Fight or Flight
Buried deep in the reptilian part of our brain is a system that quickly constantly scans the environment looking for potential threats. When it spots one, it reacts with an instant impulse of “fight” or “flight”.
The more recently developed portions of our brain help us ultimately decide what to do. But the instant assessment cannot be turned off. It is an automatic, unconscious response to threat, developed over millions of years to help enhance the odds of survival.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic certainly has been stressful. It came as a surprise and threatened the survival of both businesses and human lives. In a recent Quarterly planning session, Dani Nichols, the Integrator (day-to-day operating leader) of our client Napco described what this threat looked like to their business.
“In the early days of the pandemic, the news was not good. Our business was down 82% in a single week. We were concerned that we would not be deemed “essential” and would not be allowed to operate. We realized that we had to choose ‘fight’ or ‘flight.’”
What did they do?
They decided to fight. Rather than panic or curl up, figuratively, in the fetal position, they rolled up their sleeves and got to work.
First, they put together a 13-week cash flow forecast that they updated every week. Next, they applied for SBA funds (PPP and EIDL loans). They sent their office staff home to work and staggered the schedules of their production and shipping staff to keep them safe. They were declared an essential business as saw demand start to recover.
The results? They have not only survived but are thriving. Most important to the Leadership Team, they were able to keep every employee (permanent and temporary) on the payroll.
What stood out as Dani reported these events in our Quarterly was how calm and steady the team had remained. They relied on the EOS® tools, with which they had already become skilled, to control and manage all these efforts. They maintained their weekly Level 10 MeetingTM cadence, adding shorter daily meetings for a while but using the same very effective agenda. They kept their weekly Scorecard up to date, adding their cash flow forecast and several daily numbers to it. As issues arose, they captured them on their Issues List and used the EOS® Issues Solving TrackTM during team meetings to make sure those issues were solved quickly and permanently. Throughout, they kept priorities and accountability crystal clear.
We have a saying in EOS® that whatever it is, “It’s just an Issue.” Our clients have the tools they need to handle almost anything. As the British poster developed in anticipation of World War II said, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. It’s what Napco did – and what all EOS® companies do.