Episode 107 – Business Recovery as a Project

Episode #107
Original Air Date: 06.15.2020

35 Minutes

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Our Guest This Episode: Mike Goss

Face it: the COVID-19 crisis has affected your project and your business. Has all the bad news made you weary? Need some motivation? Our guest Mike Goss will recharge, inspire, and challenge you. As we project managers start to strategize about the post-crisis world, Mike explains how to approach business recovery as a project. He suggests we use this opportunity to take where we used to be, and make it better, as he looks at key issues to reshape your business and plan for recovery.

Mike talks about taking a step back, reevaluating, and redefining your target customer. Take a fresh look at the “why” and the “who”. Things have changed which makes this the right time to analyze our PM systems, practices, competitors and market conditions. Mike offers advice about how to prioritize, stay focused, implement a work breakdown structure, and create a preliminary project schedule to bring about this change. Mike’s challenge to us is to consider: “How are you going to reinvent yourself?”

Mike Goss PMP®, DTM®, Certified Coach® is an accomplished project management trainer, contract project manager, sales trainer, speaker and author of “Breaking Through Walls,” a business novel about overcoming life’s obstacles. Some of his accomplishments include: senior vice president/sales manager of a bank, college instructor, radio personality, and Veteran, US Air Force. Since 2014, Mike has taught PMP exam-prep boot camps in Oregon, Washington and South Carolina.

Favorite Quotes from Our Talk:

“If we had a scale of one to 10, yesterday you were at an eight. Then COVID-19 show up. Now you’re at a one. Your objective is not to get back to eight. Your object is to get back to 10, where you’ve never been before. On your way, you’re going to build in the tools and the processes that make sure you never hit one again, no matter what happens. That’s a project.”

- Mike Goss

“Today we can begin our resurrection of our business. Today through sheer will and optimism we can create the vision of what our business can be in the future.”

- Mike Goss

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VELOCITEACH – Manage This – Episode 107

As businesses and project managers start to strategize about the post-crisis world, Mike Goss explains what makes business recovery a project. How can we respond to this crisis from a business standpoint, and how that can be a project?

Table of Contents

01:58 … Meet Mike
03:08 … Everything in Life is a Project
03:49 … Responding to Crisis as a Project
05:00 … Redefine your Business: The Why and the Who
09:24 … Business Recovery as a Project
11:26 … Personal Experience with Business Recovery
13:33 … What Parts of a Business will Benefit?
16:05 … Building a WBS
18:45 … Facing Risks in Business Recovery
20:50 … Staying on Course
22:15 … A Project Plan for all Scenarios
23:49 … Overcoming Communication Challenges in Business Recovery
25:37 … A Plan for Businesses of all Sizes
26:06 … Strategizing in a Post Crisis World
27:23 … Advice for Resilience during Business Recovery
32:37 … Mike’s Course on Business Recovery
34:12 … Closing

MIKE GOSS: If we had a scale of one to 10, yesterday you were at an eight.  Then COVID-19 show up.  Now you’re at a one.  Your objective is not to get back to eight.  Your object is to get back to 10, where you’ve never been before.  On your way, you’re going to build in the tools and the processes that make sure you never hit one again, no matter what happens.  That’s a project.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Welcome to Manage This, the podcast by project managers for project managers.  This is our opportunity to meet with you and talk about issues that project managers are facing today.  I am Wendy Grounds, and with me in the studio is Bill Yates. So today we’re talking in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, businesses are starting to think about the post-crisis situation.  For some organizations it’s really been near-term survival is what’s on the agenda.

BILL YATES:  Right.  I agree, Wendy.  There are so many companies that are just fighting to stay in business right now.  I’m a part of a CEO roundtable, and just seeing the impact that this is having on people locally and globally is huge, I think.  I just saw some statistics today.  Now, just to let listeners know, this is May the 4th.  And so far 30 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment, just since the COVID-19 got really serious in March, up until today.  We’re here in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  So just for our state of Georgia, one in four workers have filed for unemployment.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Unbelievable.

