How to Avoid Falling in a Rut While Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

Running a business during a pandemic may have you feeling like you’re in “Groundhog Day,” but here’s some advice: Ask yourself, what would Bill Murray do?

How to Avoid Falling in a Rut While Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

One of my favorite movies is “Groundhog Day” and its star, Bill Murray, is one of my favorite comedic actors. The film sees Murray play Phil Connors, a cynical TV weatherman whose assignment is to cover Groundhog Day.

He doesn’t pay much respect to his supporting TV crew and is anxious to move on to his next assignment after covering a mundane, annual event in Punxsutawney, Pa. Sounds like a boring, normal life until the weather changed with a snowstorm (COVID-19), and he had to overnight it in this sleepy town. Then the fun begins.

Starting with the alarm clock going off, Phil Connors woke to “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher. Day after day after day … sure sounds familiar like “we are in this together!” Who has got you these days? What would Phil do?

He sharpened his skill stack every day until he transformed himself into a renaissance man, albeit to impress his love interest, Rita, played by Andie MacDowell. He became a better “balanced” person with wide interests and everyday talent development.

Consider becoming a better-balanced company with more cash flow derived from recurring monthly revenue (RMR) or managed services. Companies with stronger RMR components are weathering the COVID-19 storm with resilience. What will that take?

It will take an updated company vision of the future and perhaps a shift in your culture. Phil evolved because he had a new vision every day of how to impress Rita to reveal what a wonderful catch he was by continually delighting her and building a stronger rapport.

Take this example to re-examine your company vision and culture to ensure you are more attractive to your associates when we get back to whatever normal will be. Why does this matter?

Your employees have gone through a life- and perhaps career-changing experience having spent a good deal of time at home with family, which has enabled time to explore what is important. Their idea of work/life balance may have shifted.

Will your company, culture and vision align with their new value system? This is worth some reflection and consideration of how this might impact your company’s culture, talent, work processes and future.

The way you attract, recruit and retain talent could very well change. The strategies you have used in the past may not be as effective with people’s new views of work/life balance.

Some things you may not know about the making of “Groundhog Day”:

  • Bill Murray was bitten twice by the groundhog and required a rabies shot. Lesson learned: You cannot quit when the going gets tough, even with the thought of another bite.
  • How long do you think Phil was trapped in his groundhog loop? Eight years, eight months and 16 days. This is according to some fan club. And you think you have it rough?

Where will your company be in that future timeframe? What new skills, services, people, talents and business health would you want to see? If you are going to evolve your business, will your current employees be able to make the journey with you, or will they hold back progress?

While this may sound harsh, it may be time to cut the dead wood out of your talent forest. You will need the right adaptable individuals who are unafraid of change in order to move your company to greater resiliency, which requires new business models.

People who demonstrate “arrested development,” negative thinking disguised as concern for the company or worse yet, passive-aggressive behavior that pretends to support new ideas on the surface, but sabotages them in the back rooms, need to move on if you want to grow.

The upside is that it may be good for them as well to find a better career fit. You will be surprised how quickly and how fast real growth begins when the brush is cleared from the forest. Where does this journey begin?

Re-evaluate your current product/service offerings through the new lessons learned that COVID-19 has graced us with. Winston Churchill once said, “An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.” Churchill is my favorite big crises leader of all time; his broad shoulders carried England to victory after the catastrophic defeat at Dunkirk. You are the Churchill of your company whose associates, suppliers and customers look toward in time of doubt and uncertainty.

Your role is to find the opportunities during this calamity with positive leadership to address new threats in new ways and to adapt. This pandemic, if history repeats itself, may resurface later this year.

Will your company have new products and services to help associates and customers to weather that storm? Will you be able to remotely service customers without truck rolls and face-to-face contact?

Look for new products, applications and services that protect your customers and your business revenue health!

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About the Author

Paul Boucherle

Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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