The Joy to Lead Podcast

Innovating & Leading Through Times of Uncertainty

March 26, 2020 Kaylan Thompson
The Joy to Lead Podcast
Innovating & Leading Through Times of Uncertainty
Chapters
The Joy to Lead Podcast
Innovating & Leading Through Times of Uncertainty
Mar 26, 2020
Kaylan Thompson

In order to survive times of uncertainty and disruption to our natural growth pattern in business we must utilize our team to innovate a new path forward. How do you lead and pursue growth when you literally don't have the answers? The answer is simple - innovate - and here's how.

Shownotes are at www.joytolead.com/innovation

Show Notes Transcript

In order to survive times of uncertainty and disruption to our natural growth pattern in business we must utilize our team to innovate a new path forward. How do you lead and pursue growth when you literally don't have the answers? The answer is simple - innovate - and here's how.

Shownotes are at www.joytolead.com/innovation

speaker 0:   0:00
Hey, guys, look into this next episode of the joint lead podcast. Today is a special episode where I'm diving into some of the repercussions of Cove in 19 and talking about ways that we can band together as a team and as a community, as leaders to overcome this crisis and make it to the other side and innovate a new path forward. So get your notes out and tune in way can all agree that growing our business alone is pretty dang hard. But here's the bright side way. Don't have to go. Welcome to the joy to lead podcast. Where were all about rising up the next generation of leaders and building teams of purpose in the world? Change. My name is Carolyn Thompson, leadership and team building coach for entrepreneurs like you. Each week we meet with business leaders to bring you life giving strategies and encouragement to help you grow your team, scale your business and step into the leadership role that you were created for. So warm up that cup of coffee for the second or third time and let's dive into today's episode. Hey, guys, welcome to this next episode of the Joy to lead podcast today we're taking a different direction. I have kind of halted my content plan for the next month. On Tuesdays, you'll still be staying my guest interviews that I already had lined up. But once a week, I'm gonna be coming on and talking through ways that we can get through this cove in 19 quarantine era together. Um, we're kind of living. We all know that we're living in different times, and no one really knows what's on the other end of this. And so I know that running a business, especially if you have a team or if you're in a season where you need to hire support and you're like Oh my gosh, what does this mean for my team right now? My future team and my business? How are we going to get through this and innovate together? I know this is scary, and I know it's kind of crazy, and we're all walking through it together, and I want you to know that you were made for this before we move forward. If you don't listen to any other part of this episode, I know that you were made for this. Your leadership was made for. This leadership is designed for moments like these. And so I want you to know that it's okay to not have all the answers. In fact, leaders don't usually have all the answers. Leaders are leaders because they ask the right questions to the right people. So if you have a team around, you be thankful for them, hugged their next during this time and know that by asking the right questions, that's all you need to do to step up as a leader right now. So I have been talking with my dear friend and client, Hannah Murphy, about innovation. Um, I'm gonna be on her podcast. Ah, talking later next month. I think about this and about hiring your team members. She's been talking about innovation a lot recently, and we're gonna be going live on her instagram feed to talk about innovation and business and for your team's going forward. And I have some thoughts as well that I wanted to share here with you guys, and I do want to shout out Hannah for raising this topic. To me, innovation right now is key. It is basically what leadership is in times of risk and uncertainty, and I want to pour some encouragement in you today and also some tactical things that we can be doing to make sure that we're leading with confidence and innovation on a foundation of creativity and logic through this season. So I want Thio first say that the undercurrent of innovation is to drive revenue for your company to drive growth and sustainability for your company. And to do that you have to look at a few things. And that's one what has made revenue in the past, what has driven growth for your business in the past and then to what's stopping it. Now you know what is currently keeping that pathway from staying open from continuing to make more money or as much money or more growth and as much growth as it has in the past. So what has worked in the past in what has changed to make that irrelevant now and then take um, inventory of the current landscape and say, How does what has worked in the past? How must that change a little bit to continue working going forward, so innovation must happen to keep things going upward and onward. I recently read a book called Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson. Oh my gosh, I think I've been for the past ever since I read that book I've been weaving and those thoughts into all of my client calls all my shut Might my sessions, all of my Joyful Leader group sessions. I've been talking about this book nonstop because it is so good and it's so apple kable to where we are today. Innovation must happen to keep things going upward. So in this book, she explains, personal growth must happen on an S curve. So if you look at an s curve on a chart, it has a starting point. It takes a small dip as it goes forward, and then it slowly goes upward, after which it starts to plateau. So it literally looks like a letter s on a curve. And so she explains that there's different seasons or different phases of growth that makes that s curve. But the 1st 1 being a place of risk, you first have to enter your entering a new season literally. What got you here literally will not take you to the next point because you have reached a plateau that is your starting point. At this point, you have to take inventory of your landscape, which is what I talked about a few minutes ago and determine what your next pathway is. You have to weigh the risks, is going to feel like a huge risk as going to be a risk because you are literally charting brand new territory. When you take that dip and that risk you're entering a learning curve because, like I said, you're literally charting new territory, mental territory, emotional territory, physical comprehension, all logistical, everything