BILL YATES:  So it’s huge.  And obviously our federal government is taking great steps to help fight through the economic impact of this as we all figure out what does the new normal look like.    So just thinking about what is business going to look like when we can get going again.  So I think it’s helpful for us to have this conversation, and we’re fortunate to have Mike Goss here to talk through some of this with us.

Meet Mike

WENDY GROUNDS:  He was telling us that his career has taken more twists and turns than most. 

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  So he started out as a stereo equipment salesman.

WENDY GROUNDS:  And a computer store owner.

BILL YATES:  An elevator salesman.

WENDY GROUNDS:  And then he became a software developer.

BILL YATES:  Senior VP at a bank.

WENDY GROUNDS:  And the author of “Breaking Through Walls,” a business novel about overcoming life’s obstacles.

BILL YATES:  And then a college instructor.

WENDY GROUNDS:  And then a radio personality.

BILL YATES:  And of course he fit a military career in there, as well.  He’s a veteran in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

WENDY GROUNDS:  He has been on a podcast before with us, and he tells us more about that in his previous episode.  Since 2014, Mike has also taught PMP exam prep boot camps in Oregon, Washington, and South Carolina.

BILL YATES:  Quite a diverse, I’d say, yeah, he is definitely shaking the tree.  He’s done quite a diverse…

WENDY GROUNDS:  He’s been a very busy man.

BILL YATES:  Yup.  I look forward to talking with Mike about the situation that we’re in now, and what we can take from project management and apply to this crisis.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Mike, welcome to Manage This.  Thank you for being our guest today.

MIKE GOSS:  It’s my pleasure.  I’ve been looking forward to this.

Everything in Life is a Project

WENDY GROUNDS:  We want to start by just kind of setting the stage for what you’ve been talking about.  So why do you say everything in life is a project?

MIKE GOSS:  Wendy, everything in life that’s worth doing has an objective.  Too many times we don’t get around to stating that objective, but in fact, everything we do that’s worthwhile is a project.  We can choose to apply project management principles, or we can choose to wing it.  And so it occurred to me that it makes more sense and saves a lot of time if we make some kind of a plan.  It doesn’t have to be complex, but it has to exist.

Responding to Crisis as a Project

BILL YATES:  Mike, when you look at that approach, and you think about where we are today with the COVID-19 crisis, how do you put those two together?  Because COVID-19 and this crisis that we’re in can be overwhelming.  So everything in life is a project.  Now you’re looking at it and saying, okay, but how we respond to this crisis from a business standpoint, that can be a project, as well.  What kind of led you to that decision?

MIKE GOSS:  Bill, it occurs to me that, if you are trying to dig your business out, and your business is probably closed because of COVID-19, how are you going to dig yourself out?  I see a great opportunity to take where we used to be, make it better, so that where we’re going is better than what used to be. And so if we’re careful as we put it together, the next time a surprise like COVID-19 shows up, and it will someday, we’ll be better prepared for that.  When we apply the principles of project management, we can make that happen.  If we wing it, then it will suffer the same way or worse, just like we are now.

Redefine your Business: The Why and the Who

BILL YATES:  So one of your statements was this is a time to redefine your business, maybe take a fresh look at it.  What’s your advice on reevaluating business?  How far do we go with this?

MIKE GOSS:  There’s two places that we start, and you can dig as deep as you want in both of the places.  The first one is to think back why did I get into this business in the first place?  Something drew me to it, I had a software business, I once had a computer store.  Why did I get into those?  And if I can answer that, then I start seeing visions of what could be because I was pumped when I created the business in the first place. Now my business took a nosedive, I’ll say it wasn’t my fault, but I also have to say maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been.  So it’s now the time to make a new vision for my business to make it something even better than it was before, and that’s where I’ll start, that’s the first part.

