As the age-old expression says, “out of the frying pan and into the fire” the world seems to have ended one global crisis only for another to start.
In the past few weeks, I have been in back-to-back meetings with my clients, various teams across my investment portfolio & boards where I serve. From a high-growth FinTech startup in Cyprus that we are looking to IPO later in the year to a Women-Focused accelerator program for female founders in Africa, each of the meetings has been about one question: Is this another CRISIS moment?
Something feels very January 2020 about this moment.
While I hope this is not the case, here is a toolkit we’ve developed on how to navigate the sea of geopolitical disruption we are in:
1. External Partnerships
In his now-famous TED keynote that focused on the global power shifts, former UK MP Paddy Ashdown said “the most important thing about what you can do, is what you can do with others”. While Paddy was talking about the global power shifts precipitated by the internet, it’s worth noting that this statement rings true right now.
You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/zuAj2F54bdo
In our VC firm, we have partners in Australia, the Netherlands, the USA, and the Middle East regions. I have been on the phone with partners to talk about how these events may impact our work together & if we need to take precautions or plan ahead.
While we believe we will be shielded – owing to the buoyant private valuations market right now – we have set in place certain fail-safes to safeguard our client data, portfolio companies, and LPs.
But this is progressive action.
So contact your partners. Reach out. Devise a plan.
Rather a plan you don’t have to execute than an execution you didn’t plan.
2. Internal Robustness
Your team is eagerly watching this moment. If you’re a global business with suppliers in different regions, globalized supply chains, and even a distributed workforce (because of work from home) this moment signals danger to your team.
We’ve devised a 3-Point Plan about what we would do & how we would work if the world went the wrong way on this impasse.
It’s a simple plan.
It’s a workable plan.
And we have buy-in.
The most important element is to eliminate doubt.
3. Clarity of Purpose in the Moment
One of the things that happen when disruptions occur is people start to question the purpose of their work. It’s a completely natural thing.
Take this moment to frame the work you & your business are in doing in the context of this season’s turmoil.
We just had a 2-hour call about how important it is to accelerate our capital raising efforts to support the builders of a future where conflict is not necessary. This may sound idealistic. But we believe it.
4. Communicate Over-Arching Vision
This is the greatest truism: make sure it is clear why you open your doors to your business every morning.
I just signed a global publishing deal. My team had an honest conversation about the need to write works of literature that add a more diverse perspective to the global hegemon.
So my next 2 books – now in the edit – capture perfectly the zeitgeist of this moment. The moral of my message? Nobody can do it for you. And honestly speaking, nobody will.
While you’re at it, join my Telegram channel, featuring on-the-fly epiphanies, carefully crafted to make you better than you were yesterday!
Speaker. Investor. Leader.