you're doing, something that you have never done before. And here's why. It feels scary because you don't have the pathways, the neuron pathways in your brain that has said, Hey, I've done this before. I know what to do. It's literally saying I have not done this before. I do not know what to do, and that is scary and it feels like risk, and to some extent it is. But when we're experiencing that that new territory, then you see growth. You pursue that path, way you learn as you go. You had up that learning curve and you start to see promise and benefit and you go upwards on that on that curve. But here's the thing. It won't last forever, right? You'll eventually plateau. You'll hit the top of that s curve, and you must chart even new territory to continue going forward. So that's the typical growth pattern that Wendy Johnson explains in her book. Disrupt yourself for personal growth. And I think the same thing applies for business growth. But see, what we're experiencing right now is a disruption is an external disruption to the natural pattern. So right now, all of us in business, we are somewhere along her own personal s curves. Some of us may be just starting out. You may have started your business a few months ago. You may have entered a new season off business. You may have just brought a team member, and that put puts you on a new s curve because you're entering a new season of learning and charting new pathways. You may have started another revenue stream. You may have literally just started your business. See, each of us are on so many different areas of our S curve. Wherever we are, some people may be at the top we may have plateau done looking for that new, um, that new pat pathway going forward, some of us meet might be smack dab in the middle. But now, no matter who you are or where you are, we are all disrupted by this external, uncontrollable worldwide thing called Cove in 19 the Corona virus. For those of you guys who are listening in the future, I envy you because you know the future and you know where we have gone and you're looking back with more wisdom than we have right now. Um, but we're all experiencing a communal disruption to that growth curve. So no matter where we are on the S Grove in the natural growth of our business before cove in 19 it has now been utterly disrupted. And we're now all finding ourselves back at square one back at the beginning of a new s curve. Some of us and I hope I pray this is not you. And if you're listening to this podcast, there's a small chance that it is. But if you are chugging along on your previous s curve thinking that you're it's business as usual, you're just gonna keep going the way that you've been going, I want you to take stock, open your eyes, take a breather and know that it's okay to be back at the beginning to be back at that risk phase. In the beginning phase, when everything feels new and uncharted, you have done it before and you can do it again. And what's really cool about where we are now is that we're all in the same place, no matter what. I've been doing virtual coffee dates last week in this week. And no matter what, you know that the person on the other side is literally experiencing the same exact thing. This is the first time this has ever happened in my lifetime. Um, I'm sure to some extent, it has happened in the past, but I think for the first time in I don't even know. I don't know this generation, our world is all having the same shared experience. Every single person on this earth that's scary. But also at the same time. How powerful is that? And how can we leverage that so that we can all continue up the s curve of this new s curve? That's so scary. and we're all the bottom taking risks together. But how awesome is it now that we can all do it together? And when one of us falls, there are other people around to pick you back up. So everything right now feels like a risk. I know that. And to be honest, it is. It truly is. I don't want to say that it's not. I don't want to say that there's not pain and hard work up ahead. But this is what we were made for. You guys, This is what drives entrepreneurship. This is what drives leadership. This is why we were created. And this is why we're here. And let me tell you, leadership means nothing if we're if it's roses and flowers and sunshine and rainbows all the freaking time. This is why leadership exists. This is why entrepreneurship exists. We were made for this. And now we're doing it together. So yes, it feels like a risk. Yes, it is a risk. And we're all charting brand new territory. But I want to talk about why this is a gift right now. So, yes, there is pain and I don't want to overlook that. But what we're doing right now is we're looking at what good and promise and opportunity still remains for each of us In spite of the pain and the struggle that our world is experiencing and that each of us are experiencing in this shared wait, right now there is still good and they're still growth and there's still opportunity and we can find it and move our world forward towards that light. It's our job right now. To do that as leaders and as entrepreneurs. It's our job to step up and say Hey, I know, but this is scary, But I know the way forward when everything feels like a fog. I've done this before and before we move forward, I honestly want you to pause this episode. Please pause this episode and go journal. Or just think for a minute about when you started your business, you think back to what it felt like. Honest to goodness, it felt like a fog, didn't it? There is some point in your business some point on your journey right now where you literally were in new territory. You were doing something you had never done before, and I want you to pull out some qualities in yourself that got you through that. What did you learn about yourself? What do you attribute? What strengths do you attribute to your success from that you grew through that you overcame that and you started in spite off not knowing what direction to go in. What strengths do you attribute to that? What part of yourself grew and took hold and stood up tall during that time to take you through that uncharted territory? Go do that and then come back. And let's talk about why this is a gift. So if it's not new territory, if it's all sun shines and rain, bows and roses, everything is easy. Everything's been done before. We're literally just following the steps that somebody else has laid out for us. Then we're literally just following a step by step instruction off someone's existing business. Here's how to create a business that I have already created. We don't want to do that because then we're not meeting a new need. We're basically making ourselves irrelevant in their strategies that are common to all businesses that