CO - HR Innovation

How to Recover Your Direction - a case study during COVID19

How to Recover Your Direction - a case study during COVID19

What really happened

5 days ago I set myself a new challenge. Coronavirus had fundamentally changed the environment for a recently launched product. Has this also happened for you?

The backstory

8th March , the day I launched my 5th book. We had fabulous party at the China Club with a small group of 20 senior women where we also celebrate IWD. The printed books are lovely, they are out in the world after 5 years of gestation and 3 months of focus to get it done.

12th March, women start sending me messages about how KIA is helping them.

I love, super, super, super cool! ~ Yasmine Khater

A happy reader sends me this, thank you Annu!


 

But the coronavirus escalates…

Self isolation, fear and crisis. Amazon stops delivering physical books prioritizing essential items (this is right and appropriate). The workshops and keynotes around this call to leadership for the future are cancelled or deferred. You may have seen the equivalent in your business in these two short weeks.



 

We know now we are in for a long haul. Which brings up the real question now, what to do?

How to respond… breaking this into Unicorn steps

I'll share what I actually did so you have a real life example of these big picture yet practical steps.

Step 1: What’s the obvious thing to do?

For example, in my situation do I convert the book into an eBook? I could, it’s an obvious thing to do, but it’s an action based booked with tools and activities so there are some limitations.

I take a step back.

Step 2: Unicorn moment: the zag when it zigs

I asked myself these questions as getting clear about the context and relevance of what I are doing given the times we are in. Great products at the wrong time are simply out of time. Ask yourself these questions, too.

1.    Is this the right for now message and tools?

2.    Is doing the obvious the highest and best service I can bring to my clients?

3.    What would be even greater?

To take the next best step, it’s important to have looked at these.

 A shout out to Lazarda, Grab, Canva and CISCO who are all living the unicorn spirit of service in their coronavirus responses today.

Step 3: Take the next best step with conviction

I realize, the biggest thing in crisis is to return to calm, and stay productive. And if you are a business owner, entrepreneur or executive, to show the way for your people as you get your business and the numbers through this challenging time.

I call this the Zag.

The Zag – a 9 day plan of action focusing on the highest service you can do.

Here is my Zag Plan in outline. I'm on day 6. This is what I've done so far. I hope this inspire you to with yours.

Day 1

Saturday: 9am-9pm – reflect and be super clear on objective of service: write a new book, based on the just launched one, but write it for the crisis we are in now. Keep a spirit of hope and that there is a better future at the end of this. Make it actionable. Reach out for reviews and an independent foreword. Ask for a 24 hr turn around. Pray a few will be able to.

Day 2

Sunday: 9am – 9pm – keep writing. Pause, edit, reflect, complete. Send it to my editor. Reviews begin to come in from a Partner at IBM and a former Navy SEAL. Give thanks for the global community that supports me.

Day 3

Monday: Focus on the edits, incorporate more reviewer comments, get the cover design brief out and begin iterating this. Client work as business and life must also continue.

Day 4

Tuesday: 3 full rounds of editing, 20 iterations on cover concepts and titles it’s stable. Host a webinar. It’s also the deadline to get the book laid out and into Amazon as an eBook. It closes at GMT 24:00. The final upload, title, price points, covers, categories get in with 19 minutes to spare. Good and done beats perfect.

Day 5

Wednesday: Work through press release, marketing and how I’ll share it. Get clear on what is important. Is it to get to best seller status? Or to help as many people as I can? It’s to help. My ego can wait. More reviews come in, I love my tribe. Client work. Finalise a talk for a webinar that’s on at 8:00pm.

Day 6

Thursday (Today): Discover that people are leaning to Audible books, clearly they wish to hear a human voice. Ok, this can happen next week. Begin to put my share plan into place. Write this… to inspire you to see that even in this time, our time and our spirits are ours to use. And we can each take action in our respective fields.

Stay in business. Write up a proposal for a longstanding client on how we can convert the business coaching and training to a virtual interactive process.

What’s next I hear you ask?

Day 7 Plan

Friday (Tomorrow): Reach out to friends and my network to ask them to share this message of story, that in the darkest period we can still do a lot. And yes, I’ll ask them to support me by buying the eBook and sharing it with their people. On Saturday 28th March. It will be the weekend, and many of us will be getting a touch stir crazy.

I’ll be specific: >buy it on Amazon here at 6:00pm Sydney, 3:00pm Singapore, 8:00am Paris, 7:00am London and on the dot of midnight 00:00 in New York. Why do it this way? Because together when you show up and you make real difference.

Day 8 Plan

Saturday: Prepare 3 videos for you to say thank you for showing up. The first is about who we are in this crisis and how we can show up for impact. The second focuses on what impact you want to make as a result of showing up. The third will focus on action.

When you buy the Kindle version of the book, send me a screenshot or a message, and in appreciation, I’ll send you the link to these.

Day 9 Plan

Sunday: Rest. Restore. Reflect. And yes, plan the next best step's Zag.

Now what is the book about?

What I decided to focus on is to create an asset for executives. The book is called ‘Karma, How to stay calm and productive through coronavirus to the recovery’. The objective is to inspire leaders and give them concrete tools on what to avoid, what to think and what to do so that they can get through these black times.

  • Help people be more resilient and build a positive mindset during these difficult times
  • Actionable tools on how to lead, be calm, inspire productivity and look after your business P&L (and your family P&L)
  • Like many businesses, I’ve faced a drop in cash flow, yet I choose to use my assets, time and experience to help keep others afloat in times like these.
  • The book is based on leading businesses through SARS and a 90% loss in cash flow and the challenges of staying calm and my team productive during the Asian financial crisis while I lead a business with PricewaterhouseCoopers, my time as a member of the IT Exco at DBS and a decade of advising business executives and startups through crisis to the other side. 
  • Joanne Flinn
    Joanne Flinn
    CEO, UNICORNING

    Joanne Flinn, the Business Growth Lady, is an author and keynote speaker on leadership, change, and disruption. She’s delivered presentations across the globe on five continents at leading industry conferences including the Asian Banker, twice at TEDx Talks, and is part of the Oxford Futures Forums at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Her specialty is to speak at global conferences and where the need for human performance is as strong as the need for data. Contrarian where needed, Joanne brings both the reality and the challenge of business and life today into the room so that your audience feels, thinks, and acts differently as they lead into the future. She ran her first $10 million business at 24, led multi-million-dollar businesses for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and established herself as an international artist before focusing on what it takes to a unicorn and stay relevant in a fast-changing world.  

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