But the second part has to do with my customers, every person who breathes is not my customer.  I’m going to have to figure out better than I ever have before who is my target customer, and what do they care about?  And once I know that, my objective is I want them to buy stuff from me.  That’s my revenue.  I’ll generate  profits from those sales.  But if I don’t know what my customers are looking for, and I open the door and do exactly what I did before, I’ve already set myself up for big trouble.

BILL YATES:  So Mike, a lot of this reminds me of thinking to projects, thinking about a project charter. And I think you can  make the equivalent statement of like a company charter, a mission statement, so with that charter we should be explaining the why.  Why are we doing this project?  What difference is it going to make?  Is it a particular product?  Is it a service? Or is it a result?  Why?  And then who’s going to benefit from it?  Who’s going to pay for it?  Certainly the sponsor.  But then who’s the end customer?  The why and the who are so closely connected, it’s as if you’re describing a project charter, perhaps at a business level. So maybe we need to be taking a fresh look at our business and answering that question of why and the who.

MIKE GOSS:  We do, Bill, because, if we don’t, when something else happens, we’re not going to be prepared. We’re going to say, oh, I’m so shocked that that happened, yet we had the chance to prepare for it, and we chose not to take it.  So what you were saying is the why and the what.  Why does this business exist?  What is it going to build in products or services?  And who is it going to sell those services to?  And how well does it meet the needs of those people who are going to come back to our business?  If we haven’t looked at them recently, it’s time, and so this is such a huge opportunity to do that.

BILL YATES:  So how do you step back and take that fresh look?  So I think for some who are listening, they’re thinking, man, I’m working more hours than I’ve ever worked.  This is like when I first launched my business, or launched a project.  I’m working more hours than I thought I could possibly work, trying to keep things afloat, and now Mike’s challenging me to be very strategic, to look at the why, look at what it is we’re producing, and who we’re producing it for. So what’s your word of inspiration to those folks?

MIKE GOSS:  Start out with your glass being half full and rising, Bill.  Start there.

BILL YATES:  Okay.

MIKE GOSS:  So right now it’s too easy to say, oh, poor me, doom and gloom, the world is conspiring against me.  There’s no time for that.  It’s now time to do the same thing you did when you first started your business:  create a grand vision of what could be.  Then invite all the kids on your team to go along on a quest to achieve that grand vision, that’s what a leader will do.  Then go the extra step and become a servant leader by helping each one of the kids on the team to deliver the best work of their lives as you resurrect the business together.  It is not depressing.  It is exhilarating.

Business Recovery as a Project

BILL YATES:  Those are inspiring words.  I like that.  So what about business recovery?  What makes business recovery a project?

MIKE GOSS:  Let’s see.  If we had a scale of one to 10, yesterday you were at an eight.  Then COVID-19 show up.  Now you’re at a one.  Your objective is not to get back to eight.  Your object is to get back to 10, where you’ve never been before.  On your way, you’re going to build in the tools and the processes that make sure you never hit one again, no matter what happens.  That’s a project.

So in the charter of such a project, you’re going to list at a 10,000-foot level, you’re going to list a goal.  You’re going to list who’s going to be responsible for it.  So you’ll start out by saying in that charter, in your recovery charter, we will be a 10 by this date, and you will be specific.  You may adjust it. You may beat yourself up because you’re not quite on track.  But if you don’t have that 10 as a goal, and a due date to achieve the 10, not when the economy gets better, that’s not a due date, that’s a happy thought.  Give it a specific date, and then make your plan to do that.

So the three parts that I use in a charter are what is the deliverable?  And that is to be a 10.  What is the due date?  Sometime in the middle of 2021.  Maybe that’s my due date.  Who is the accountable person?  Well, you want to see the accountable person?  Go look in the mirror.  That’s the accountable person.  And if you do that, now you’re very specific.  Now you have a vision.  Now you can go back to your team, and you can show them a vision and describe what could be, and then invite them to come along, and then help each of them individually to dig deep down into their soul to deliver the best performance of their lives.  It is so exhilarating, I can’t wait.

