I know what we did this summer

I know what we did last summer

This is quite a personal post, which I’ve been thinking about writing but held off for a while. About what we got wrong and what we did right. And what the future holds.

Coronavirus was a big, clanging blow. We already knew there was a recession coming (it was long overdue after all). Most of the companies we work with on the 2Y3X Programme had already set their minds to preparation. And bearing in mind going into an acceleration programme is a big commitment, we knew every single one was absolutely determined to take advantage of it.

Uh, how do you take advantage of a recession?

As founders ourselves, we’ve been through several. I had a whole bunch of agencies and an agency group in my time as a founder and CEO. The really great ones were all founded during a recession. There’s a simple logic to it, which comes in four parts:

  • You can’t carry your baggage into a recession because you can only design for the future, not for how it was when things were booming, so it forces you to evaluate only future opportunities
  • Clients and customers get much more selective (because it’s a buyer’s market), so your proposition has to be bang on for what they want from now onwards, not for the previous status quo
  • Competitors that don’t or can’t reposition lose their newly-focused clients and go bust, which means that clients move their business to the really sorted suppliers and they in turn thrive
  • These revitalised suppliers – you – attract the best of the released talent and a virtuous circle ensues

The reason the companies we work with had started focusing on, well, re-focusing is that they recognised that they needed to reorganise so that they could meet the coming recession head on and take advantage of the new landscape. Their planning, with us guiding them, centred around redefining, rationalising, focusing and building scalability.

Then bloody COVID hit out of the blue

The companies who were already on the 2Y3X programme took the hit, and still reeling we all regrouped and everyone rolled their sleeves up. As a direct result one of the companies we work with just had its most profitable month in years. Two others are making around 30% net. One has just sold at a multiple of eight times profit, double the market norm.

Our own company did something different. It could have been disastrous, yet it has been an amazing and exhilarating experience.

In early March we were in the middle of interviewing two new consultants for our company. We run a two-year programme that has a great track record: everyone that’s completed the programme in the last five years has doubled or tripled revenue. We’re pretty proud of that. We had decided to expand and were onboarding new clients. Our brand was strong, proposition clear, future bright.

So we were recruiting. Now, the first thing we teach people who work with us is how to attract, interview, qualify and motivate A-Players. We had identified our deeply-held personal values and knew we’d only want to work with people who shared them. So we were interviewing and had tentatively decided to take on these two new people. We’d also decided to hire a marketing assistant. Mia was due to start on March 16th.

Lockdown day

Frank and I made two decisions on the spot. Nearly six months later the reverberations are still being felt.

The first was a human one: Mia clearly had missed the window for qualifying for furlough and would have been left in the lurch. So we asked her to start as planned. Turns out Mia was just what we needed when it came to the second decision.

This was the big one.

We decided to scrap marketing and pitching for new clients.

We decided to make 2Y3X a pro bono company for the duration.

What surprised us was that nobody wanted to help us publicise it. Trade mags wanted to be paid to publish a press release about opening our doors to anyone who needed help. That was a disappointment to be honest. My view of industry rags purporting to support their communities became decidedly jaded.

So we publicised it ourselves, posting relentlessly on LinkedIn about our offer: free, no charge access to former founders and CEOs with decades of helping businesses survive. With absolutely no strings attached.

What happened next surprised us

Suddenly we started getting messages from coaches, consultants and chairs.

They were industry heavyweights. People I’ve known or admired from afar for years. Founders and CEOs with incredible track records. I mean inspirational leaders. And they wanted to help.

It gave us a roster of amazing people who made themselves available to the entrepreneurs who asked us for help.

We were suddenly able to help people from all sorts of sectors: agencies, engineering firms, tech companies, startups, professional services firms, social impact businesses.

We decided to train our volunteers in the way 2Y3X works so they could use some of the tools to give instant assistance to these pro bono clients. We ran group workshops and brought together these wonderful volunteers and started folding them into the family.

