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How To Deal With Uncertainty in Business

Livia Jenvey |  March 18, 2019 

For a business leader, it is essential to prepare for the unknown especially when it comes to things which are outside of your control such as fluctuations in the economy, changes in government policies, country disputes, etc.

I often use the "ship captain" analogy with the business leaders I work with, in helping them understand the importance of planning for the unknown.

 For planning for the unknown as a business leader envision yourself as a ship captain. You are in charge of sailing a vessel in the ocean. Depending on the size of what type of business you run, it could be operating a cruise liner (a large 1000+ person organization) or a small sailboat (a 10+ person organization).

Either way, your ship is vulnerable in the sea you are sailing in. Because you don't have control over any of small storms, hurricanes, icebergs, or a large landmass coming fast towards you as you float in the open water, any uncontrollable force from the outside can easily capsize your vessel.

To stay afloat in your business means to have plans in place to allow you to change tactics when needed. These plans are the strategies you have in place just in case you need to shift how your business functions to stay profitable when anything unknown hits you.

Often it takes a clear thought through processes to make sure you are prepared to handle any unknown which may come towards you. When considering the various strategies to plan for the unknown, there are several factors to take in consideration first.

One is, how these plans will impact how the current performance or your day-to-day operates. Second, how will these plans affect all the business investors for both short and long term?

The following are questions I often ask my business leaders when working with them on developing their unknown preparation strategy plans. These help you begin to deal with the uncertainty faced in business.


1) Are You Agile To Move Quickly?

To make any changes successfully, can your organization currently move quickly to implement any new operational procedures?


2) Do You Have The Right People On Hand To Handle Pivoting?

Are the right leaders in place in an organization now who could make any new changes quickly without question?


3) Does Innovation Play A Key Role In Your Employees' Minds?

How innovative are your employees currently? Do you currently have employees who can quickly provide you creative insights to enhance your business procedures?


Use the above questions to help you start to define your strategic plans to put in place for determining new maneuvers in your organization to stay afloat during uncertain times.

These strategy plans will help your business stay profitable for the long term for you and your investors.


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