Personal Experience with Business Recovery

BILL YATES:  Mike, so you speak as if you’ve been through something like this before.  When you talk about that enthusiastically, it’s almost as if you’ve done something like this before.  Is there a past experience that gives you kind of this insight and vision into what things could be?

MIKE GOSS:  It’s funny you should ask, Bill.  Once upon a time I was a senior VP of a bank.  I was the bank’s sales manager, and the board of directors of this 87-year-old bank had no idea how to grow anything, so the CEO appointed me to lead the team.  The reason he did was that I was considered disposable in case it blew up. I accepted the challenge, and then I went to each of the directors around the table in the boardroom. And so I said, “I need each of you to give me one person, assign them right now, don’t delay.  I need their names right now.”  And they went, “Oh, oh, we have to commit.  Oh, my goodness.”  And they committed.  The CEO made them commit, and then each of them gave me a person.

So we formed a taskforce, and we said, okay, our goal is 30 million dollars in net new customer deposits. And so I worked with my team, we created all of the tools necessary to do that.  We went out and became ambassadors to other people in the bank.  We went out into the community, and as a result, on our 30 million dollar target, we achieved 58 million dollars in net new deposits.

So now that takes us to a brand new board meeting, the CEO is sitting around the table, my team is in the room.  I required them to be there, and it was the show-and-tell meeting, and I didn’t say anything other than to introduce each of them. They were beaming, they were rising up off the floor, and so were their bosses.  I have to count that as a win, going from something that was fraught with peril to something that we did together as a team that’s never been done in the history of the bank.

The Parts of the Business which will Benefit

WENDY GROUNDS:  Mike, looking at this as a project, what parts of the business benefit, making project recovery a project? 

MIKE GOSS:  Wendy, really every part of the business can benefit by making it a project.  I’ll give you a couple of examples.  In staffing, we’re going to have to create something that brings people back.  Maybe we don’t have enough working capital to bring everybody back on the same day.  How will we decide who’s coming back based on the skills that they offer based on our ramping up of our business?  So hopefully I’d love to bring everybody back on the same day.  Hopefully I’d love to have had enough reserve capital so that I never had to say goodbye.

But if I did in my business, then I would have a plan of how I’m going to bring them back, and they’re going to be funded by the sales that are going to ramp up so I don’t have to go to my banker and say, could you please give me a bazillion dollars because I think I might like to restart my business.  It won’t happen.  That won’t happen that way.  Marketing.  Marketing as part of the plan will come up with a jaw-dropping offer.  We’re not going back like we were.  We’re going back better than we’ve ever been before to do some specific things to enrich the lives of our customers, and we’re going to make a messaging system that will tell them exactly how that happens.

In sales, leading buyers on their journey to getting what they want.  There’s a lot of storytelling involved there to capture their attention, to learn their needs, to offer a trial close, to deliver a presentation that addresses those needs, to ask them for commitment after they make the purchase, to ask them for the names of 25 of their best friends so we could do it again 25 times.  Those sorts of things.  In finance, a financial management plan on how to spend the tiny capital that we have today, how to get some more, how to work with whoever the funding source is, or how to do it on our own and bring everything back step by step as we generate new profits step by step.  Leadership.  Building the vision.  Offering it to the team.  Helping each of our members on our team deliver the very best performance.  Servant leadership things.  These all can be put into our personal recovery plan.

Building a WBS

BILL YATES:  Mike, so thinking back on some of the details of this plan, you know, we talked about a recovery charter.  Even as I’m thinking about staff and bringing the staff back, I’m having to think kind of sequentially, like you said, you can’t bring them all back at once.  So it makes me think a bit about a project schedule and tasks and activities that I put on the schedule.  I’ve got to prioritize; right? 