An amazing person called Marea got in touch and offered to design an onboarding programme based on the (robust but intricate) 2Y3X system. Mia then turned it all into a system in a way that none of us could have.

Then the founders of a successful management consulting firm based in the Middle East contacted us and asked if they could volunteer their services too.

On the weekend before lockdown I had been wondering whether or not to write my next book (on proposition development frameworks); whether or not to find a beach hut to retreat to for a few months until COVID blew over. I would have been very, very tanned by now but I suspect the book would have been a little lacklustre.

Instead I found myself doing fifty or sixty-hour weeks every week until mid-August.

We ran pro bono for almost six months

It also saw us opening a 2Y3X office covering the Gulf States and North Africa. Our ambition is to take the 2Y3X programme around the world, with trusted relationships built on common values.

Today we are just starting to refocus ourselves on taking on new clients. The ambitious ones. The ones who are absolutely determined to break through the plateau and nail it. Who want us to help them deliver on our promise: to double or triple revenue in the face of recession.

We’ve learned as we’ve refocused that pro bono works for us. For clients who really can’t pay for the 2Y3X programme there will always be a way of engaging with us free of charge, even if it’s only for emergency interventions or structured short-term planning.

We have also launched a 90-day version of 2Y3X which we call QuickMap, designed for companies that can invest in a fast, strong rebound but can’t (yet) afford the full programme.

Pent-up demand…

Last month Gartner published this chart which reminds us that pent-up demand for success requires the best suppliers focused on the future not clinging to the past.

Gartner pent-up demand post-covid rebound strategy

We bit the bullet ourselves, we switched our focus to the new future not the old and comfortable. We decided to focus on what we could do something about now, not on trying to hold on to a world that disappeared behind us. It was tough, though the central decisions were, to be honest, easy. The combination of serendipity and some kind of business karma repaid us a thousandfold.

And now we face the future. We are open for business and ready for it. We’ve been reshaped by Coronavirus, sure, but we are stronger for it, broader, with an unmatched team of people, better able to help owners and leaders achieve their loftiest ambitions. We are surrounded by smart, inspirational people who we’ve got to know because they all, without exception, put their hands up and volunteered without thinking about the commercial implications. They are gold and the future is bright.

Perhaps you share our approach as you think about your own company’s future. If so, maybe you should join the programme.

Felix Velarde, partner

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Why experimenting is more powerful than predicting

Why experimenting is more powerful than predicting

A podcast episode recently got me thinking about whether we’ll be ditching our predictions and embracing experiments as we move forward into the next phase of pandemic work-life. Many of us are always forecasting and projecting what might happen next, and struggling to know which step to take, which theory to test, which strategy to stir up can really start to take its toll. Maybe you’ve spent these months being still, sensing the dangers and trying to unscramble which direction will take you to somewhere better. It might be time to start moving, just a little.

Sceptical, fearful, genuinely terrified? We’ve felt these things before. Maybe with less intensity, or in different circumstances, but we have. And we’ve made it through. The only new aspect is how we react now, how we identify what we can bring to each new idea or task, and finding what we can personally offer, and what might offer huge rewards in return.

Action vs. analysis

It can feel tempting to unpack theories endlessly without responding. To observe and ponder when ‘the right time’ to act might be. Not having a strategy to work with can be utterly paralysing, especially when there have been so many other external stresses on all of our minds.

So, why do we find ourselves overthinking and under-acting? Stefan Thomke wrote that companies might ‘emphasise efficiency, predictability, and winning’, making failed experiments appear wasteful. He argues that to successfully innovate, companies must create an environment which celebrates and encourages the curiosity of its employees. In this sense, whether you’re a leader managing a team of hundreds, or a solo freelancer, actively seeking surprises and craving the reveal of new concepts creates a more productive culture.

Whether you’re experimenting on a side project, or on a larger-scale within your workplace, you won’t get to the data unless you actually do something.

