The first chapter that I was introduced to when I entered into the “Commerce” field said that Business is perpetual, and it will continue forever and ever. The only reason we close the books of our business every year on 31st March is to review performances, make future plans, and adhere to the protocol of “reporting”. The financial year closing is just an event, business does not stop there, it keeps on moving and progressing.
As I grew older, I realized this principle has led a more profound impact on me. Practically speaking, every one of us can relate it to the present situation. The crux is that whatever may happen, the business must go on. With this Covid outburst, there is too much chaos in the outside world and a lot of disturbance inside our hearts, but as said, the show must go on.
In this uncertain scenario, you may have come across situations where your team members/ employees have got infected, you are unable to complete priority tasks, your vendor is Covid positive, and supply of the product has come to a halt, or the worst: you may have got infected yourself. Whatever the situation be, you must keep moving. You may think: it is easy to say that but difficult to implement. Let us see how we can keep the show going on.
I learned the solution from my 6-year-old daughter. One day I saw her playing “catch-catch” with her little sister and while playing they lost the ball. The little one started crying thinking the game was over but the very next minute the elder brought another ball. She’d kept it hidden from everyone to use as a backup when the need arose. We need to apply a similar strategy for our business and plan out our work in a way where there is a backup or shadow available.
No, I am not talking about the data backup but a person backup. Hire someone at a lower cost, who can act as a shadow of the core team member having the capability to simply understand and take up his repetitive tasks. Yes, the core member has high skills which you feel cannot be replaced, but skill and knowledge are two different things. Knowledge is unique, but skill can be imitated by the shadow through practice. You must identify such people who possess the will and zeal to learn and master new skills. And trust me when I say this: such people do exist. You simply need to have the right eye to search for them.
Is it practically possible? Well, the answer is a big “Yes.” It can be done by following the very simple Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule. Here, 80% of the work done by a technical person is repetitive which can be done by a non-technical person. Hence, when your highly skilled or technical team member is not available temporarily, the work will not stop as 80% of it can be performed by the non-technical backup person, the shadow.
You must be wondering how this is an immediate solution. Well, the current phase of Covid has clarified one thing for sure that this is not a temporary shutdown but rather a recurring one. Hence, the solution also needs to be a long-term one. With such changing times, it is the need of the hour to move from Bottom to Top, having a backup in a way that top-level tasks can also be handled by the bottom level. After all, it’s all about continuing the business in the long run, and the importance of shadow seems to fit in as an apt solution. This will gradually provide an automatic solution through shifting the dependency on the non-technical person and ultimately on the process rather than on people. For men may come and men may go, but life goes on forever, and so does our business which must go on forever too.
We are the fighters of this COVID war. Just like soldiers at our border work day and night so that we could sleep in peace, the Corona warriors are working day and night for our health and security. So, we must also work with the same enthusiasm to keep the economy running. With this zest I would simply advise,
DON’T STOP, KEEP MOVING!