Adapting to Changing Times and to Uncertainty


The changing situation and regulations with COVID has been challenging for many persons, businesses, and society. The stability, certainty, and predictability of how we knew life to be is no longer here. How we live, work, socialize, relax, and spend money has changed and as regulations change, so does how we live. There is financial uncertainty for many regarding their employment, customers, and government assistance as those things change. This uncertainty and changing environment increases stress and uses more mental and emotional energy.

Many organizations are finding it challenging to adapt to the changing situation around COVID. They close, they open, new health protocols, delivery, online ordering, pick up at the door, limited operating hours, remote working, managing traffic flow of people, etc. Some people complain about the changes and restrictions. Some people are frustrated, scared, or don’t know what to do. When we have a significant change in our life, especially one that we don’t like, it’s common for us to resist it emotionally and to want life to return to the way that it was before. We want to go back to the past.

The cost of wanting to return to the past is that we suffer emotionally and mentally. We feel frustrated, angry, sad, scared, anxious, and more. We spend more time thinking about what to do than before when we knew what to do. We try to do things as close as possible to before the significant change in our lives and it doesn’t work. It produces suboptimal results and sometimes failure. It also costs us money, time, and opportunities.

The desired outcome is to survive and to grow. To succeed and to prosper. To do this, we need to let go of our emotional attachment to the past. We must let go of the way things used to be, let go of the way that we think things should be, and to focus on the way that things are now. We don’t have to like the way that things are, or agree with it, however we must accept the present situation as the starting point. Resistance and contempt keep us stuck and hinder us from moving forward because we’re too busy fighting against the reality of our present situation by wishing, hoping, and living in denial. Acceptance doesn’t mean being complacent, resigning to it, or giving up on what you want. Acceptance is letting go of any resistance, complaints, and contempt for the present situation and to be grounded in the facts of the current situation. It’s facing and accepting reality as pretty or ugly as it may be. With acceptance the current situation isn’t good or bad. It just is the way that it is right now.

From acceptance of the current situation, we can more clearly set goals and to chart a path from the present moment towards the future achievement of those goals. When there is acceptance, there is nothing to fight against or to resist. We are free to do what needs to be done to move forwards towards our goals. To overcome the challenges and to adapt to the changing environment due to COVID, we may need to come up with creative solutions, research new methods, find new technologies, adapt existing technologies, and collaborate with others in ways that we haven’t before. We may need to radically change the way that we do business. In some cases we may need to redesign the whole operation from the ground up.

Marketing process: What type of marketing will reach your customers and target market given the way that they live now? What is your target market looking for and what media do they spend their time consuming? What is important to them right now and your marketing can appeal to?

Sales process: What would be an effective and easy way for your customers to buy from you? What needs to be done to make it convenient for them to buy when customers can’t enter a retail shop?

Customer loyalty: What can be done to build and maintain customer loyalty when in-person interaction has been reduced or non-existent? What will have them coming back during uncertain times? What will have your customers think positively about your business over others even if they aren’t buying from you right now?

Operations: If you let go of the way things used to be and had to design your operations for maximum effectiveness and efficiency for today’s situation, would it be radically different or have small adaptations?