There is no such thing as ‘not deciding’

I keep thinking back to swimming lessons as a child, partially because I’ve been deprived of the local pool for four months now, and partially because it feels like we’re all clinging onto the side of the pool. In essence, making the decision to not let go and staying put. Reluctance and avoidance were and are conscious actions.

There comes a point, surely, when we should stop observing and start doing. I’m hoping that by writing this I’ll start practicing what I preach! I know that procrastination and perfectionism affect many of us, and both are infuriating, but there are rarely environments which are 100% stable and ideal for decision-making. You make it the right time by acting. And even in our inaction, we are still making choices.

“There is fundamentally no such thing as ‘not deciding’. Choosing not to decide, or to ‘wait and see,’ is a decision in itself.”

Annie Duke (Author of How to Decide)

Staying on the sidelines is no safer or more comfortable. Reconsidering how we approach work in general has been at the forefront in these past months, and it’s been exhausting. And intense. But moving forward, if we’re to regain some sense of control and get creating, it’s really important to tap into the mindset of acting rather than analysing.

Learning from trying is better than guessing correctly

The same might not apply to stocks and shares and investment plans, but for most goals, trial and error genuinely beats treading water. If we face what intimidates us, and do it regularly, we can let ourselves pursue what we might have originally thought to be impossible. Momentum comes from movement, right? From that first push.

“The point is, to live everything… Live the questions now.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Live the questions now. Ask and try and you receive something – Information, data, a mistake to learn from, or a bloody good story.

Consider the risks, yes. Acknowledge that your feet might not touch the floor here. And sure, there might be piranhas lurking – but this is extremely unlikely. The only way to see if you can make it? Let go of the side. Stop guessing, and go for it. Swim.

That doesn’t mean taking a leap of faith alone, however. There’s plenty of support out there. For those who know that they want to take their business further, to accelerate their business growth (or to get their companies in a strong position to sell), come to our next event.

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Are we nearly there yet?

Are we nearly there yet?

When I was five – a really, really long time ago – my sisters and I used to call, “Are we nearly there yet?” from the back seat of my parents’ Austin Maxi on every single trip. How boring we must have felt the journeys, and how tedious our refrain must have been for the grown-ups. And yet when I became a driver and I talked with my dad about the distractions of having us kids playing in the sunny boot of whichever car we had (oh, way before seatbelts in the back!) as we got progressively bigger, he surprised me with his answer.

He never really noticed, he said, because he was always looking at the apex of the road, just at the point where the curve of the road disappeared from view, and he was always planning ahead. It was my mum, he said, who was the heroine of the piece, putting up with us and calming us.

For the past few months I’ve been meeting my clients’ and my colleagues’ kids. I’ve seen them climbing over mum and dad during meetings – and if I’m honest I have thoroughly loved all the subtle and not-so-subtle affirmations that we are all human and all in this together. I’ve also commiserated with those who are both working and teaching and taking kids on a probably fairly tedious journey through unknown territory. There are heroes all around us.

My colleagues in particular have been incredible, from our marketing assistant Mia who joined us on lockdown day and has truly been thrown in at the deep end, to our management consultants and leadership coaches. They have so generously volunteered their time to anyone who wants it and have enabled us to open the doors at 2Y3X to anyone in need of advice or help.

I’ve been using the time to add many more resources for existing clients, to teach people how 2Y3X works and, with my co-founder Frank Kelcz, to expand our international network. We’ve met some incredible, decent human beings during our own particular journey.

But thinking of the road: we should keep an eye on the apex, on the farthest point we can see in the curve of the road ahead. While we continue our tactical interventions and assistance, we must also keep our focus on what is coming. We’ve been helping our clients to plan ahead for their customers, so we should be doing it for ourselves too.

The world we lived in has changed. The new connections, the new recognition of our shared journey, will change the way we do business in the future, not least because we will likely go towards a more decentralised, less landlord-centric model of working; flexitime will no longer be even up for question; virtual meetings will have become normal; virtual workshops will be desirable, often more efficient, and more inclusive.