I need to figure out, okay, which people need to come back when, if I’m going back to my project schedule, and looking at tasks and saying, okay, what skill sets do I need?  What departments do I rely on for this?  As you’re thinking through this, is that the thought process that you follow?  So how do you come up with this plan to lay it out month to month to month to grow this back?

MIKE GOSS:  Bill, I see it the way that you’ve been describing it, and I’m dragged, sometimes kicking and screaming, into building a WBS.

BILL YATES:  Okay.

MIKE GOSS:  My Work Breakdown Structure.  I like to include everything.  So my Work Breakdown Structure, suddenly taller than the front wall on my house.  So the challenge for me is be very, very focused, have a minimal Work Breakdown Structure, but have one, and I’ll be able to do that.  Then I’ll be able to list the activities necessary for marketing, the activities that roll up into financial management, the activities that roll up into deciding what my future mix of products and services will be.

As I do that, they’re not all going to happen at the same time, just as you describe, so I’ll say, which needs to be done first? And it’ll come early on the schedule.  I’ll use my WBS sparingly, with my big eraser.  I’ll use it to create the preliminary project schedule, then I’ll go back and look at it. What did I forget?  And so I’ll roll out the preliminary project schedule based on the things that have to happen in sequence.  Then you can go from the WBS to a network diagram, that will show you all the activities that you’ve defined.

And so as you lay out the paths of the network diagram, as you well know, we’re going to wind up defining the critical path.  We protect that.  We get a sword out and protect that at all costs.  And then, knowing how long each activity will take, and knowing the resources necessary for it, now we make a very simple project schedule of the activities that need to be done in the right order so that, once we start, we can smoothly go along as we make our business recover.

Facing Risks in Business Recovery

BILL YATES:  So Mike, following on that, there’s a four-letter word that I want to throw out, and the word is “risk.”  As we’re building out the plans for the resources and the activities and the schedules, I’m sure people are raising a flag, going, okay, so wait a minute.  There are so many risks involved right now as we’re recovering with COVID-19 and seeing the impact that it’s had on the economy and with the workforce.  How does this play out?  So why would I invest the time to build out this plan, given the amount of risk that we have?

MIKE GOSS:  If we decide, if we have a whiteboard, and we have our team together, and so you start the conversation by saying how many different ways could this thing go south on us?  You throw all these Post-it notes up onto a whiteboard or on the dining room table, wherever it is, and then you say, okay, which ones are most likely?  So we’re going to rate them, how much would this cost if it happens? How much will it hurt me?  If it won’t cost a lot, we’re going to set it away, and we’re going to find by classifying them.  We’re going to say this particular risk category, if it happens, it could bite us big-time.  It could destroy the whole show.  So what causes that to happen, and what can I do to keep it from happening?

But then we’re going to make our backup plan. We made the prevention for each of the risk factors, but now we say, okay, for some unknown reason it’s going to blow up in our face anyway.  So how do we mitigate its impact? That doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process, it can be done once we’ve identified the risk factors worth working on.

So it doesn’t have to be a big deal to say, okay, how do we prevent it? Well, we do this activity and this activity.  Okay, in case it happens anyway, how do we minimize its impact and keep the show going? Well, we do this and this, and so I store those away. I hope I never have to open that drawer, but if I do, I’ve prepared those things in advance. It doesn’t have to be complex.  It doesn’t have to take a long time, but it absolutely has to be done.

Staying on Course

BILL YATES:  Wendy, I think maybe Mike has a point here.  Everything in life is a project, these are good, logical steps to take, regardless of the environment that we’re in.  There’s so much uncertainty right now.  But what you’re saying rings true, Mike.  So I want to ask kind of a follow-up question on that, you mentioned there are ways to stay on course.  Talk a bit more about that. So how do we stay on course, given all the background noise and the uncertainty that we’re facing in the market right now?

