Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
An abnormally normal COVID-19 CEO message from Joel Walker
April 3, 2020
Mike Tyson once immortalized the line -- “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” It may be the understatement of the year, but I think this may resonate with many small business owners out there right now.
At Indy Res, we too have taken our blows, but perhaps our reaction to the coronavirus is a bit different from the emails you are receiving from other business leaders across the country. With that in mind, this letter is being sent to convey just one thing to you, dear reader -- Indy Res is actively adhering the same plan that we were before we got our teeth knocked in. In fact, it’s the same plan we’ve been following for the past three years, and I believe that sticking to it has never been more important.
As our company leadership counts the costs and the toll newly placed upon us by this global crisis, we have begun to accept a very odd and at times uncomfortable truth: As of April 2, 2020, Industrial Resolution remains relatively unscathed by the pandemic. This is not to say that we are without very significant challenges, but I do feel that Indy Res is in a very fortunate position. Why? Because what Indy Res does for a living essentially boils down to using innovative tech “know-how” to solve mission critical problems of an unusual nature. Consider, if you will for a moment, the nature of our work as a custom technology solutions partner…
Indy Res architects are, by nature, accustomed to atypical obstacles and left-field requirements from our clients. In fact, it would be those very limitations that put the “custom” in “custom software” and keep our innovative edge sharpened! Team leads influence the attitudes of client stakeholders as a routine part of the job, taking them from crisis to confidence is par for the course. Capable and enthusiastic software teams exchange seemingly hopeless problems for pristine new features and exciting new capabilities every day. Our team is innovative, communicative, gritty, adaptive, professional, and remotely distributed, and we have been these things for a long time… In short, it is our normal, to handle our clients abnormal.
In light of all this, I believe that perhaps the most unconventional pivot that Industrial Resolution can do at this moment, is simply not to pivot at all. To choose instead to be conventional. To carry on with business as usual. To continue to go to work each day, serving our clients. To scramble to figure out how to serve the urgent needs of our clients (like the project we started March 2nd which was envisioned as mobile application for age verification processing at live events, and has pivoted to a Covid-19 testing center clean intake and wristband system for patients) by hiring and capacity building. To reinvest in the training and development and professional growth of our team. To continue to adhere to our growth plan.
Why is this tack, as I mentioned earlier, uncomfortable for us? Because we recognize that the worlds of so many are shattering all around us in ways that we cannot fully comprehend. We are gut checked and heart wrenched by the losses felt by so many. Loss of life, loss of revenue, loss of retirements, loss of freedom… this is a crisis which should be grieved. It is uncomfortable to be anticipating loss, to be having a day at work while so many others are out of it; yet, perhaps the best thing that we can do for the American economy is to participate in it as we always have. As someone once said, “it's how we react to that adversity that defines us, not the adversity itself.” Well, for us, if it’s possible, we won’t be reacting at all.
With that in mind, heart, and spirit, Industrial Resolution’s mantra right now is to be open for business as usual. And even though the headlines of each new day, like sirens, try to draw our attention and skills into producing another potential COVID-19 solution… we’ve decided to let our clients spot the problems and empower our incredible team to spot the solutions. Our team recognizes the unique privilege we have to act as a beacon of normality in this truly abnormal market economy. To that end, for as long as we remain in the position we are in, you won’t hear us mentioning the Coronavirus very much within our future content. Instead, you’ll notice us writing blogs, sending emails, recording podcasts and, well, just behaving as we have done all along. We will do these things with the intention of reminding our customers, our employees, their families, and the local community that they can still rely on some of the things around them to continue to be business as usual. If you happen to be looking for us, well, we’ll be here, right where you left us, soldiering on.
I hope that this message is taken as it is offered, as an uplifting hopeful exhortation and an encouraging reminder: Not everything is going to change and we will get through this together.
With Optimism and Resolve,