So, it is time for all of us to start thinking about planning ahead.

If your organisation is going to be different in six months’ time, what will the new you look like? What shape will it be? How will it be ready for the likely profound recession to come? How will you be differentiated, when everyone is fighting to their last for market share?

While our day-to-day work is about how to triple revenue (the 2Y3X Programme almost always doubles, and sometimes triples, revenue over its two-year span), my own sweet spot is value proposition development. All the companies we work with become famous for what they do. In expressing your new proposition in the context of a radically different world, how will you be defined? Are you planning who you can logistically be, what you can be best at, what your positioning will be as compared to everyone else, in the eyes of the newly minted customer with their freshly reevaluated strategy?

We have already started working with new clients who are bravely looking to the future and recognising that what they were before may no longer be fit for purpose. There’s a new way coming. Working with our wonderful team of volunteers, Eva, Ali, Owen, Sarah, David, Ehtasham, Polly, Lincoln, Mo, Vonnie and Tim, and working with a feast of pro bono clients to refine it, we developed a short-form version of the 2Y3X Programme. It is delivered in just over three months, and easily affordable by those in crisis mode. So while we’ve been helping those in need free of charge, we are preparing to launch the 2Y3X QuickMap programme to get companies back on their feet fast.

The really prescient, those with real foresight, realise that round that bend, the one they can already see when they lift their sights, there may be an opportunity to accelerate. These are the owners of the road. They are the ones who are planning to do their strategy workshops, to do their scenario mapping, to create their plans of action. To set their position, get in gear, and ready themselves for an as yet unseen – but certainly coming – future.

We’re not nearly there yet, at the apex of the road. That’s likely two months, maybe even six, away. But at the bend we need to be ready; ready to do our controlled turn so we can smoothly come out faster the other side. Our people need to be ready, our fellow travellers, colleagues, new working styles and kids and all. If all you do right now is plan to make a plan, you will have started to make ready for when you will need to be ready. Along the way you will have beaten the tedium, you’ll have sat forward rather than waiting for it to wash you away, you will be prepared… and ready to press the accelerator.

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Ready for the long run?

Ready for the long run?

For many, it’s never been harder to imagine what the future might look like. Economic uncertainty and personal restrictions have left our calendars (and our minds) a little frazzled, to say the least. There have been jobs impacted globally, and all kinds of other short straws you don’t need me to remind you about. Essentially, it’s affected us all in one way or another, and has made it difficult to prepare for what’s ahead.

I’ve been interviewing the wonderful and impressive consultants who have been volunteering their time with the 2Y3X programme, helping companies who really need urgent support. I’ve learnt so much from each of them, but one piece of advice that keeps coming up is to plan ahead.

Whether it’s just you and your business at the moment, or you’ve got a team who are willing to knuckle down and bring the business back to life, a strong strategy is vital. But, as we’ve established, it’s hard to visualise where we can realistically be in the far future.

As co-founder of the 2Y3X programme Felix Velarde says, “Any plan is better than no plan, as long as you actually get on with it and do it.”

From any plan, to a plan in action

Alongside the full two-year programme, 2Y3X has now launched a three-month version, for urgent planning and team building. Consultants have been using this QuickMap process with pro bono clients and it’s enabled many companies of all types and sizes to recover, and to thrive. Businesses are realising that what they used to offer might not be what people need right now, and this process helps them to make the necessary actions and changes to redefine what they actually are.

Once the three months are complete, participants will automatically be qualified to join the full programme, if they want to continue to scale their company for the next two years. More details on this can be found here.

Recover and build back better

For social impact businesses who are recovering from the damaging setbacks of the current crisis, we’ve organised a virtual webinar, and gathered inspirational speakers to help them to get back on track to success.

Tickets are entirely donation-based, and we invite you to give what you can to the UNHCR Urgent Appeal for Refugees when registering for your ticket. More details and registration can be found here. We hope to see you there!