we can take and learn from. But the end of the day we have to take strategies and filter them through our own business, our own lens to make them unique to us. If you're just following the step by step easy way off something that has been here before, written by somebody who has been there, done that, that you're simply creating a replica of something that already exists. New territory. Charting new territory means that you're building innovative and sustainable D N a. Into your business that makes it your own business. And once you do that, listen. Once you have your unique d n a of innovation the way that you uniquely innovate in, create and chart new pathways and grow basically your own growth plan your way that you grow uniquely that can't be stopped once you know that. And you have that in your DNA, no matter what happens if Cove in 20 comes out to Cove in 21 Cove in 20 to pray against that, let's rewind and take that back. But no matter what comes our way, you know that you have that DNA in there. You have that map and you can continue to move forward along whatever s curve comes, and I just want to say that those who can innovate well, who can be creative and be willing to move forward when they don't know the way those are the ones that are gonna make it into the future. I don't want to Sugar coat this. This is a time where, yes, there is going to be some kind of natural selection for businesses. I'm gonna be real and honest about that, and I don't want to sugar coat it and just say, Hey, we're all in it together and we're all gonna grow. Yes, that is true. If we all buckle down and get riel and honest with ourselves and our emotions, deal with how we're dealing with this and get riel and honest you guys and roll up our sleeves and ready to do the hard work. The businesses that will not survive are the ones who are trying to go about. His business is usual. The ones who don't roll up their sleeves, the ones who try to have all the answers before they lead their team. The ones who make rash decisions and don't look realistically at their numbers. The ones who hide from their numbers, who operate out of fear and not a healthy amount of risk and creativity and excitement and faith. If you could hold on to excitement, faith, community, all good things in life. If you can ask for support when you need it, ask for advice when you need it and filter it through your your knowledge and your expertise and your your DNA of your business. You will be able to be scrappy and move forward, and this is a really cool because at this time we can look around and we can honestly take down the competitive walls. And we can truly say that we're in this together. This is why having a team is such a blessing in this time, like you might be feeling like it's a financial burden and to an extent it is. I don't want to say that having a team is all roses, but carrying that weight of financial responsibility is a responsibility that you signed up for when you decided to scale you trade support for financial responsibility. You say OK, I'm going to carry this responsibility because I have other responsibilities that I need to share the burden and you have to be honest with that, like it's not gonna be easy. But business ownership is not easy. Paying for people and having them rely on you for their money is not easy. But it's a responsibility that is on our plate. We simply have to step up and innovate a way forward so that we can continue those opportunities that were provided to other people. If we don't innovate and move forward, those opportunities will dwindle and die. We can't have that. And that's not to say that I don't want you to look at your numbers honestly and let go make strategic, um, decisions toe let go if you need to, But I don't want that to happen as a first reflex. I don't want your reflex to be resentment toward your team and fear. I want your reflex to be faith and creativity and going to your team and saying Hey, here's the question. What has worked in the past can't work right now, and we have to band together to figure out a way forward. And the truth is that your jobs depend on it, and my job depends on it. We're all in the same boat now, How are we going to move forward toward this? I want to hear your ideas. Let's all roll up our sleeves and let's get to it. The fact that you have a team around you right now is a freaking blessing on being so passionate worked up over this because I feel like so many of us right now are saying my team is a burden. If only I didn't have a team, then I would be free right now if you don't have a team, Yes, you would be more agile financially, but you'd be less agile innovation. Aly, if that's a word, the fact that you have a team right now make use of them. Yes, there is a component where you are carrying more financial weight and stress right now, but used that to what they were. They were made for the point that they that they're here, they're here because their perspective and their expertise matters to the growth and trajectory of your business. Used them have a state of the Union. If the last thing that you do, if you only do one thing following this this episode, I want you to have an all team meeting where you literally lay down everything, be completely vulnerable and say, Hey, here's the Reality Cove in 19 s hit. Things were different. It won't no matter what happens at the end of this how this resolves, it's not gonna be business as usual, A recession. Maybe in our future. Our recession may be here already. Ah, depression. Maybe in our future, we're gonna have to band together in order to survive and listen. Your jobs depend on the future of this business. Your doubt jobs depend on how we can innovate and grow. My job as well depends on this too. So let's roll up our sleeves and figure out a plan. What is one step that we can take as a company to move forward? What is one thing that we can create or do initiative. Could we spark? What way could it be? Help and get out there in our community that will keep this business in this company relevant At the end of the day off. Business is nothing more than opportunity for human beings. Do good work in this world. So your task is to figure out hey as a company as a team. Where is the opportunity for us to do good work right now and do it, Figure it out? Ask her team, listen to their ideas and the thing about brainstorming is you'll come up with 99 ideas that absolutely suck. But you have to get through those 99 ideas to get to the one that's golden. So I don't want you to stop until your entire team can agree. Hate this idea, is it? This is it. I want you to get out those 99 really sucky ideas. Don't be afraid to get them on the table. Don't be afraid to laugh at them if they truly suck, but don't hold them en encouraging.