7 Surefire Steps to Powerfully Dealing with Disruptions

Dealing with Disruptions

On February 24th, 2021, Fry's Electronics shut its doors for good, citing "changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic." I used to go to Frys, and it would take me 15 minutes to find a parking space, browse the shelves for hours, and then stand in line for 10 minutes to check out. What happened? Frys was unable to deal with the disruptions and do business in the new reality brought forth.  I had pointed out in my last article several disruptions that have occurred over the past several years, COVID only being the most recent. Well, guys, guess what? That wasn't the last one! I may not be a clairvoyant, but the one thing about the future I do know is that we will be faced with further disruptions. Take a moment to be with that statement {Jeopardy Theme playing in the background}. The good news is that although the disruptions may be new and unpredictable, you can systemize the solutions to dealing with disruptions. There are seven steps to systemize the solution. The first step is to identify the disruption.  

Identifying the disruption

The first step to dealing with disruptions is identifying the disruption.  Before you can dealing with disruptions, you will need to identify that the disruption occurs: the sooner, the better! One of the reasons that COVID has been so devastating is that our leadership did not recognize it as a disruption. Our political leaders were promoting that it was just another flu. By the time the disruption had been identified, COVID had been spreading for months. By that time, it was already wreaking havoc on people's lives and the economy. Had it been identified sooner, a solution may have been implemented that did not cause as much damage to people's lives and the economy.   It is not just with COVID but with every disruption. Does anyone remember Montgomery Wards? Wards had been a force to reckon with in retail for over 100 years. Back in the old west, when frontier families wanted to buy something, they went into the Montgomery Wards catalog and ordered it. Wards had built a business from the disruption of the western expansion. One hundred twenty-nine years later, and it could not successfully pivot to the Dot Com Era. Had Wards realized the disruption that the dot com boom was to retail, it may have been able to pivot to a new business model, thus avoiding bankruptcy, and we all may have been buying our stuff at Monkey Wards rather than Amazon.  

Declaring that it is a disruption

The second step to dealing with disruptions is to declare that it is a disruption.  If you don't say that there is a disruption, you could bypass it. Declaring the disruption makes it real inside of your language. Without something being real, there is no urgency to dealing with it and setting things in place to thrive during the disruption.  

Grieving the loss of the old reality

The third step to dealing with disruption has to do with grieving.  There may have been parts of your old reality that you really enjoyed. I cried when I heard about what happened with Frys. The place was a nerd's paradise, and I enjoyed wandering through the store to see the gadgets on the shelves. I am sad that I will never be able to do that again, so I must be able to grieve that. I have also lost people in my life due to COVID, and I have to mourn them. Until I do that, I remain stuck in a reality that no longer exists, and I am incomplete with it and thus trapped to a certain extent in that reality.  

Reviewing your strategic, tactical, and operational plans

So you've realized that the reality you had been operating in has moved on. You are well on your way to dealing with disruptions. Your plans may have been great for the old reality, but they may be unworkable in the new reality. For instance, when I was a financial advisor, I used to find prospects by having a luncheon. I would pay for the prospects' rubber chicken dinner and crack bad jokes while promoting long-term care insurance. Today there are no restaurants with indoor dining, and the target market is a high risk for COVID. That model is no longer workable. Parts of those plans, however, may have been salvageable. Although the rubber chicken circuit may no longer be viable, giving away free stuff to build a funnel might still be. You must ask yourself what is still feasible!


Of course, without implementation, any plan to deal with disruptions is a waste of time. With any change, you will have resistance, which is why Change Management practitioners make the big bucks. All the stakeholders in your project have their ideas, and you have to get them on board. Dr. Get in Focus has a methodology for dealing with disruptions, so click here if you would like a strategy session (Normally $599.00, but free for a limited time). Change management is essential as without having your team on board, your grand plan will be consciously or subconsciously sabotaged.

Realizing that the plans are living documents, They do change.

When one is dealing with disruptions, one must realize that plans always change.  We all know the analogy of the moon shot, how the course needs to be corrected quite frequently. No plan is written in stone. When circumstances are not what you thought, or there have been subdisruptions, you may need to change the plans. There is nothing really wrong with that. See what is really going on and then act accordingly.

Repeat this procedure at the next disruption.

Of course, the main key in dealing with disruptions is realizing that there will always be disruptions, and that is neither good not bad. If you could plan for them in advance, they would not be disruptions, so you have to be ready to repeat the above when the disruptions arise. Remember, there is no right and no wrong when it comes to disruptions; there just "is," and the choice is to deal with it. To paraphrase Scotty: "Ya canna change the laws of physics!"    So could the demise of Frys been avoided? Possibly, I don't know as I am not privy to their documents. Still, I am confident that had they identified  and taken the steps to deal with disruptions, the chances would have been better! So how are you dealing with the current disruption?  If you need some help with that, remember, I am here to help you with that.  Just click here. ... and if you would like to learn more about Dr. Get in Focus, click here  
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