For the people and the planet

Mary Portas spoke about the Kindness Economy earlier this year, explaining how values are a powerful source of currency. She shared some interesting points about the connection between human kindness and commerce, and how we align ourselves with businesses on a personal level.

The economy is built on what we care about, and we make conscious investments into businesses and brands that share our values. Empathy and understanding are crucial then, when building relationships between buyers and sellers. Co-founder of 2Y3X, Frank Kelcz will be exploring this in depth in our upcoming webinar, focusing on how to nurture existing client relationships and to better understand how to approach new leads during this time.

In terms of putting people and planet first, and identifying what ‘good’ and ‘sustainable’ might actually look like for your organisation, I really recommend reading David Cushman’s guide to building experience-centred and people-centered businesses.

Recovered and raring to go

If the path towards ‘normal’ business is unrecognisable and treacherous, the only way forward is to pave your way with clear, actionable tasks. Those who are agile, curious and adaptable will not only get through this time, but will flourish. They’ll find the way. Short term planning puts everyone in a better position to grow once we’re back on more stable ground.

The long run will require diligence and discipline, but taking action is always more productive than just being reactive. Being ready for today and for the month ahead will get you there. And then ‘there’ becomes what you make of it, of the opportunities you find, and the ones you create. There’s a future we’ll all need to rescue from this rubble. Are you ready?

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Event wrap up: How to accelerate fast out of the turn

Event wrap up: How to accelerate fast out of the turn

On Friday, the 2Y3X programme hosted its first lockdown webinar, How to accelerate fast out of the turn – the 2Y3X methodology. Co-founder Felix Velarde was joined by a panel of fantastic, expert speakers to discuss strategic planning for business leaders to consider while growing through this challenging time. We also had attendees join from all over the world!

Here are some of our highlights from a fantastic virtual event…

“The unknown gives us a chance to choose what’s possible instead of what’s been programmed.”

Brianna Wiest

Lessons on leadership from Nathan Anibaba

Well known for his unmissable Agency Dealmasters weekly podcast, Nathan interviews some of the most successful leaders in B2B marketing & sales. We were lucky enough to hear some of the top lessons Nathan’s gathered from 76 marketing leaders, including how best to approach staff management – more prevalent in these times than ever – and the importance of using core values to guide decision making. How do the best leaders revolutionize, regardless of how difficult times may be? We highly recommend catching up on his podcast to find out!

“A crisis”, Nathan says, “is a terrible thing to waste. The current situation is an awful, awful thing. But those of us who are able to use the opportunity and to do good with the privilege, should definitely do so.”

The leadership playbook by Sarah Vick

Sarah has spent two decades managing and growing digital agencies (mainly as CEO, non-exec or chair). She’s weathered several challenging times with businesses she’s worked with, and had some excellent advice for attendees on daily strategy which, applied ‘rapidly and repeatedly’ can strengthen businesses.

Worth noting is that “building a rapid response team is the single most important thing for leaders to do”, and to be ruthless when it comes to recruitment. Extremely relatable also, was the discussion of trying not to fall into a trap of trying to solve all issues. In a time when we’re all scrambling to see what we can control, knowing what we should really focus on is a very helpful thing.

Owen Valentine Pringle on rebuilding and reinventing with purpose

Owen has over 20 years of experience working in culture, media and NGO sectors and has led many digital departments. He is currently working with ActionAid on their digital response, and had many insights to share on how to tactically move through these times.

Owen spoke on the importance of differentiating what your business offers, identifying fundamental differences through clear proposition. Observing the way so many companies have responded to the crisis, particularly through advertising, in almost identical ways, confirmed the need for companies to take different approaches to stand out.

He believes that we have a “remarkable ability as humans to get on track”, and he has “faith in our ability to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.” The biggest catastrophes can absolutely create opportunities, it’s just a matter of whether business leaders are able to strategize and source necessary support to find them.

