Now is the time to prepare for what is coming

Stacey Ashley Blog

Now is the time to prepare for what is coming


The beginning of the COVID situation was unexpected, unplanned, and unwelcome. And leaders everywhere scrambled to make decisions and take action based on limited and incomplete information.

I’ve spoken to a number of leaders over the last couple of weeks who have expressed their relief that the worst is over. That they can see promise in the future of a post COVID world, particularly with borders opening up in some countries and what appears to be a return to some normal activities and business operations.

I love that it’s promising, and I also know that now is not the time to be complacent.

Now we have a window of opportunity to get ready for what is coming next.

This pandemic and the conditions it has created are not done with us. The change and transformation are not over. We have a long road ahead to get to a sustainable future state. And it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

We need to make sure that we are leading our people, our teams, and our organisations in a way that gives us every opportunity to survive and thrive. So while right now it might be quieter, it may feel like the worst of the storm is over. It could also be the eye of the storm.


There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

Colin Powell


Here are my 5R’s for being Ready for whatever is coming next.


People have expended huge amounts of focus and energy and intensity over the first half of 2020. Quickly ramping up and ramping down their businesses. Getting people working from home. Changing their operations, going online and so much more in response to the COVID conditions. And that means that people are drained. They’re tired. In some cases they’re lacking motivation.

If you have a lull of activity right now, then take the opportunity to re-energise. To focus on health and wellbeing, your own and your teams’. To make sure that people are filling their own cups so that they have the energy to do whatever needs to happen next.

2.  📝 REVIEW

Review what has happened and the response to it. Yours, your team’s, and your organisation’s responses. Review what worked. Review what the opportunities are. Review the learning. Review how people responded. What you want to take forward and what you do not.


There are so many people who have just got on and done what needs to be done. There are people who have done that quietly. There are people who have done that loudly. Now is the time to make sure that we acknowledge and value those efforts, those contributions, the participation, the support, the kindness, the reaching out, the collaboration, the ideas.

Everything that you want to see more of going forward, you need to acknowledge. So take a moment to reward and recognise those people who are displaying the behaviours, making the decisions and taking the actions that you want to encourage.

  1. 👥 REGROUP

Assess your resources, look at your tools, bring your people together. Get them coordinated, make sure that you have a really good sense of the spectrum of your assets, your people, your capability, and your capacity. What do you need to do to fill in any gaps? When the need to respond comes again, you will know what you have to work with.

  1. 🔍 REFOCUS

Now is a really great time to take a step back and really look at what you want yourself, your team, and your organisation, to be focused on going forward. Make sure that you’ve got a good sense of the big picture, not just the immediate requirements. And while it is a work in progress because it continues to be an evolving situation, be clear about the broader purpose and bring that back into focus for yourself and your people. Make sure that you’ve got good, consistent, regular messaging so everybody is clear.


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin


These 5 R’s create the basis for you to be able to respond, to be ready, for whatever comes next, because it is coming. What is coming could be opportunity. It could be risk. It could be change. It’s probably all of those things and you need to be ready.


I’d love to know your thoughts.


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AND: Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your coaching and leadership: