Read Time: 5 minutes

Complacency never leads to remarkable success. When we’re not forced to learn or grow, we often get caught up in daily life and forget to challenge ourselves. Some blame this problem on innate laziness, but often our lives are so busy that we are just trying to keep up.

It has also been said that disruption leads to innovation. A lot of things are disrupted right now: our jobs, schools, families, healthcare system, government – our very lives. We are experiencing new challenges that are revealing things about ourselves we didn’t even know (like our ability to homeschool our kids while holding down a job) and bringing to light opportunities for growth.

Change is never a comfortable endeavor. However, the difference in how we come out of this – or any challenge – is how we choose to respond. And while our personal lives are going through changes, so are our businesses. So how do we make the most of this time on both levels? 

Embracing the Silence

Personal level: Life may actually seem crazier now than before the pandemic. However, one way or another, with activities canceled and shelter in place orders enacted, it’s likely that we’ll be met with some periods of silence. This can be strange because you may actually be able to hear yourself think. But, before you panic and schedule a video call with your therapist (which may be a great idea!), try to embrace this period of thought and reflection. 

Limiting distractions as you go about your new “normal routine” will allow your subconscious to do what it does best – reflect on your experiences. There will be plenty of time to consciously hammer out the details of life and future plans later. Avoid overstimulation, which can stifle your creative potential and the generative power of your brain. 

Business level: Innovation thrives on new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. While focus groups and brainstorming sessions are effective and useful, a lot of great ideas come when you aren’t consciously thinking about them at all. Take time to pause, reflect and let your mind wander. Taking time to let ideas process and settle provides new clarity when you come back to face them head on. 

You can use this time to consider the direction of your company or how you can bring new value and perspective to your profession. This time may unveil that you’re ready for a new profession entirely! Disruption catches you off guard and makes you think, steadily moving you toward innovation.

Re-examine Your Schedule and Priorities

Personal: While it seems like we could have a lot more time on our hands, it is extremely easy to fill up our schedules and stay busy by working long hours and taking on new home projects. We could also end up “wasting time” with things that don’t add value to our lives, like excessive amounts of social media or online shopping. Prioritize what is important to you and then work toward making your schedule reflect your priorities. Be sure to take care of yourself, build intentional leisure time into your schedule and don’t focus purely on productivity. 

Business: This could also be a great time to evaluate your company’s business model, operations, goals and more. Consider these factors:

    • Necessary functions and processes of your business – First things first: you need to take care of business. 
      • What is essential to keep your operations up and running? 
      • How are you managing your services and how they changed? 
      • Re-evaluate your current strategies and challenges. 
      • Come up with a list of short-term and long-term solutions. 
      • Document what effect this pandemic has had on your business (good and bad).
    • The priorities of your business
      • What is the mission statement or core beliefs of your company and do your operations reflect that? 
      • While you’re focusing on self-improvement, don’t neglect the corporate necessity for continual optimization as well. 
      • If necessary, consider rebranding and refocusing your services.
    • Future-focusing
      • What is next for your business? Examine where you see the company heading in the next year, in five years, ten years, twenty. Think of where you want it to be heading and determine if your current approach is on target. 
      • If not, examine ways you can redirect your course or determine if you need to shift the goals of your business as you adapt to provide value and meet the needs of your consumers.

Disruption has a unique way of causing us to evaluate what is important to us. It could be because we’ve been put in a dire situation where we’re forced to focus on the essentials, eliminate the rest and begin to build back up again, or simply forced into a situation that’s created more free time. 

Reconnect With Your Community

When the options are to innovate or become obsolesced, leaders dig deep and do what it takes. However, they know that they cannot do it alone. Community is important, whether it is to combat personal isolation or to draw on the expertise of those around you. Friends can help with the first, while business consultants can counsel you on the next steps to take for your business.  

Consider: What Can You Control? Then, Let Go Of the Rest

Personal – Currently, it is very likely that you are experiencing many things that are outside of your control. You may be juggling increased life responsibilities with kids, adjusting to actually living in your house and dealing with unease over family health, job security and finances. Avoid dwelling on your worries – keep moving forward, one task at a time. 

What is one small thing that you could implement to improve your daily life, both in the short term and the long term? Focus on what you can control.

Business level: Between complicated decision-making hierarchies, an abundance of opinions, poorly managed resources and more, it’s a wonder that enterprise-level businesses are as productive as they are. Regardless of what issues your company is facing, focusing on what you can control applies here, too.

One common challenge of digital transformations is how massive and abstract the project may appear. The thought that it will never get done discourages clients from starting and often leads to analysis paralysis. Examine inefficiencies and challenges within your business and make small steps toward improvement. Even if you find that you are in great need of a digital transformation or cloud integration, these projects are not hammered out instantly. Instead, they are broken down into manageable pieces that move you toward the final product and long-terms goals of efficiency and scalability.

How Do You Respond to Failure?

No matter your efforts, failure cannot always be avoided. It could be small, major, personal or professional. The implications will come with their own consequences. Letting go of our tendency toward control does not mean operating in an idealistic or naive way. It means relying on self-efficacy and adapting to the challenges that arise. You may view failure as something to be avoided or an opportunity for growth. It may frustrate you or make you want to give up.

However, what sets successful leaders apart is their ability to fail fast, choose their response, and move forward. Even if that means making difficult decisions — like giving up on their original dreams, plans and expectations — keep moving forward. Even when it takes all that you have and more, keep moving forward. 

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins

Disruption leads to innovation because disruption shows us what we are made of. It challenges people to be leaders, breaks them down and gives them the opportunity to rebuild and emerge – not unscathed, but with a fresh determination and wisdom.

Encounter. Adapt. Emerge. Innovate. Lead.

Moving Forward

Your job and your personal life are unique. It will not be effective to approach the two in the same way. However, they share similar challenges that influence one another and cannot be addressed in isolation. 

If your business is ready to move forward and position yourself at the forefront of your industry, SevenTablets is ready to help. We specialize in helping businesses undergo digital transformations, whether that is through meeting their cloud and system integration needs, prioritizing data governance, data lake creation and analytics, or increasing efficiency, improving operations and optimizing their digital presence through custom software and mobile app development. 

We want to help you succeed during this challenging time. To start your development project or discuss what solution is right for your business, reach out to the team at SevenTablets today. 

Reach out to our team today!

Shane Long

Shane Long

As President of SevenTablets, Shane Long brings experience in mobility that pre-dates the term “smartphone” and the release of the first iPhone. His work has helped revolutionize the growth of mobility by bringing to market one of the first graphics processors used in mobile phones, technology that after being acquired by Qualcomm lived well into the 4th generation of smartphones, as well as helped pioneer the first GPS implementations in the segment. With a strong engineering and business background, Shane understands how the rise of mobility and Predictive Analytics is crucial to greater business strategies geared toward attaining competitive advantage, accelerating revenue, and realizing new efficiencies. As the leader of a B2B mobility solutions provider, he partners with business leaders including marketers and product developers to leverage enterprise mobile applications, big data and analytics, and mobile strategy.

Shane earned a B.S. at Texas A&M (whoop!) and studied mathematics as a graduate student at Southern Methodist University.