Where will the future take us?

The Future

So many experts are trying to predict the future right now.  One of the best we have seen came from NESTA entitled ‘There will be no ‘back to normal‘.

They considered the impact of COVID19 on the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental (PESTLE).  We think the article is well worth a read.  Especially because it splits the impact of COVID19 over the key impacts the outside world could have on us on our business or our place.

The Future is not normal

Most of us who have done some economics will be aware of the PESTLE model.  It is usually the basis for long term business strategy (see for example UNICEF).  What is unusual today is that PESTLE doesn’t normally see the seismic shifts it is seeing across the world.  Acceptable norms like national economic policy are out of the window.  This creates uncertainty around the external factors that effect us and has a huge effect on how we plan for the future.

Where are we now?

COVID19 has changed the way we live our lives and run our businesses. Talking to various businesses from the UK of all sizes  Thomas Jardine & Co have noticed three typologies of businesses.  They are dealing with the uncertainty created by the changing factors in PESTLE. Then at the same time dealing with the changes we all face in our personal lives.

The first typology are businesses who are part of the critical supply chain and are working at full capacity or beyond. They have the full support of government (including school places) but have to constantly balance the needs of the business with the safety of their staff.

The second typology are those who have been temporarily closed by the government. This group has three choices. They can decide to either close permanently and reinvent a new future. Hibernate  by living off reserves and wait until they can open for business as normal.  Or pivot their business model to suit the future needs of their customers.

The third typology are those caught in-between closed and critical.  This group is struggling between the economic need to keep the business going and the moral dilemma of keeping staff, suppliers and customers safe.

So where are the experts?

In life you do best if you focus on what you can control.  This is why we normally start with experts who understand PESTLE factors and work down to how these global factors affect us. Now more than ever experts in PESTLE  are not sure where political , economic, social, technological, legal or environmental factors are going.

The experts are the people running the businesses going through this. They are your peers who are either struggling to keep up with the demand in the critical supply chain, dealing with a ‘closed’ business or struggling with a business that is open but not part of the critical supply chain.

Now more than ever we need to talk to our peers.

Peer support through action learning groups

So in business we are making decisions based on how we see the world affecting us and what we want to do with the business.  With COVID19 the experts are no longer certain of their expertise.  But business owners are having to decide what they want to do with the business. So your business peers are the experts in what it feels like to be a business owner during COVID19.   We can enable these experts (business peers) to form groups where you learn through trust, hearing different perspectives, accepting challenge and setting actions (Action Learning Groups). Your external sounding board.

Thomas Jardine & Co are developing a model that sets out what is influencing these critical business decisions.

me and the world

Have a look and think about where your business is been driven by COVID19 and where you would like it to be.  This is really difficult to do as an individual.  It’s much better to do this by talking with a group of your peers.

Thomas Jardine & Co are doing this with our brilliant Guilders through our ‘On It Not In It’  club . We are also working with Be the Business to deliver online Action Learning Sets for Next Gens recruited by the Family Business Network.

And finally we are training facilitators and developing online peer groups for Be The Business  to support Family Businesses across the UK.  If you are family business facing the COVID19 challenge contact us , Family Business United or the Family Business Network to join Be The Businesses Family Business Peer Groups.