Tips for dealing with adversity

Millpond was born from the adversity of the GFC and the 2010/2011 Christchurch Earthquakes. As such, we have built up plenty of scar tissue to equip us in times such as these. The suggestions below are born from this experience;

  • Yes, it’s bad, but It’s not always bad
    Remember, not all risks are bad news for your business. Obviously, these may not be front of mind right now, but in the process of dealing with adversity, keep an eye out for the gems that might mean you come out the other side of this with a head start on your opposition.
  • Stick to the Facts
    There are always lots of rumours and inuendo in times of uncertainty, there is no point in believing what your neighbours, neighbours, cousin read on facebook! Stick to trusted news channels and act on the facts.
  • Use the textbook
    It sounds obvious, but the textbook and your training materials should not be left on the shelf gathering dust at times like these. Often, responses to crises are based on gut feel or the human ‘fight or flight’ reaction. This is natural, but it also means there is a risk that proven tools and techniques can get ignored. For example;

    • Utilise risk management practices & pay particular attention to mitigation techniques e.g. effective contingency planning.
    • Remember to check in on your project scope. Do you still need to deliver all scope items, or are you able to deliver the required (and potentially changed) outcome with less?
    • Portfolio management processes should be front of mind for businesses at times like these. Are you doing the right projects based on the changing needs of your business? Your project priorities may have changed markedly over the past couple of weeks. As such, make sure you are adjusting what is being worked on so your resources are most effectively deployed.
    • Make sure you are getting what you need from your Governance group – are you clearly articulating what decisions need to be made, why? And by when?
  • Use the tools
    There are loads of really good and simple to use tools available for remote work. Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom are easy to use and an excellent replacement for face-to-face meetings. We’ve used loads of other tools such as Skype, Messenger, WhatsApp, Trello to name a few. With data security and ownership being front of mind, these tools are all cheap or free, can be accessed with an internet connection and a browser, and can keep your team together and productive without having to be physically in the same place.
  • Keep some perspective
    Be realistic and keep things in perspective. Yes, it may be that misfortune will befall you, or your business – luck plays a big part in success & sometimes, and this luck just runs out! Get over it and embrace the brave new world. The sun will still rise tomorrow morning.
  • Ask for help
    And finally, if it’s all getting to be a bit much, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. After all, a problem shared, is a problem halved!

It’s a rapidly evolving situation, we’ve never had to deal with this before and, our responses will need to change accordingly. Let us know how you’re dealing with things as we’d like to help the wider community by sharing these suggestions.


James Dobson.

how can we help you?

Contact us at our Christchurch office or feel free to submit an inquiry online.

“A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.”

Simon Sinek
Author, Speaker

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