Appearing live on Ticker TV's flagship show Ticker Today on April 9, I spoke with host Ahron Young about how The Coaching Institute is doing business in these transforming times.
Before I said a word, my actual method of being a guest on the business based internet program spoke volumes about how much things have changed in the world in the last month.
I dialled in using a webcam link.
When the spot was booked two weeks earlier, I'd planned to appear face to face with Ahron (a former Sky News bureau chief) in the Ticker TV studio in Melbourne. Business as usual. But coronavirus changed that, and we all seemed to have skilled up quickly in using modern enterprise video communications.
At TCI, the need to move our entire coaching schedule for the year online was obvious early, and happened fast: over five days in March we seamlessly pivoted from being a large events company to one which is now all about e-commerce.
For any business wanting to thrive now—and there's plenty of opportunity if you're willing to not just have a to-do list but put it into decisive action—I have four main messages.
The first is there is a way, and at The Coaching Institute, we're determined to continue to find it.
We took the approach that if this is going to go on for two years, which is what we're basing our plans on, that we needed a permanent, sustainable and scaleable different way to do business.
The biggest part was communicating to our community that they could still be part of this. They understood we were still accessible every single day to them and were still going live, that we're still here even though there's a physical distance now.
It was very easy for us because we had all the technology in place, and we've realised we can reach more people around the world online.
The second message is your business needs e-commerce. It's the absolute must of every business right now. There is just no excuse not to do it.
I don't know any business that can survive without it now if they don't have a mindset that this is what we're moving to. We're encouraging our team to think this is permanent, we're not going back to yesterday.
We're looking for this to be the new normal, we're looking for new innovations.
You also need to know pivots in uncertain times are key. We moved into importing hospital grade hand sanitiser and are providing it at cost to anybody who is part of the community around the world. It was something within our skill base that we could do, and the initiative also tapped into our most important mission: putting humanity ahead of profits.
We want to touch people's lives in a positive way, and because we made that first pivot, put 'what can we do?' before profits, we're doing really well.
I appreciate there are businesses which are just getting through and some which are getting smashed. My attitude is we're going to get through this one way or another and I want to look back knowing I'm, proud of myself, that I made positive decisions and that I lived my values.
Our purpose has become #strongertogether and I want to come out the other side knowing I helped people know that, that we're stronger together.