Felix Velarde on the 2Y3X methodologies and crisis management

Co-founder of The 2Y3X Programme and heavyweight agency chairman, Felix Velarde emphasised that we are in a time of critical importance, and that through using efficient planning tools, resilient businesses can exit this time being not only stronger but having strategies in place to achieve further future success.

Felix explained the practical tools the team at 2Y3X are using with clients to help them to scale and reach targets. He reminded attendees of the importance of framing what you want to happen each year, where you want the company to be, and splitting goals into understandable and followable pathways.

The key takeaway was that we can and should apply management techniques not only during a crisis but in the future, when ‘normal’ trading times return. We should approach these techniques as a form of maintenance, rather than waiting until an emergency demands that we pay closer attention.

What’s next for the 2Y3X programme?

We’re currently offering support in various ways so that companies who are struggling can be ready for the doors to be open again. Sarah Vick and Owen Valentine Pringle are two of our incredible team of consultants offering strategic management help free of charge to those in crisis.

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Building tracks vs backtracking

Building tracks vs backtracking

Should we really be focusing on rushing back to a normal that simply doesn’t exist anymore?

It appears that we have been given an opportunity. A mostly grim and unwelcome one, don’t get me wrong, but digging for silver linings is what we do best… It’s an opportunity to reconsider what we want our personal lives, and our work lives to look like. What ‘normal’ now looks like, and where we want it to be.

I imagine that most of us are probably counting down the days until we can reunite with loved ones, but also for when we can safely raise our glasses with the colleagues who helped us navigate through a very strange time.

While we might be impatient to reach this social aspect (and rightfully so), the temptation to return to using work processes that functioned ‘perfectly well’ in the pre-Covid world, might not now serve any of us in the long run.

Corporate culture is changing. It always has been. But now, it’s becoming clearer that some things are not just temporary… Remote working could become the new norm, as CEOs like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey hint that their staff will continue to be able to work flexibly, permanently, post-lockdown.

But, we aren’t starting from scratch here. Leaders know what thriving looks like. And how this image translates into business plans and expands our ambitions. Through simple repositioning and using strategy planning methods, we can identify the daily steps which can feed into future success, and keep businesses agile and adaptable.

So, we don’t need to backtrack. We need to build the tracks. We create strategies and collaborate in cyberspace to figure out what we might expect next. We ask when the ‘after’ will begin, when the future might actually start.

It starts on Friday, by the way. No, really. We’ll be bringing business leaders together and joining word-class speakers to discuss short-term strategic planning, so we can prepare for the ‘after’, regardless of what the world of work might bring, post-pandemic.

We’ll be exploring how the different programmes we offer at 2Y3X can help you address your brand positioning and kickstart growth acceleration. These programmes use methodologies which have a five-year track record of supporting companies who have since scaled up and become market leaders.

Ultimately, we’ll ask where you and your company need to be in three months’ time. And then we’ll help you get there. Shall we?

Thanks to all who joined us on Friday, keep an eye on our website for news on upcoming events, or sign up to receive a Super-Early-Bird invitation to the next event here.

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Goal-setting when nothing is guaranteed

Goal-setting when nothing is guaranteed

The past few weeks have shown that the world, it seems, owes us nothing. Now while that might seem like a bit of a devastating reality-check, it actually presents us with the brilliant notion that everything is a matter of possibility.

We have been reminded that each and every one of us are consistently creating and recreating our strategies. Strategy is – and always has been – what keeps us safe. Whether that’s making sure we are stocked up on supplies, caring for the vulnerable or having a crisis management plan in place for our businesses. We have steps to follow and frameworks to refer to. We keep informed and pace ourselves appropriately. In short, we survive.

So, we can either wait and let life happen to us and our businesses, or we can take action. Neither can ‘promise’ an outcome, and neither are necessarily predictable. But this action, this strategy steers us towards something. It gets us closer to a goal, which will then likely evolve into something bigger (and braver).