MIKE GOSS:  If I were discussing Scrum, I would say once a morning – I probably couldn’t afford to wait a whole week.  I might say once a morning we’re going to have a Scrum meeting, and everybody stands up, and you only get to bring up three points, and you don’t get more than a minute to describe it. Point number one, here’s what I did yesterday to help the cause.  Point number two, here’s what I plan to do today to keep the show moving.  And plan number three, so here’s what popped up and is in my way, if our organization has enough staffing to have a Scrum Master, that’s their job.  Take all the point threes and make sure they go away today, if we don’t, then guess what, you’re the Scrum Master.

But you have to have that conversation, even in a one-person business, you have to sit down and do some soul searching about what you did yesterday, what you’re planning to do today, and what might be in your way.

A Project Plan for all Scenarios

BILL YATES:  So Mike, one of the things that I’ve seen just with some of the business leaders that I’ve interacted with, is, man, this crisis is hitting everybody, but perhaps in a different way.  For some companies, they’re in a really good position where they happen to be – their products and services are in greater demand than ever.  You know, you think of healthcare or some of the logistics companies, or certainly pharmaceutical, food, grocery, et cetera.  They’re hiring, while others have laid off or furloughed.

And then other business leaders that I’ve talked with, they’re on the side where they are having to furlough.  They’re having to think, okay, once this crisis passes, what will my business look like? Then, can I sustain the same type of business, or do I need to change it?  So looking at business recovery as a project, you could really look at it both for those who are in dire straits right now financially, and for those who are just overwhelmed with work that they haven’t had previously.  Does that line up with your expectation?

MIKE GOSS:  Bill, so both examples that you offered will require a project plan to get going.  The business that’s not doing business at all needs a plan, and needs the same steps we’ve been discussing, just like the Kroger or Fred Meyer store down the hill from my house who kept on many of their employees and bring food to me once a week.  So the plan still has to happen, the content of the plan will be based on where you are and on scaling.

Overcoming Communication Challenges in Business Recovery

BILL YATES:  You know, one of the things that occurs to me in all this, Mike, is it feels like there’s so much pressure for project managers and those who want to restart their business using the project management steps.  There’s so much pressure on us to have good information and send out good information to team members and other resources, yet we’re all stuck; right?  We’re remote right now, so what’s some advice for overcoming some of those communication challenges that we face right now as we’re trying to take these projects to restart or restructure our business?

MIKE GOSS:  If you are a five-person small business, and all five members are operating from home, and you are meeting regularly, at least once a week, maybe once a day, for those Scrum meetings that we talked about earlier, you can assign the team member with the greatest experience on forecasting to give you a new daily forecast. And so it’s a forecast, it is a best educated guess, it is not a promise of anything.  You treat it that way, and you commit resources that way, but you keep track of it so that if you need to redeploy your resources, you can do so quickly.

So the morning meetings of people in five different living rooms could make that happen quite easily.  If you’re a one-person business, it’s all you, you still have to do the same activities.  What do things look like today?  What did they look like yesterday?  You’re going to be scribbling on yellow notepads all over the place, and that’s a good thing because you’re going to be making plans and executing plans based on your best guess for today, subject to revision tomorrow.

A Plan for Businesses of all Sizes

BILL YATES:  So you’re saying this approach to the challenge is really applicable for businesses of all sizes.

MIKE GOSS:  Yes.  It doesn’t matter how big you are.  So if it’s a multinational corporation, they already have teams of people working on it.  If it’s a small business with 200 employees, maybe you still have a small taskforce.  If it’s a two-person business or a one-person business, go look in the mirror.  You’re looking at the entire planning, scheduling, budgeting, leadership team.

Strategizing in the Post-Crisis World

WENDY GROUNDS:  Mike, how can businesses and project managers start to strategize about the post-crisis world?

