Flexible Working – What’s Right for Your People?

The answer to the first variant (how these words stick with us!) is pretty obvious – vaccinations. For the first time we can see light at the end of the tunnel and a ‘leave behind’ of lockdowns and those confusing Regional Tiers as we move life back to normality again.

Avoiding the second ‘variant’ (here I go again) is a little bit more difficult to predict from a business sense because every market will have changed substantially through what we have all endured over the last year. To be fair the Government has done what it can to prop up the business sector (many would argue not enough of course) and Banks have loaned record amounts of money to businesses, admittedly supported by Government guarantees to a large degree but much needed and well supported by our banking fraternity.

I read a recent Linked In post by Jason Baker from HSBC. In the post Jason attached an article published by HSBC which in part took us back to the 1920’s and what happened in an economic sense post the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 – 1920. People called the decade the ‘Roaring Twenties’ but as the article points out, there were many things that didn’t ‘roar’ at all.

What became clear is that there emerged a much bigger gap between those who did well, very, very well in many cases and others who just sort of ‘fizzled out’ and disappeared.

Here is an excerpt from the article which talks about the 1920’s fictional hero Jay Gatsby created by F. Scott Fitzgerald that really epitomises the time:

Jay Gatsby superficially had everything, he was wealthy, successful and handsome. Yet he couldn’t have Daisy, the woman he thought he loved (in Gatsby’s mind, Daisy was perfect, but this was more his fantasy than the reader’s “reality”). At least some of his wealth had, to say the least, dubious provenance. And he came from a poorer background than he cared to admit. F Scott Fitzgerald’s creation embodied the 1920s: apparently successful yet unable to buy happiness, the love of his life impossibly out of reach (because, in reality, she didn’t really exist), and a self-destructive willingness to sacrifice everything – his life included – when he realised that his great wealth could not be a source of contentment. The Twenties may have roared for some and Spanish flu might have been tamed but the decade ultimately paved the way for unimaginable political, financial and, in Gatsby’s case, personal upheaval’.

By all means cheer at the resilience of the stock market and the possibility of a post-pandemic economic bounce. But also prepare yourself for the possibility that it all ends in tears.

Let’s focus on the last sentence from the HSBC article writer there – ‘the possibility that it all ends in tears.’

From the SME owner’s perspective this is the last thing one wants to happen – but what can a business do to give themselves the best chance of success and avoid failure and the inevitable tears that follow? Firstly, show resilience – an ability to take what the world throws at you and bounce back as strong or stronger than ever. Secondly, positivity, a ‘glass half full’ mentality, a positive and not limiting mindset. ‘It might be possible’ rather than ‘that will not work here’. Focusing on growth possibilities not avoiding decline. Thirdly adaptability, resetting the business to be able to cope with market changes, making any necessary organisational changes and people moves (including redundancies) rigorously and with objectivity. Finally, showing initiative – originating new ideas and ways of doing business, new sectors to attack, innovative new products and services – these can all be created by the ‘ideas hub’ that any business leader can easily create within their business giving their people the time and the opportunity to think differently.

By focusing on these things SME’s will minimise the risk of a ‘tearful’ business experience but only if they are fully grasped, understood and implemented. Businesses who take action are likely to experience the ‘top of the mountain’ exhilaration rather than the pain of the ‘abyss’.

If you need help reaching the top of the mountain you can book a free, no obligation call with us, just contact us at ignite@tinderboxbusinessdevelopment.co.uk, or call on 0116 232 5231

Alternatively you can contact me directly at the points below:

David Turner
Managing Director

07747 023610