Here and Now

Execution is everything. Michael Canic, PhD, urges leaders to get up and make their plans happen in his new book “Ruthless Consistency.” He lives by this as the president of Making Strategy Happen, a consultancy which helps committed leaders turn ambition into strategy, and strategy into reality. He spent the last 25 years consulting with CEOs and management teams across North America and previously managed the consulting division at The Atlanta Consulting Group. He is also a member of Marshall Goldsmith’s global 100 Coaches project. CANVAS sat down with Canic to get his take on how COVID-19 has affected business:

What mechanisms are you using to stay connected to your clients during the pandemic?

Like many people, I’m having a lot of Zoom meetings with my clients. I’m also using Zoom to replace phone meetings since the visual provides a stronger connection when we can’t be together in person.

What is the general feedback you are getting from people regarding their businesses now, and in the near future?

It entirely depends on the industry. Some—digital marketing comes to mind—are thriving. Others—an airport duty-free retailer—have been decimated. Regarding the near future, there’s a lot of anxiety and the feeling that this will be a tough winter.

When you think of how business was done pre-pandemic, are there things you do NOT want to come back in the post-corona landscape?

Most people feel that travel will not rebound to the level it was at pre-COVID. Personally, the amount of time I’ve recaptured from not having to deal with airports, security lines, planes, rental cars and hotels is staggering. Previously, I accepted it as a necessary part of business. Now, time and cost (from the clients’ perspective) make it much less desirable, and technology makes it much less necessary.

What are some things you are doing during the pandemic that you want to continue in the future?

I’m enjoying the structure of personal and professional routines that were much more difficult to establish when traveling.

How do you feel about your company’s commitment to marketing in tough times?

In times like this, marketing is even more important in the consulting and speaking world.

What advice do you have for organizations that want to help you engage in the new landscape?

Do visual meetings whenever possible; stay off the phone! It establishes a deeper level of connection, especially if you can’t meet with people in person.