Strategic Thinking – A Critical Skill for adapting to a rapidly changing world

Episode Summary

Through my work at Community Investment Corporation, we’ve heard directly from numerous small business owners and understand that the challenges created by COVID-19 are overwhelming. Many have described feelings of paralysis and overwhelm, which has led to inaction and an inability to make thoughtful plans or decisions. This is such a normal place to be during this unprecedented time you are not alone, your feelings are normal and there is a way to start down the path toward action.

While this panel was focused on working through the mourning process regarding COVID-19 impacts on our businesses, the lessons and principles Tony & Amber shared should be applied at a regular cadence for every business.

Customer Empathy – Go learn from your customers, understand what tier new pain points are. Where are there new unmet needs they have that you can solve?

Brainstorm – Find somewhere quiet, pause to take a breath and then come up with more than 10 opportunities to consider exploring with customers.

Narrow this list of opportunities down to a short-list of 2-3, likely based on the depth and frequency of the pain point experienced by the customer.

For each of these opportunities, Identify the assumptions that must be true for that opportunity to be successful and document a measurable hypothesis about what you think will happen with the customer.

Explore – rigorously explore each opportunity, comparing how it performs with customers to your hypothesis and ultimately decide which opportunities to drop and which to continue based on the evidence generated from your customers.

About the Panelists

Tony Ford
COO at Magnitude Management

For more than 20 years, I have recorded quantifiable achievements driving sales and operational strategies, assessing business needs to develop optimal solutions, making impactful presentations, and amassing productive and top-performing teams. Over the same period, I have acquired clients across industries, including manufacturers, service companies, and tech startups as well as major e-Tailers and retailers.

Tony Ford on LinkedIn 
Tony Ford on Facebook

Amber Smith
CEO at Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Amber is a collaborator above all else, I believe most problems can be solved through discussion, respect for different opinions, by finding common ground and working with partners. My passion projects include workforce development, housing affordability and overall bringing people, businesses, and groups together to solve complicated problems and create collective impact.
Amber Smith on LinkedIn

Old Pueblo, New Economy

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