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Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

As that famous business guru and philosopher Mike Tyson once said "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth". COVID-19 has certainly delivered a punch in the mouth to many businesses. How are your plans standing up?

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How are your plans standing up?

I certainly remember as a founder of a digital marketing agency called Blue Barracuda that during that time the company received plenty of punches to the mouth. At times it was really hard to scrape myself off the canvas. One of the key things that got me back on the feet was my corner, the people I worked with and the supporting culture we had built.

It's at times like these that the culture of an organisation shines through.

Building a resilient culture has many aspects and there is no simple blueprint. That's why it is such a competitive advantage and why another great business guru, Peter Drucker, said "Culture eats strategy for breakfast".

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But 3 principles that I believe in to develop a culture that is most likely to be future-proofed against punches are:

- Autonomy: when your team is dispersed and are not under the watchful eye of management, then you want people able to get on and do their jobs. Decentralise control and build an organisation of leaders. Trust is key to this and builds motivation in teams.

- Diversity: different times call for different leaders. Building a team that has a range of qualities that can be called upon at different times gives you a many-headed organisation that is hard to keep down.

- Purpose: a sense of what you are doing is important is essential for people to be satisfied at work and prepared to put in the extra shift in tough times. Be clear on your team's purpose and regularly communicate that to the team and wider in your organisation or industry.

I wish you well in these times. One of the hats I now wear is that of 'Founder's Friend' as well as someone who provides virtual training, support and inspiration. If you want to chat through your current challenges and how to build a future-proofed culture, I'm in your corner.

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Martin Talks