I know I’m not the first person to say it, but it bears repeating: 2020 has not been anyone’s year. In addition to the usual business challenges, the economy has been rattled by pandemics, social issues, and politics. This upheaval has really required business leaders to take a look at their plans and pivot—quickly.
I saw this need to pivot happen with both our clients and our own Haute Companies brands. Finding our footing—and helping our clients find theirs—was a new challenge, but here’s the thing…we embrace the unconventional. So, finding ways to safely bring live music to audiences without losing intimacy? Awesome. And reimaging established sales enablement tools to account for new work-from-home personas? All over it.
But solving these challenges requires something that most companies are pretty averse to: taking risks.
I can hear you already.
“Now is not the time to take risks!”
But isn’t it? Like I said at the top, the same challenges we’ve always faced still exist. We are still trying to generate revenue, increase productivity, secure our systems…the list goes on and on. The difference is that our current scenario requires us to look at these challenges with a new perspective. And that might be exactly what we need to find valuable solutions.
Take Responsible Risks
Obviously, the pandemic isn’t an excuse to go hog wild. But there’s something to be said for calculated risks. Let’s take your marketing for example. Your reputation is important—do you want to make bold statements and stand out as a confident leader during these times? Or do you want to water down your message and tip toe around the issue until your business fades into obscurity?
The key is to have a partner you can trust to upset that status quo in the best ways. Let them guide you, but remember that risk experimentation shouldn’t be sloppy. Keep your high standards and expect an outstanding delivery. When your risk pays off, you can celebrate the hard work together.
Lead by Example
It often takes a total culture shift to embrace this kind of change, but it has to start somewhere. Stand up for your thinking. Do your research. Sometimes, an idea seems pretty risky until you dig a little and find that it’s not so novel after all. When you can back your idea up with a well-thought strategy, your confidence becomes contagious.
Although many companies now have their teams spread out across a remote landscape, that’s no excuse for neglecting culture. Keep taking the time to foster creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. (Our team at Haute Dokimazo can help with that.)
Ultimately, it’s important not to let corporate culture stand in the way of creating authentic human connections. Be a pioneer of finding a better way and your colleagues will be sure to follow.
Break Down Barriers
I often find that unknown risk creates invisible, unnecessary barriers for clients. They are thinking ten steps ahead and imagining all the ways a project can go wrong. Sometimes this is a great exercise. It’s obviously useful to look at a challenge from many angles. Other times, this forces us to make assumptions about our audience that may or may not be true.
Ask yourself—is this really a risk, or is this an unfounded assumption? How can we test against the assumption? If you can, do some polling or focus groups to gain clarity. If that’s not possible, look at the project as an evolving entity. Launch knowing that you will learn along the way and can optimize over time. This will allow you to take a risk that leads to reward no matter how you look at it—either your decision pays off, or it doesn’t but you learn how to improve.
Where Do I Start?
I challenge you in the next week or so to identify a risk, evaluate it, then take it. You may just find the riskiest thing to do is not to take any risks at all. An organization in a complete stand still is dangerous, and sometimes risks are what we need to get things unstuck and moving again.
About Haute Companies
Haute Companies is a collection of five brands that embraces the unconventional to build human-to-human connections. To learn more about how our teams can help you take more calculated risks, contact us today.