Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
Jess Dewell is live to talk about the risks you face in your business growth. Use a framework, like the Present Retreat, to better understand how our actions now shape the next quarter and the next year. More time is necessary to engage with your strategic plan regularly. Joining her are Red Direction team members Scott Scowcroft and Iva Ignjatovic.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Iva Ignjatovic, Scott Scowcroft
What You Will Hear:
The right action at the right time is only part of the equation. The other part is recognizing when something is working (or not) and choosing to make intentional adjustments. More time engaging with your strategy may be necessary, yet using four or more hours differently may also be needed. As you plan for next year, consider what you can you do to shake things up. Listen in as Jess Dewell talks with Red Direction team members Scott Scowcroft and Iva Ignjatovic about being BOLD in your business planning.
Welcome, this is the Bold Business Podcast. Your Business has many directions that can travel, the one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Adjustable is your guide, Jess brings you a 20-year track record of Business Excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place your unique true north. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:51
Before we say hello, and welcome to the Bold Business Podcast live. And you know, today is kind of a cool thing. Usually, we bring on guests from the podcast. And this is something that’s a treat for me, because we haven’t heard from Scott and Eva in a while they are part of the Bold Business Podcast team, they are an integral part of what we’re doing at Red Direction. And you know what? Today, we’re going to talk about what we’re doing right now in our business, and how it shapes not all next year, because what, what we’re working with right now was shaped from the past. So what we’re doing right now is going to shape our future. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today because we want to minimize our risk, and we want to maximize our future opportunities. I’m just dual, and you’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast live. We’re providing customizable, and frameworks that are designed to fail faster and bounce higher. This is a program the Bold Business Podcast that is specifically geared toward you a business leader that is committed to cultivating a thriving business. So we’re going to talk about what does it mean to be planning for next year and the next 12 months and the next 18 months? And so I want to toss it out right now. Because Eva, I know you had something in the wings that you just said right before we went on air, and I’ve already forgotten it.
Iva Ignjatovic 02:11
Hi, everyone, I’m today voice to the cloud for being on jass. Because I have my internet issues, though. So it’s a great analogy for what’s going to happen. Moving forward in, in general sense, because we’ve been in this whole situation of prolonged crisis for two years, almost now, even though people are actually very positive about the future very optimistic. I have to be a little bit Debbie Downer, you know because I believe that next year is not going to be fantastic. I think that we should always prepare for the worst thing, worst-case scenario. And I know that people don’t want to hear that. But that’s it. That’s what I said, you know, and basically, you know, how can we adapt and keep being bold? You know, where to pull that strength from since we’ve been, you know, quite depleted,
Jess Dewell 03:23
quite depleted. That’s a very good point. Scott, what would you add right now?
Scott Scowcroft 03:29
Iva and I did not talk about this ahead of time, in preparing and preparing for this. Item number four on the quick notes that I have is, you know, prepare for the worst-case scenario. And in thinking about next, next year, it was always have two options, prepare for the worst-case scenario. And then also identifying what is really, really, really important.
Jess Dewell 03:56
Both of those things are key. And you know, it’s interesting, because I think about the significant risks that we face in our business and the work that we’ve been doing with our clients over the last year. And the biggest risk, I’ll tell you this right now, I know hands down, the biggest risk is not talking about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. And you know, I’m not alone in this thinking and observation and seeing it across the work that we’re doing and the change that we’re making for companies through Red Direction. But you know what, only 10% of companies are achieving the majority of their objectives. That means 90% of the companies out there are not achieving that. And that doesn’t it makes complete sense because the other statistic I found is that the majority of leaders specifically 70% of us spend less than one day a month reviewing and talking about and engaging with our strategy. And so when we think about how do we adapt? What do we plan for planning for the worst? We tend to want to avoid those things. But you know, and part of that it’s actually about the fact that we’re not talking about our strategy. Because if we were engaging with our strategy, we would naturally know, what are the scary things that are out there? What are the things that we might need to plan for? And because we know what we’re planning for, we know what to say no to? Well, I’m on a negative fat sounds like I’m on a negative trend to a positive outcome people. But it’s true. We know what not to talk about, we know where to put our energy, which amplifies our effort. So I have a question, Jess, is it that people have the wrong strategy, that they have a strategy, but that it’s not the right one? Or is it that they have the right one, but somehow, it’s not being implemented? For some reason? So I’m going to answer that with whatever path has been chosen is the right path, because it was decided there was something that made it the right strategy. And so an evaluation of the strategy is also really important. Because here’s what I would say, people pivot too soon, Scott, people are pivoting too soon, because they don’t know their competitive advantage. They don’t know where they stand. They haven’t really thought about, well, what’s the end? How do I know I’ve achieved? How do I know if I’m on the path or not? And when we don’t have those things? Of course, we’re going to think it’s wrong, or it’s not right. So let’s go back to the drawing board. Because we’re a, we’re a people that like to innovate, we’re a people that like to go well, there’s got to be something easier. Well, sometimes it’s not easy.
