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Growth through Reframing the Problem to See the Opportunities: A COVID-19 Growth Framework




Building resilience in a crisis is critical, not only for the leadership and mental well-being of the people in the organisation, but it is also vitally important to build portfolio and growth resilience to ensure you are positioned for stability initially, and then growth once the opportunity arrives. We need to reframe the problem to see the potential opportunities in front of us.

At this point you will have taken a good hard look at your portfolio of work and / or the bottom line and you may be starting to question what the future will look like for some areas of the organisation. If you have gone through Step One: Stabilisation, or gone through a similar process, you will have an adjusted program of work that you are looking to achieve. Step Two in our COVID-19 Growth Framework is reframing the value you are seeking to achieve though a process of adaption and re-thinking to look at how this program of work can be delivered with limited resources, different operating environments and a challenging and uncertain market.

Adapt and Reframe Your Value

The market environment is challenging the ideas we have in our current business model and forcing us to re-think the effectiveness of process and our ability to deliver on a chosen strategy.

The Innovation process encourages us to create new products, processes and to reimagine ideas to creatively apply these solutions where we previously didn’t see solutions existing. It is this mindset, adaptability and continual reframing of the market environment and portfolio that will help the organisation address the challenges ahead. It is innovation that will apply these outcomes to generate solutions for growth.

You don’t need to feel like you are waiting for a brain explosion of an idea or that creative thought stream that wakes you up in the middle of the night. To reframe the value of your portfolio, there are some steps you can follow to lead you through the thinking process:

1. Reframe the Problem to See the Opportunities

One of the challenges we have with the traditional brainstorming process is that we start by baking the answer into the question we are asking. The purpose of the brainstorming process is to challenge the team to find a new or different idea, but our conventional way of framing the questions, through baked in answers, limits the ability of a team to open up and generate new ideas.

As an example, if you ask your team to come up with a solution to reduce the budget by 25%, you will undoubtably end up with a series of cost-cutting ideas, that may involve removing a project, reducing staff numbers or diminishing the outcomes that were planned to be delivered - suboptimal outcomes of planned/forecast projects .

Reframing the problem statement or question to be something along the lines of, how can we deliver the same outcomes to our internal and external customers more efficiently? This new lens opens up the brain to assume that want the same overall outcome but require a different way to deliver it. This creates the opportunity to think about ideas, processes and delivery methodologies we haven’t used before.

2. There are no bad or crazy ideas

Working with us you know there are no crazy or bad ideas. We like to challenge teams to open their minds to be creative without any pressure to come up with the best idea, or an ideal solution immediately. Use this an opportunity for abstract thought connections that may lead to creative ideas and possibly A-HA moments. It also may not. Take all the ideas, even the really terrible ones, and re-evaluate and reframe them. Use this as a different lens to look at the idea or problem differently.

Sometimes a bad idea is just a bad idea, but sometimes it can be transformed or combined with other ideas to create something brilliant. Challenge people to find something different. Maintain focus on the customer, brand and organisational values to drive outcomes that are sustainable in the long-term and will transform how your employees, customers and the market see you.

3. Question Everything

Often, we have a set of assumptions and norms for our industry, market segment and the organisation we work within, and we can be quite stuck on these. Many of these will be deeply ingrained in our psyche. If you want to do something different, disrupt the market or change your ability to deliver in a crisis, then you need to take all of the assumptions you thought to know to be true and throw them out the window. Ask yourself, what would happen if I did it differently?

How we did it in the past, is unlikely to work as well as we would like it to going forward in these current times. Would we even want it to?

At GOYA Consulting we are helping a number of organisations lean in to the process and support organisations think differently and maximise their ability to deliver, and where possible create the space for innovation to add value and growth opportunities. Based on your needs of your organisation we can support through:

· Do It Yourself model with all of the frameworks and tools required to support your leadership, finance and operational teams

· Do It With Me model to provide support and guidance until your team is ready to do it own their own

· Do It For Me model with consultants that take on the key roles and manage the complete process if you don’t have the skills readily available

Talk to us about how we can support your organisation through the tough commercial realities of COVID-19….and create opportunities.

Ally Muller is the author of the soon to be released book Corporate Innervation: Unlocking the Genius Inside Your Organisation.

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