Light Bulb with Plant Growing Inside Kevin Hawley

Barefoot Insiders

Hyperbole

Hyperbole…

Never…

Biggest…

Not one…

The world will be fundamentally different…

Everything has changed…

Few journalists, CEO’s or influencers write the above words thinking… “This is a hyperbole, but I must use an overstatement to convince people that I really mean what I say.” More than just a cool sounding word, a hyperbole is an exaggerated statement, a claim not meant to be taken literally. 

Why am I talking about hyperbole? 

Because the news everywhere is chalked full of predictions that go something like: EVERYTHING has changed. 

OK… I just used a hyperbole. But I want to be cautious about perpetuating a mindset that leads to fear and uncertainty. Nonprofits face uncertainty. Small business face uncertainty. It’s a tough time to make decisions. There is no 5-step plan to come out of this. While some experts are predicting “game changing” disruptions, no one really knows the outcome. 

It would be a shame if we didn’t take a backwards look at the 12 – 24 weeks of shutdown and disruption to re-vision the future. To be fair, much of the news is taking a positive viewpoint, showing the resilience of Canadians. 

There have been three core messages through the past weeks: 

  1. We need more government assistance
  2. We need to rethink everything
  3. We need to get back to our new normal

I am grateful we live in a country where government assistance is available. That’s a bridge to take us through a tough time. But the structure of assistance is not designed for the long term. More government is a short-term solution for a crisis. Business and nonprofit leaders need to take assertive action to ignite the economy, adjust the social framework and support fragile populations when the crisis subsides. 

We don’t need to rethink everything. But we need to walk into the next season with wisdom, not just looking to return to “normal” but to see where we can adjust. Tech giant Open Text has already announced it will close a percentage of their offices, encouraging their team to work at home. Social distancing gave them the opportunity to test working from home. The good news is that their team flourished and now they have new options. 

Let’s hope that we aren’t content with a “new normal”, but rather that we strive for excellence in all we do. Businesses and nonprofits have the opportunity to walk through a time of self-evaluation. Rather than settling for a return to something we define as normal, we should be striving for excellence using the experience we just went through to make us stronger and more effective.

I believe we can do just that because we are resilient people. We are creative and imaginative. We respond to challenges by testing different approaches to solving them. Hour by hour creative minds are noodling around with new apps – some will stick, some will disappear. Leaders are considering new work protocols – again, some will stick some will not. Engineers are modifying machines to support the production of essential protective equipment – whole new industries are being born right now. The food industry is imaging new ways to make food fun, healthy and available. 

That’s just a small list of the cool things that are happening. 

Like the depression, WW2, 911… the world stopped for a season. We are resilient people and we will not only adjust to change, we will thrive. 

Barefoot Creative is just beginning to move forward to the next season. Right now we are: 

1. Reducing our dependence on physical office space. 

We were already in planning stages for this in December when we ended our lease agreement. We loved our space and it was the right space for the right time. Now it’s time to be more agile, having the ability to respond to client’s needs with a focus on talent, not real estate. COVID-19 pushed us a little ahead of the cycle, but we are purposeful in changing the way we work. 

2. Imaging new digital tools to support nonprofits and small business

Never has the importance of small business and nonprofits been more obvious. We are excited about providing easy-to-use and  affordable tools that build an online presence that is much more than a “brochure.” The digital environment is a great place to build a growing business. But, as you’ve seen, many companies need to up the ante on their commitment to digital sales. We are investing in tools to make it easier and cost-effective.

3. We are investing in helping analyze data. 

Our web tools are already equipped with tracking and data collecting mechanisms that help business and nonprofit leaders make good decisions. Because business has slowed a bit, we are using our time wisely to strategically build data tools that help analyze sales and donor growth so that we can invest wisely into marketing, communications and fundraising.

Share your approach this challenging season.


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