MIKE GOSS:  To strategize, I believe, starts out with some assumptions about where you think the future will be, and so those assumptions belong as positive assumptions.  We’re going to get over this.  Plan for it.  Don’t wait until we’ve gotten over it and then start thinking, oh, I guess we survived after all, I guess maybe I should make a plan.  Don’t do that.  I know a small business owner, local, who their strategy right now is, when things turn up, they’re going to unlock their front door.  That’s their strategy.  They’re in trouble already.

If you start off with the assumption that we are going to get better, it just won’t be fun at some steps in the road, but they are going to get better.  So let’s plan on it, let’s make a plan, set some goals, and get on it, and stop looking back.  If you look back, you’re lost, if you look forward, the view is much better, and your potential to be better than ever before just went through the ceiling.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Yeah.  It’s all about attitude, isn’t it.

MIKE GOSS:  It really is.  If you’re a glass half full and rising person, these are exciting times.

Advice for Resilience during Business Recovery

BILL YATES:  You know, so we had fun reading off some of the different roles that you’ve filled in your professional life, just as a part of the introduction. You’ve done a little bit of everything.  I like to say the same thing about Louis on our staff.  You’ve lived, like, four lives already, you know, just given all the stuff that you’ve done, obviously you are a positive person, you carry that attitude with you.  When you’re thinking about giving others advice for resilience, for facing threats like this and those in the future, what advice do you have for those listeners?

MIKE GOSS:  I incorporate a couple of thoughts, so it almost starts into a coaching session, and in a coaching session, the primary question is what outcome do you desire? And so if you can answer that question, the rest of the coaching session goes well.  If you can’t answer it, then I probably can’t coach them.  And so what outcome do you desire?  Well, I want my business to survive.  So, do you want it to be like before, or do you think you could get better?  Well, I really, you know, I could do much better if I’d stop stumbling.

And my next question is, so the outcome you desire is to be even better off than you were before. Is that true?  And they say yes, and then I ask a couple of other open-ended questions to get them to say that sentence themselves. So if I’m saying it, it’s external.  Once they say it, and it starts to come from their heart, now we can make some progress.

If I find someone who says, “I’ve decided it’s all going down the drain, and it’s never going to come back,” what can I offer them other than to make a plan for liquidation? It’s crazy, we only get so many days on this Earth.  I’ve asked God when that will happen, and he’s not telling.  So in the morning we have coffee, and I start off by apologizing for yesterday. And then I show him my plans for today, and I say, “If any of those jive with yours, could you, like, give me a nudge in the right direction?”  And it makes my whole day go better.  It’s amazing. So if you are doing everything you can to achieve and to help others achieve, you’re on the right track.  Zig Ziglar said you’ll be successful to the degree that you help other people be successful.  He was right.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  Mike, what you’re saying about looking at this from a mentoring or coaching standpoint, this rings so true with some of the statements you said right at the beginning of our conversation, which is this is a unique opportunity.  No matter how painful it may be, it’s a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at either your business or your project and the approach that you take, and say, okay, what are we doing really well?  What are we not doing as well?  What products or services do we have that I wish we didn’t have anymore?  And it gives you a chance to take a fresh look at that and say, okay, when we do come back, what do we want to look like? How do we want to do our business?  And so I think that’s the part that gets you pumped up.

MIKE GOSS:  It does, it does, Bill, because it’s like answering the question, how are you going to reinvent yourself?

BILL YATES:  Exactly.

MIKE GOSS:  This is the perfect time.  We have the perfect opportunity to do that.

WENDY GROUNDS:  I think what you guys are doing is finding the silver linings.  It’s so easy to look back at what’s gone wrong and how hard it has been, and I think a lot of people who may be listening have lost projects, lost businesses.  But we’ve got to find a silver lining.

MIKE GOSS:  There is a silver lining.  We weren’t created to fail.  Your business wasn’t created to fail, so now, get up and dust yourself off and get out there and make it happen.

