Mike Tyson, COVID-19 And Getting Back On Your Board
Famed business strategist Mike Tyson once said “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Whether the epic health and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus is a true Black Swan event is debatable, but it’s clear no business was truly ready for it. Just about everyone’s plan has come undone-including mine.
And yet the lesson we should take from this calamity isn’t that we should gird ourselves for every possible disaster or refrain from doing things that have even a small chance of an horrific outcome. If that were true, we’d never take our car out on the highway or get on an airplane.
For most organizations, the only way to avoid being devastated by this pandemic would have been to stockpile huge amounts of cash and greatly reduce all aspects of strategic, operational and financial risk. Of course, the problem is that in an era of fast-changing consumer preferences and massive digital disruption, that path would likely result in eventual death by irrelevance.
It may not seem like it right now, but the most risky thing we can do in business is to avoid taking risk. As Seth Godin reminds us: “if failure is not an option, then neither is success.”
To be sure, when we take a punch in the face, the urgent thing to do is be certain another one isn’t about to land and to focus on stopping the bleeding.
Then we must re-group and get back on the path to crafting a remarkable future -one that accepts that the waves are going to keep coming-sometimes faster, sometimes higher, often from unexpected directions.
Our next metaphorical punch in the mouth isn’t likely to be as harsh. But it will come nevertheless.
Our response can’t be to cower in a hole or to be afraid to fail.
Our job is to learn to surf.
My new book, which debuted as the #1 new retail release on Amazon earlier this month, will be released in the UK tomorrow and in Australia on Friday.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.