This is the first week of the last quarter of 2021. How will you play it out? In my conversations with business leaders, I find the answer to this question generally falls into two camps.

One camp takes a wait and see approach.
There is uncertainty and a lack of clarity ahead for them and these leaders believe a pragmatic approach with an abundance of caution is the responsible thing to do. They remain comfortable and believe their teams will too.

The other camp takes a let’s make it happen approach.
There is uncertainty and a lack of clarity ahead for them too. These leaders believe a prudent approach that is cautiously optimistic is the responsible thing to do. They remain confident and believe their teams will too.

What is interesting is both groups are appealing to our human nature. Camp One is tapping into our survival instinct. We live to fight another day by staying in our comfort zone of known experience. Camp Two is tapping into our thriving instinct. We strive to be better, knowing that a better future is just outside our comfort zone of new experiences.

Comfortable or confident.

Which camp are you in? Which camp do you think is better for your employees, customers and the business? Before you answer consider the neuroscience. We create unnecessary tension for ourselves when we turn away from change and go back to what we know and what is comfortable.

The reason? Our brains crave what is new and different – hello change! – and go on autopilot with what is known. Our brains are constantly trying to figure out the future. It is trying to make sense of change and make you the better for it by the way, and yet we are telling ourselves to ignore these new ideas and go back to what we know.

Your brain is resisting!

Simply because we are ignoring the potential of the new neural pathways in our brains that have been created by change and new experience. The experience that created those new ways of working in your company, for instance.

Try becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable bits of change.

Turn and face the strange as David Bowie says. This is your moment. It is a business-defining and career making moment.  Don’t ignore the potential and possibilities in the vast, untapped human potential in your organization.

Opportunity awaits (yes, with a little danger) in the change in your people, business, markets, and customers. Opportunity awaits in the new skills and experiences locked in the brains of your teams. Opportunity awaits in the new ways to work, to operate and to serve. Potentially, your best quarter is right in front of you. So, how will you play it out?

Here are three plays that I recommend to clients.

  1. Get clear on purpose, positioning and promise. These are more than statements or boardroom exercises. They are guardrails for every decision you will make over the quarter and for the foreseeable future.
  2. Plan and operate at the same time. Gone are the days of long planning cycles and the excuse of being too busy with the fires of the pandemic to plan. Now, we need to think and execute with agility and empathy. Market conditions and customer needs demand it.
  3. Iterate. Evaluate. Now is the time to fill your idea pipeline. Try new products, new customer experiences. Not only will your teams and customers give permission to try, they expect it. Collaborate with them, put it out there and learn from it.

Listen I get it. We are all busy and feeling too preoccupied to plan ahead. But what if you could plan and operate, in less time? Reach out to me and let’s talk about how your own playbook would be helpful in winning the quarter, schedule a call with me and let’s talk solutions.

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