BILL YATES:  Wow.  I feel like we should play some music or march out of here, man, and get to work.  That’s powerful, Mike, thanks so much for that.  That’s so encouraging, and with my head swirling with all these statistics and the reality and the faces I see of friends and colleagues that are impacted by this, it’s helpful to be centered and grounded in things that we know to be true.  And if you approach all things like a project, you know, as you’re proposing here, then that brings some clarity, and it brings some plan to our activities.  And for me personally, if I have a plan in place, even if I have to adjust it twice a day, if I have a plan in place, I’m in a better spot.

MIKE GOSS:  Absolutely, Bill, because now you have something to work on besides just happy thoughts.  Happy thoughts is not a project plan.  Happy thoughts is not a recovery plan.  But when you make one, and you go through it, and you’re making it better, and you learned along the way, sounds like a win to me. So today we can begin our resurrection of our business, today through sheer will and optimism we can create the vision of what our business can be in the future.  Today we can take our business, which was an eight, and is now a one, to become a 10.  I promise the journey will be a boatload of fun.

Mike’s Course on Business Recovery

WENDY GROUNDS:  You also are offering a course on business recovery project?  Do you want to tell us about that?

MIKE GOSS:  So I’m working on a course on – I use Teachable as the learning platform, and I’m putting the final touches on a course about business recovery.  It is aimed particularly at small business and mid-size business owners who don’t have a team of strategists at their disposal, but it fits a business of any size.  And it’s a project without infusing too much project management jargon.

BILL YATES:  Mike, how can listeners get a hold of you?  Is LinkedIn the best way to find you?

MIKE GOSS:  I’m making new postings on LinkedIn, and I’m also updating my course.  I’ll be describing the course on my website, GossConsulting.com.

WENDY GROUNDS:  Mike, thank you so much for being our guest today. We’ve really enjoyed our conversation.  So I hope that we’re helping a lot of businesses out there, and I hope that your conversation has inspired people and given them hope that this can be done, and they can recover, and we can be better.

MIKE GOSS:  Wendy, I think we have.  And it’s noble work.  It’s an honor for me to be invited.

BILL YATES:  We’re delighted to have you.  And Mike, so I can’t let you get off of this podcast without thanking you personally for using your creativity and your 3D printer to create some masks for us.  You sent us face masks to our office, and we so appreciate that.  Thank you so much

MIKE GOSS:  It’s my pleasure.  Thanks for inviting me.

Closing

WENDY GROUNDS:  And so to our listeners, we hope you’ll continue to tell us what you like and offer your suggestions.  You can leave  your comments on Google, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or whichever podcast listening app you use.  You can also leave comments on the Velociteach.com website, or on our social media pages.  We really love hearing from you, so keep in touch.

So you just earned some Professional Development Units by listening to this podcast.  To claim your free PDUs, go to Velociteach.com and choose Manage This Podcast from the top of the page.  Click the button that says Claim PDUs and click through the steps.

That’s it for us here on Manage This, until next time, keep calm and Manage This.

8 responses to “Episode 107 – Business Recovery as a Project”

  1. Avatar Ram Viswanathan says:

    Enjoyed this podcast, it gives giving clarity on handling the post crisis and reinventing face the world.

  2. Avatar Luis says:

    Very powerful message. Ambition & continuous improvement in these hard times.

  3. Avatar Connie Plowman says:

    Mike’s message is always inspiring. Thanks, Mike, Bill and Wendy. I enjoyed this podcast.

  4. Avatar Steve Zinselmeyer says:

    Podcast is great but it is not coming up on the drop down list when I go to enter PDUs on the PMI website.

  5. Avatar Sheryl Cartee says:

    I enjoyed this podcast. Don’t wait. Plan for “after covid-19” now. Smaller companies may not have the “big corporation” viewpoint and experience, so they should start now. Decide how your company should re-invent themselves.

    I work in a big corporation and COVID-19 didn’t impact our company much because we had the means to work remotely. No one noticed stoppage in any projects, because we handled the change well.

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