Streetwise: Don’t Just Say No, Ask How

July 24, 2020

From our friends at Eure Consulting:

I recently attended a talk by a man named Jerry Bias. He was sharing lessons he’s learned over his career as a hedge fund manager and entrepreneur. One of the most impactful lessons he shared is that he doesn’t say no to people. Instead he asks them how. How are they going to reach that goal? Or how are they going to accomplish that task?

Jerry’s lesson couldn’t be better timed. As the pandemic continues to affect the American economy like nothing we’ve seen before, businesses need to be open to new and better ways of doing things.

You need to be prepared to explore new options, new products, or new delivery methods. If you want your business to not only survive, but to also thrive, you need to rethink how you approach your work.

Ask your employees for their most creative ideas and don’t shut them down. Instead work with them to explore how that idea might help. How can they bring that idea to life given the currently available resources? Who do they need to enlist to help? What will the major obstacles be in getting this idea off the ground? What regulatory hurdles might they face? How will it affect other departments?

I’m not telling you to act on every idea that comes your way, but at least give the ideas a chance. Brainstorm with employees to see if their unconventional solution might really have legs. Run all the what-ifs and possible scenarios and see if there could be an upside to acting on that idea.

If you want to come out ahead once we finally get through all of this, you need to be embracing new and innovative ideas for how your company operates. It’s the only way that you’ll get stronger as a company and it’s the only way that you’ll be able to keep up with the new abnormal of the COVID world.