Develop a habit, Working from home, new norm?, Opportunity & Recalibrating priorities
17th May 2020 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“There’s never a good sale for Nieman-Marcus unless it’s a good buy for the customer. “ Herbert Marcus 1926
Hope you’re Thriving!
Do you know the feeling when you complete a large project?
It’s a pretty good feeling, right? Well, I’ve got that feeling today. After 3 months work, I’ve launched the video course for my book Made to Thrive. In the broad scheme of things that’s important to me because I now have launched 3 courses in the past few years:
Why is it important to me? Because my core purpose is to help build enduring, great businesses.
Thanks for tolerating my self-adulation, lets now get into this weeks newsletter.
I want to start by mentioning something that’s been on my mind this past week.
The world will never be like it was in 2019.
What does that mean?
Think back to how airlines changed after 9/11 — with security checkpoints and extra rules. The world was never the same after 2001. And now the world will not be the same again – not only because we are going to have extra health checking and safety everywhere, at least until a vaccine ‘might’ be found, but also because it takes 66 days to develop a habit according to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, and we’re now 66 days in.
Take this quote from Jes Staley, the chief executive of the British bank Barclays “the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past.”
That’s from this New York Times article ‘Manhattan Faces a Reckoning if Working From Home Becomes the Norm’ which considers the impact on commercial real estate and the many supporting businesses resulting from increased working from home. But it’s worth remembering that without the internet being at the stage of maturity that it is — with high definition video and remote storage cloud computing — that this level of business continuity wouldn’t be possible.
But that’s the job of the internet and software developers in general — to remove process waste. To make processes leaner and more efficient. And the process of millions of people commuting an hour each way to work in an office each day is rich with waste ripe for elimination. In fact, the pandemic is simply accelerating the work from home trend by around ten years and forcing many of the difficult decisions now.
It’s hard to contemplate that anyone who is paying commercial rent for office space at the moment is not looking to the future and thinking that there is an opportunity to reduce the operating costs of the business by implementing a continued work from home policy in some form. I’d even go as far as to suggest that many retailers and restaurants who have survived are now looking at the relationships with their customers now and wondering if high commercial rent should form part of their long term business model. Here’s another interesting take from that article “David Kenny, the chief executive at Nielsen, said the company plans to convert its New York offices to team meeting spaces where workers gather maybe once or twice a week.
‘If you are coming and working at your desk, you certainly could do that from home,’ Mr. Kenny said. ‘We have leases that are coming due, and it’s absolutely driving those kinds of decisions.’’I have done an about-face on this,’ he added.”
I found a really interesting survey this week from Brett Iredale, Founder and CEO of JobAdder a recruitment management software platform. Brett conducted a survey of his international team of employees to determine their thoughts on returning to work after working from home during the past couple of months.
Some key takeaways from Brett;
- 70% of our employees would prefer to work from home between 2-4 days a week. 2-3 days being most popular.
- only 6% want to go back to the office full time. 6%!!
- 100% of employees experienced 4 or more positive benefits from the COVID lockdown
- 80% of JobAdder employees say they get more done working from home.
Now that’s a small sample that isn’t representative of all workers, but it’s interesting, and when you think about the people who can work from home who might feel this way (e.g. a construction worker can’t work from home), plus the sentiments of businesses who are looking to reduce office space, there is potentially a major trend here, one of about 7 major trends that suggest that the world will never be like it was in 2019.
A really interesting chart this week below showing that Tesla Supercharger sessions have dropped by 70% in Europe and North America since January. These are the public charging stations located around the world and an interesting measure of the virus’ impact.
As leaders, we use graphs to visualise how data tells a story, and it’s one of the best tools a leader has to help communicate what is happening, and to look for things that are happening. As we can see in the graph above, there is a story in China about the sudden drop in April in charge sessions, and another story about the slight increase in North America and Europe since April. But the way you use information as a leader in graphs should help the reader understand the data more, not confuse them. The graph below I found this week is an excellent example of how to fail at visualising data. On the right we have countries increasing and on the left countries decreasing. So does that mean that Afghanistan, just to the right of the centre is almost decreasing? No, it is alphabetical order. The point? As leaders recipients should have greater insights after looking at graphs you present to visualise data.
Sad news this week as US-based luxury department store Neiman Marcus filed for chapter 11 protection as a result of COVID 19. Established in 1907, the Dallas based retailer was as proud of its in-store art collection (including several Picasso’s) as it was the dedication to the customer. Here’s an interesting article about Stanley Marcus, son of the founder Herbert — The Man Who Brought Paris to Dallas.
Last month on the newsletter I spoke about crisitunity a made-up word that notes that within every crisis there is opportunity.
As every week passes through this pandemic, and as we can see the future a little bit more clearly each week, one thing is become very obvious;
As business owners, this crisis is presenting us with the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME to reinvent the way we work.
How can you reinvent your business and the way you work? There may not be an opportunity as great again in our lifetimes.
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
On episode 5 of The Growth Whisperers, Kevin Lawrence and I talk about the following.
Leadership team accountability
How do great leadership teams create #accountability, and what is the best way for leaders to create accountability within their teams? Kevin and Brad talk about what #leaders need to do to create real accountability in their teams.
With COVID19 leadership teams are focussing on the immediate problems and often not paying attention to the broader plan and priorities. Is it acceptable to stop executing your business plans? The Growth Whisperers talk about the ‘Coronavirus excuse problem’.
Shifting from health to economic crisis
With many parts of the world beginning to see Coronavirus case numbers decline, people are waking up to the economic hangover as they look into the future. Brad and Kevin talk about the economic crisis small to medium businesses are facing.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
If you would like to receive our weekly newsletter as an email, simply complete the “subscribe to my newsletter” form at the top of this page.