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The world is always in flux. As we try to reopen and with all the social unrest, we know things are going to be different. We find ourselves asking, what is the norm? As a business leader, this is familiar territory.

Leaders who are prepared to challenge the status quo of their products, business culture, and reputation understand that change is the only constant. With that, comes learning how we best navigate change.

Companies that never would have allowed telecommuting now have all their employees working remotely. Should they require them to come into the office when the coast is clear? Perhaps, sometimes, because while remote meetings and work can be more productive, we still need human contact and are shown to collaborate more efficiently in person.

Many leaders avoid risk, but having a healthy appetite for risk can open the door to new opportunities and revenue streams. Instead of being set on price, system, or process, prepare to take a chance and pivot. If your clients do not respond, try something new, get feedback, and iterate. 

Every business–whether a startup or enterprise organization–operates on a shoestring budget; now is the time for all businesses to adopt the same mindset. Leaders should aim to keep fixed overhead low and limit their inventory as they work to acquire more paying customers. 

Your team is full of talent, skill, and experience. Helping your team stay flexible by showing them how to wear many hats to get the job done makes them more agile. If your current team does not possess a particular set of skills, consider bringing in external help in the form of contractors, making sure they understand your vision and fit your culture.  

Business success comes down to delivering what customers need. What kind of relationship do you have with your customers? Have you checked-in to see how you can best help your clients in this unique season? What they needed earlier this year may not be what they need now. Talk to your customers and prospects to get a feel for how you can help them overcome their current challenges. When you get their feedback, remember their pain points are always changing. Through this conversation, you can think of ways to pivot and better meet their needs. 

The only way to know if a new strategy is working is to test it. Consider testing small initiatives continuously and changing based on what you learn in the process. For example, new businesses conduct back-to-back, iterative tests involving products and services, adjusting based on what they learn. Think of ways your team can try new ideas and see what works. 

Even if meeting virtually from different parts of the world, networking should still be a priority. There are various ways to connect with potential new leads without being face-to-face, whether that is reaching out on Zoom or FaceTime, or merely using your expertise to add value for someone else. 

While home and social life may be disrupted at times and we are required to adapt to new norms, the exciting part of being a business leader is that disrupting the status quo and changing to new market conditions is our norm. Look at how you can differentiate yourself–and thrive.

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