VUCA to help us navigate: Values, Uplift, Commitment, Action.

The problem is that we might think of “times of change” as individual events. Our objective is to survive each change, then get back to “normal.”

Unfortunately, “normal” is now Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. Always uncomfortable.

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UNCERTAINTY CAN DRIVE you nuts!

The market is shifting.  Regulations are up in the air.  Partners can be unpredictable.  Employees are, well, human.

As a business owner, your job is to create some stability despite all this shifting sand.  Sorry to give you the bad news, but it’s the only way you’ll make progress.

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fearWE SPENT THE LAST SIX MONTHS focusing on, and often dreading, the outcome of the US presidential election.

There really was no reason to be paralyzed, but it seems that’s where a lot of business owners went to.

So it’s time reflect.  In business, stuff constantly changes.  New competitors come on the scene.  Technology advances.  Regulations shift.

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