Just as the worst-case scenario can (and very often does) happen, the absolute best-cases can too. And if we start approaching goals with this what if? mindset, we will likely get much further, and progress on a far greater scale than we would if we continued to tread water.

This is the prime environment to act. To be resilient leaders. To embrace the uncertainty and reach a stronger position where your business can thrive, not only in the future, but in the here and now we’ve found ourselves in.

With that being said, we know that many businesses are really struggling with the current climate and would benefit hugely from the support of experts who have weathered similar crises. With this in mind, we’ve launched a pro bono programme.

We’ve gathered a team of fantastic consultants, who are all volunteering their spare time for the next three months to deliver emergency planning workshops, free of charge.

These workshops will include working with your best people, creating a plan of action and supporting you as you grow through this unsure time, towards success.

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Steering the course: Socially distanced staff management

Steering the course: Socially distanced staff management

Now that we’re having to re-assess our positions in the world on an almost daily basis, it’s really important that at work, we all see where we stand. We need not only to get through this strange time, but also to grow through it. Organisations need to be (and many are) supporting employees through this changing work landscape. And this should really start with recalibrating the compass.

After all, we’re in this boat together. The ship’s still afloat, though it might not look like it used to. Our offices now resemble garden tables and meetings are meddled with by curious cats and children. But they’re there. And we can still create exceptional places to work, wherever these places might be.

The overall goals are also still on the horizon. But the course needs setting towards a clear destination on the map. And, more importantly, your crew needs focus. Each staff member needs to know what success looks like for the business now, as a whole, and what their personal part to play is within that. They need to see how you’ve plotted the chart, re-positioned the ark and made a plan to navigate these waters with them in mind.

“When the company takes care of its people, the people take care of the company.”

Josh Bersin

Reassure your team and be realistic. Make sure they know what’s expected of them and trust them to get it done. Remember, you hired them. You -and hopefully they- can visualise them being part of the future success of the company, post-pandemic. Chances are, they will still be as committed as before, they just need readjustment.

So, don’t let them drift. Lift them back up into the boat. The likelihood is, they’ll lift their whole department along with them.

To support you with teambuilding and strategizing during these uncertain times, we’ve gathered a team of specialist consultants offering their time and skills (for free) as part of our pro bono programme. They’re available to help you establish your next steps, get your best people back on board, feeling valued and steering in the right direction.

For more information about our pro bono service get in touch
, or for the details visit the pro bono page.

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The importance of prioritising proposition

The importance of prioritising proposition

For business leaders currently facing disruption to almost every aspect of normal workflow, it can be hard to know where to start when setting and working towards future goals.

Staff might be furloughed, marketing approaches will almost definitely have shifted, and as external factors become less predictable, it’s even more important that what you offer to customers and clients is crystal clear.

And so, before you even consider planning tools and processes, your focus should ultimately be on one thing: knowing what you offer. What we’ve seen with our programme participants is that a strong proposition sets their companies up for significant growth.

Clarity then, is the critical first step of any successful growth strategy.

The 2Y3X approach to this is to run a remote workshop-based proposition development process for 2Y3X programme participants. During these we identify what your clients need and define what you offer in a neat and workable statement – designed by you, to last for a number of years.

In this session we unpack all the uncertainties to reach the key things that set you apart from your competitors. It can then be articulated so that potential customers will know exactly who turn to if and when they need what you provide. This means prospects are self-selecting. Clearly it requires the correct marketing activity to tickle new prospects, but this springs directly from the proposition itself – a great proposition is self-propagating, with a well-judged nudge here and there.

Having this tightly established proposition statement allows your team to express what your company does best, and to use it as the foundation for building a strategy which sets you on course for outstanding growth. It will also ensure that you are standing strong as we enter the post-pandemic economy.

For more information about how the process works get in touch
, or for some powerful examples visit the value proposition development page.

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