Things you can do to be adaptive and respond quickly to your business problems

Responding to business problems is not easy. But, managing business problems and crises are nothing new. This article discusses things you can do to be adaptive and respond quickly to your business problems. There are a number of things you can do to be adaptive and respond quickly to your business problems. Your response should come down to 7 actions:

  1. Control your mind
  2. Understand the situation
  3. Set priorities
  4. Isolate your options
  5. Create a plan
  6. Get prepared and attack
  7. Manage the information war

It is crucial that you give your mind the chance to process what’s happening to take control of the situation. Focused efficiency is critical in a time of crisis. Hence, leaders need to prioritise the problems they are facing and in an emergency, there is usually no time to make perfect plans.

Respond to business problems by leading your business

Yet, many events are challenging to anticipate, and they will take you by surprise. Great leaders, like yourself, excel. While other poor managers go into panic mode, are irrational, and make poor decisions. Regardless of the size or timing of any crisis or emergency, there are consistent steps you can do to contain a problem, reduce the harm it may cause your team. As follows:

1. Control your mind

As the fictional hero, Jack Reacher explains, going for the guys gun in a panic will get you killed. “So stay alive for the next minute and see where you are.” Slow down and assess the situation, reason away from the chaos.

2. Understand the situation

  • Who are the parties?
  • What is affected
  • Where is the problem happening
  • When did you first know about the problem
  • Why is it a problem?

The answers to these questions will bring the situation you are facing into perspective, giving you a realistic and accurate understanding of whats going on. Also, no one ever said “I wish I did’nt know that piece of vital information before I made that important decision” All problem-solving projects must be lead with great Intelligence.

A rational description of the situation should calm your mind, allowing you to develop a well thought out action plan.

3. Set priorities

  • Firstly, what’s extremely important to resolve first?
  • Then, what’s time-sensitive?
  • What objective information can we gather?
  • How serious is the problem?
  • How urgent is the problem?
  • Also, how fast are things moving?
  • And is the problem going to get worse?
  • Will this problem trigger other problems?
  • Finally, could this problem/crisis be an existential threat?

4. What are your options?

5. Create the plan

6. Get ready and then attack

Armies around the world consider an ambush as a crisis. However, soldiers do not sit around building a plan to tackle the rain of fire, pinning them down in their positions. They don’t do the planning at the ambush site because they have decided before leaving camp as many of the potential pitfalls and disasters they could face.

Within the finest armed forces in the world, the British Army describe them as “Actions on“. In this case:

  • “Actions on ambush” — We will return fire and withdrawn to the final RV”
  • “Actions on enemy fire we will return fire and suppress the enemy to enable us to carry on with our mission.”

Concentrate your time, energy, and resources on the most critical actions. The actions which will give you time and release the pressure you are under. Also, never get side tracked by a new keep new problem.

Any plan goes out of the window upon contact with the enemy. A true statement, but if you simple actions to complete one at a time, you can keep on plan as close as possible. And hopefully, you will have issued an “Actions On” statement to protect the plan. Keep your team on point and keep them motivated and informed on progress. Good news and actions result in positive feedback. Celebrate breakthroughs and maintain hope. And remember share what’s happening with your team even when the news isn’t great.

7. Manage the information war

  • Watch out for fast-spreading misinformation and rumours
  • What’s reported. And who to and by whom
  • Understand how much information to share
  • And how are you going to share the message
  • What are the needs of your audience

Respond to business problems by defining what messages that need frequently repeated — think “stay at home, protect the NHS and Save lives” and also “See it? Say it, Sort it“. You know these annoyingly effective messages.


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