Iva Ignjatovic 06:32
You will, constant pivoting is actually, it’s bad for the resources, any type of resources, money-wise, time-wise, you know, to me, too, people pivot too often. That means that they’re, they don’t know what their purpose is, I think it’s important to know the purpose before you pick your business. And here’s the thing, why we talked about this, we actually have a hint of this conversation with you a week ago. And it’s mid-October. And even though people say that they’re preparing that they are on alert that they can, you know, see what’s going to happen in March next year. I believe that people don’t stop their preparations in advance enough. They will I think that even speaking now in tour is a bit too late. And here’s what I’m doing.
Jess Dewell 07:52
It’s too late for q4. That’s the truth. Eva, I’m going to tell you what, people who are like, well, now let me think about what I’m going to do in December and, and November, I have way less options than the people who decided that three months ago. Yeah, you are right.
Iva Ignjatovic 08:06
Absolutely true. You know, I’ve been doing things for the next year. I started in August, cheers. Don’t get me wrong, but most of the time, you know, I’ve been doing Excel sheets, you know, budgeting, resource planning. You know, I’m in numbers for the past month and a half, you know, and I still feel that I’m not there yet that I need at least one month to prep everything that I want to prep for 2020.
Jess Dewell 08:46
That’s interesting. Well, are you ever supposed to feel done? Because I think this is more of a journey. And I know Scott will really like this. Because as we’re talking about this concept, I mean, what we did in the past is shaping what’s available to us right now. So if we’re not getting result we want right now we are in reaction mode. Whereas if we take that and go, well do we like this or not? And we start thinking about what are we doing in January? What are we doing in April? Actually, what is our 12-month goal? And if you really want to get crazy out there, what is our three-year and five-year goal? Are we aligned to our mission with every action and when we do that when we take the time to think about it to engage with it to assess it. We need more time. Don’t we?
Iva Ignjatovic 09:38
We could always use more time.
Jess Dewell 09:40
So tell me where you find
Scott Scowcroft 09:43
you know it’s so much of a whiplash because on the one hand if you, if you, if you have a goal if you know what your Northstar is if you if, if you know who you are and you’ve thought things through, then you can have a long horizon and stay on track and yet at the same time, things are changing so rapidly and increasingly rapid that what was true, or the best path, or the best way of progressing, even three months ago is different now. Because the supply chain is taking a turn that we didn’t anticipate all of those things. So it’s, you know
Jess Dewell 10:22
I want to work is changing, and we can’t, we can’t get our, we can’t get our stuff to make our products. We can’t get people to help us make our products or sell them or move them. You’re absolutely right, Scott.
Scott Scowcroft 10:34
So you know, point number two. My prep for today was growth versus sustainability. So it might be that, you know, do we want to grow? But is growth the right? Is the right path for us right now? Or would it be sustainability, something that will keep us solid? Well, I mean, that can be different for every person or for every division or for every company. And it might be that both are okay, you can have a growth plan or a sustainability plan. But if you choose one, then, you know, stick with it. But be adaptable. And I guess my question I have is, is there a difference between pivoting and being adaptable?
Jess Dewell 11:25
depending on who you talk to? Well, here’s the thing, we had a really good description of pivots. Some people even say that the adjustment that you make in your business day-to-day is a small pivot, just like and I’m using their example to Steve, you’re gonna love me for this, Steve at CFO University. He said the pivot is like a, it’s like a sprinkler. And so you’re making small little changes as you go. And each one of those could be called a pivot. And I just hear buzzword. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna call it what it is. and say, depends on who you ask, and how big or small to take that, I guess what I would say, is regardless if you’re pivoting or not, adaptability is a requirement. Flexibility is a requirement. Because we don’t know what we don’t know. And we don’t know what’s going to show up. So the more we know what we do know, the more confident we can be in how do we address what’s in front of us right now? And are we do we have to react to it because it’s a super surprise, or do we feel like we can have a small pause, and then be able to respond, to be able to decide what to do next, with, with a little more calmness, I’m not saying it’s calm all the way around us, I’m saying, we can be a little more solid in what we’re doing and how we’re showing up to the unexpected things that happen every single day.
Scott Scowcroft 12:59
So I know you’re gonna love this, just what I think I hear you saying is that if you’ve either for personal life or for your business, if you have a measure of mindfulness, you kind of dis disattached yourself from what’s going on, go 10 feet out and take a look, take a deep breath, all of those sorts of things, maybe you’re able to separate the wheat from the shaft, maybe you can make those adjustments of something that might not be truly in your best interest.
Jess Dewell 13:28
Or, you know, you know, mindfulness and business requires time to be taken out to just reflect and be an assess our business, just like mindfulness for an individual is to stop and take a walk or get quiet, or exercise. So whatever the things we’re doing for our mindfulness for ourselves, do have a place in our business, it’s going to look different for a business, though, because our business isn’t going to meet it, our business is going to benefit from us being less stressed in the ways that you’re talking about. But our business also needs that time. And you know, we have a thing that I’ve created here at Red Direction called the president retreat that is specifically designed to give us time that we are making this opportunity for all of the maybes that show up and for all of the possible responses, we could have to have the right thing show up at the right time.
Scott Scowcroft 14:24
So Iva, though I’ve been doing a lot of talking, do you have a response?
