Transcript  Episode #140  Building Operational Resilience

Intro: Welcome to Arise2Live podcast Episode 140. Today, Scott talks about how business leaders and owners can create operational, resilient companies and organizations. Arise2Live’s purpose is to bring clarity and perspective so you can have freedom in both your business and family life. Let’s get started with today’s episode.

Scott: Hello, everyone. My name is Scott Weaver, the Arise2Live business coach, and this episode is on resilience, specifically building resilience into your business operations. Please share this episode, let others know about it. The Arise2Live Nation is growing and I really appreciate you sharing.

The idea for a topic on resilience started the day I released my last episode two weeks ago. It was titled Three Trends Likely to Impact Business Owners. I suddenly realized that it was the third episode on Business Trends this year. Something I’ve never done before and I was asking myself, “why?” Is it the economic season that’s causing change? Why do I feel such certain urgency to let my listeners get a glimpse of what could be coming our way?

It all gets down to “I want you to be successful in your business.” However, it’s defined by you. There are some business owners who just want a simple life and a business provides that. There’s others who are going for the big hit and fast growth in revenues.

Whatever your vision, what we see today, we have to admit that our business climate is facing a bit of uncertainty. I think a good chunk of this uncertainty is coming from the K shape economic recovery in the U.S. that does seems to be giving us complications left and right.

The K shape economy recovery is named after the capital letter K. And if you write it down, you’ll notice there is an upward line and a downward line. Many people describe the economy as we come out of the pandemic as a K shape.

In some places the businesses are doing very well and other places the businesses are struggling very much. However, we have all have had to make changes, and now we are facing inflation, hiring problems, supply chain issues, and maybe another Covid variant sweeping the country.

And on top of that, as if we don’t have any more problems, we are also facing changing customer habits and attitudes. And that adds up to a tall order. Maybe this is a sign of the times that we are just facing the headwinds of uncertainty.

I did a Google search on resilient business owner 2021 and got over 56 million results. 56 million hits on being resilient just for the business owner. I did not expect that high of number, something is going on. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about resiliency in my own business.

You see, I am ramping up my business and podcast to the next level or another way to put it, I’m moving along the business maturity curve. I have to say that things are harder, money flows faster, and the marketing is more exacting.

I am in the midst of creating a video production system. I am trying to better my writing and communication skills and much more. And in these changes, I’ve had to go outside my comfort zone and that has been kind of scary for me.

I also thought of my clients. They also have been working really hard to build and expand their business. But a few of them have hit setbacks. One didn’t get a follow on grant, which was quite a surprise. Another one reached the next level and was all excited. But then her alliance partner is now struggling to handle another COVID lockdown and may close down. So connecting the dots here, there seems to be a lot of business owners across America who are dealing this K shape recovery and facing unwelcome change.

And that’s, that’s something in common with all of us business leaders. We are trying to move forward. We’re taking steps with our business. But unwelcome adversary is just pestering us, handing us setbacks with no return policy. It’s, it’s difficult to swallow when you do everything right and still get the smack down.

All I can say is, well, life is not fair sometimes. And this could be part of the reason why there’s over 56 million Google hits on business resilience. So what can we do about it? What are some things that we can do to create a strong and flexible business?

And I think the answer starts with our attitude and then building operational resilience. Running a successful business has always been a game of operational excellence. But over time and the economic conditions, when they change, the picture of what operational excellence looks like, changes.

I think for our current times, the picture has three A’s: attitude, adaptability, and agility.

On attitude, the business leader’s attitude, both when there’s success and when there’s setbacks. That attitude is reflected by the team and the employees. So having a good attitude goes a long way.

Some elements of a resilient attitude include identity, your culture. What do you do as a business? Who are you? You can’t be all to everyone. So you focus on what you do and not try to be somebody you’re not.

Another attitude is faith in the future: that things will be better. Whether that comes from a good company vision or faith in God or a higher power. The business leader needs to have confidence of what is not seen today. This confidence that these good things will take place in the future. I don’t think blind optimism is going to cut it these days.

Another attitude is trust. Trusting your network – employees and your support team. Trusting means actually doing what they say in areas outside your expertise. And that’s hard to do. It’s very hard for me.

When something goes sideways, ask yourself, “what does this make possible?” This creates a completely different attitude than trying to blame or feel like you’re a victim. And this works especially with employees. All of a sudden it’s like, it creates the mindset of – Wow, this setback happened. “What can we do? How can we take advantage of it for our benefit?”

The second A is adaptability. Creating adaptable business processes and a workforce takes some effort. But it can be very worth it. Use your existing talent. Train or up skill your employees to take advantage of new opportunities that might be coming your way.

Another area is business process. They need to be flexible in changing circumstances. Use techniques like modular software and equipment where you can scale up and scale down depending on the situation. Try to find software that works both in the cloud and on a computer, on the local computer, in case Internet’s not working.

Part of being adaptable is innovating. You can get new ideas to improve your business from customers and suppliers and employees. These people, they see things from a different perspective. And that perspective could inlighten you to make really good decisions. And that could be a very good thing to help you be innovative and adaptable in a surprising situation. I will say that creating close contacts so that people and customers feel comfortable to tell you their ideas, that takes time. But it’s often worth it.

I’ll give you an example. Last year in the middle of the lockdowns and the pandemic, Michael Hyatt came up with some revenue goals for his company, but he also included his employees. And so he gave them the question, what would you do? What kind of numbers could we hit? And he called a meeting together, and he didn’t say what his numbers were. He asked for theirs first. And this was amazing. The employees came back with a higher number than he thought was even possible, like a good business owner, he kept his mouth shut at the time and let his team do their thing. And they hit the numbers they said they would have. If he had not gone to his team, he would actually been leaving money on the table.

The third A is agility. Integrating agility into your strategy and reserve is a good way to prepare for the unexpected setbacks and opportunities. Having extra cash in the bank for good things or bad things, that is building up resilience, building up slack time for you and your company.

That is, don’t run a too lean of a company. Have some slack time in slack areas. Yes, there’s some higher costs of doing this, but agility doesn’t come free and when you need it, you really need it. And in creating agility, one way is to develop cross-trained employees or training up a new generation of managers from the rank and file. And this is often applied to new products when a company is trying to come up with a new product or service.

These things carry more risk as well as more opportunity. So most companies like to put their best people on the new products, but doing so could impact your existing products. However, if you have the agility and you have cross-trained people or prepared new managers to handle the existing products or services, then all of a sudden now you have two competent teams to accomplish things.

Remember that good execution in your business is the name of the game in times of uncertainty and good execution is building resilience into your company to withstand the surprises. The K shape economy is creating change and challenge for both businesses on the upward and downward sides of the K.

I think this is one of the reasons why there’s so much talk out there about being resilient these days. Today, we covered three areas on how business leaders can, can put real resiliency into their business. First one is have a resilient attitude, create adaptable business processes and workforce, and integrate agility into your strategy to prepare for the unexpected setbacks and opportunities.

I ask you to do some homework. Take a blank piece of paper and write down these three A’s on it- Attitude, Adaptability, and Agility. Underline each of these words, and then create a list of things that you can do to put resiliency into your company. Then take action on them. Execution in your business is key. And we know that being resilient allows you to arise2live.

Sponsor: Today’s sponsor is Arise2Live Business Coaching: a professional and structured system to get business owners to grow and gain freedom from the chaos of running a business.

Scott uses a proprietary four step system to get you the results you need. Start running a thriving business, not a self created job. Schedule a call today on the website.