What’s Your Plan Now?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Plans need to correspond to the times in which we live. When life changes dramatically on us, we must adjust our plans. This seems harsh at first. We don’t want to change. However, there are times when we have no choice. Right now is likely one of those times.

We have been living in the middle of a global pandemic for the better part of six months. The last three months have turned most of our worlds on their heads. It’s jarring to think back to the changes we have experienced. And, change and turmoil seem far from over. It’s time to reexamine our plans. It’s time to take additional actions to secure our futures. How do we do this effectively in times that are so different than they were a short time ago?

It is usually helpful to assess what is the same and what has changed. This needs to be an honest assessment of what has happened, how it has changed the current reality, and what is now required. Understanding our new landscape helps us understand how we navigate it. If we have the wrong map, no amount of hard work can get us to our desired outcomes. For most of us, our maps have been altered and our plans need to change to address this reality.

Once we have identified, in a rough but meaningful way, our new reality, we can set new expectations. These expectations establish what is now possible and what we can work toward creating. This way, our goals will be better suited to the new world we live in. Being explicit with ourselves and our teams about new expectations is critical. The underlying assumptions are key. We should not assume that all can see and accept what has changed. Spending time discussing the new expectations and the new landscape is a must. Without it, the revised goals and new outcomes will not register and will likely be resisted.

What is your new landscape? Is it clear to you and your team what the underlying assumptions are now? What are your new expectations? Are you clear about them? Do your outcomes and goals need to be adjusted? What is your new plan for the new normal? What must change and what gets to stay the same? These, and many other questions like them, form the basis of successful plans that address today’s new realities and challenges.

People are generally realistic once they see what has changed. Being explicit about what has changed allows us all to have a conversation about the new normal and what the reimagined future can now be. Opportunities are present in every environment – no matter how challenging. Seeing them is the key. Adjusting our day-to-day approach is what will matter most. Aligning them to outcomes and goals that have been reimagined give us and our teams the best approach for success now. We can create a new plan and execute it successfully. It is the challenge of our time. Given our past successes, I believe we are up to the challenge.