Iva Ignjatovic 14:31
it’s about evolution in the way businesses need to evolve, whether they’re going to do that through those prickle pivoting, you know, steps or jumps or, you know, whatever they do, they shouldn’t do this one to me, you know, like sudden without thinking about, I do believe that if they have a strategy of business should we evaluate strategy and their business, your yearly business plans, often, especially, especially in these circumstances, but I also believe that they need to have very good knowledge of their business. Yes, here’s the thing, you know, a lot of people don’t put things on paper. I mean, it can be a document in Word for word file, you know, but put things on paper, put your ideas to drug plans, that you’re, you know, chores, or just something that you need to do three weeks from now, but make a structure out of everything that you do. And okay, I might be a control freak, you know, but I have tiny bits of everything that I do lay, because we all have limited resources, and time is one that we can never get back. So a lot of things paper, you know, I reevaluate stuff, and people should usually know, small business owners and entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, it doesn’t matter, you know, to have that structure well set, so that they can actually re-evaluate things. One wants that moment, you know, arrives,
Jess Dewell 16:33
You know, and the President retreat is perfect for that. And I actually have an there we talk about this all the time on the podcast, it’s all over the website, here’s how you present retreat, we would love to be able to share that with you. But instead of telling you here, just go to Red direction.com and search president retreat, get those steps start using them. But you know, what, thinking about this planning for 2022. And thinking about everything that Iva has been saying everything that Scott has been saying everything that you’re know, you’ve heard me say over and over again, comes down to what do we do, and there is a survey that we have created, that Eva is starting to push out into the world that we think you need to take, not only because it helps us curate information from your actual experiences, but also because it has, it comes with a customized opportunity for you to take the information that you have given us and think about it in a certain way to think about what’s happening three months, four months from now, what’s happening a year, two years from now, three years, five years from now, and just get something on paper for yourself that you can look at and edit so that you can download and write on whatever you need to do or want to do with that to the point of talk about it, spend time on it, do something with what you’re seeing, have it to reference and look at becomes incredibly important. And that’s something that I think that is a first step that you can do right now we’re just going to do this and evil we’ll make sure that all of the links to the survey are out there here associated with our, our videos today in addition to just being out on our social media platforms because we want you to have a tool, we want you to have something to take your planning to the next level, take your reflection to the next level become more mindful to what Scott was talking about, about the way we are approaching our business. With that said, What is the last comment if you have one, Iva and Scott?
Iva Ignjatovic 18:42
Jess Dewell 18:43
Iva Ignjatovic 18:45
Okay, so I usually tell this to people I’ve worked with people why consultant anyway, I left without any financial means twice in my life. It took me a while to learn what to do so that it never happens again. So if you want to prepare for 2020 to make sure that you have your budget straight, you know straight forward in terms of you know what you need to do with it. Make sure that you have sort of stash in a way or multiple stash stashes for you know certain things that that might happen. A stash that you will invest in your business if the opportunity presents itself. A stash what happens if you lose a client know in next three months, or stash what will happen you know, if you have to invest in technology that will enable your business to rise above the rest of the businesses in the same category, same industry, you know, so make sure that you have your finances set strict so that you can actually work on yo ur business. That’s it.
Scott Scowcroft 20:16
Okay, I have a quick final thought. And that is right to think one of the things I know I do, and I think this is true for a lot of people is that if you just start writing kind of like freeform, or structured or whatnot, something will occur to you, and you’ll write it down. And it’ll, you know, by the time that you get to the end of the writing, you have come up with something you hadn’t thought about before. So that’s one of the things I’m so excited about the survey. And the follow-up that you and Red Direction is offering just is that it allows someone to be able to, to travel new territory and thinking about things that are important. And I’ll guarantee you that if you start writing, in response to what is, you know, to the survey and the follow up to the survey, there are going to be new things that are going to occur in your mind and in your thinking that would not have occurred otherwise. And you know, how cool is that?
Jess Dewell 21:17
It is the coolest, it is cooler than cool. And I wanted to use Coolio didn’t work it into Coolio, Coolio. That’s in a lot of my technical technological communications Coolio. Um, and so what we’re, what we’re sharing today is this take more time, it’s hard. It’s hard to take more time. So since we’re short on time, what are the resources you have that can help you maximize the time that you do have here our podcast is one of them here that survey is another one here, your existing practices of communicating for yourself and what you are attempting to do with your business. So know what the end is, as you’re writing as you’re doing these things. Both Scott and Eva and I are all talking about what does the end look like? What can we do next? And you know what? We want to know what you’ve done. We want to know, we want to know what you’ve done. We want to know what is working for you. And we want you to share. So comment here on our live streams, comment in our feeds around social media wherever you are engaging with us. And you can also always just reach out anytime getting what you need by listening in at the Bold Business Podcast found on Red direction.com. Until next time,
Thank you for tuning in and listening to the Bold Business Podcast. If you’ve learned something from this show that will help you in your business right now. Consider what additional impact you can get by subscribing to the Fast Track Your Business program. You owe it to your business to seek out new ways to achieve more while building a resilient and profitable business. Subscribe now. Visit FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for technical production.