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A Conversation With: Author, Speaker and Decision Strategist Annie Duke

Nick Powills and Charles Internicola are joined by former professional poker player and author Annie Duke to discuss how leaders can learn from the COVID-19 crisis.

The coronavirus continues to have dire effects on businesses across the country, and the franchise industry is no exception. Franchisors across segments are strategizing new ways to support their franchisees, keep customers satisfied, help local communities and come out stronger on the other side of this crisis.

To that end, 1851 Franchise publisher Nick Powills and Charles Internicola, founder and partner of the Internicola Law* Firm, are covering the coronavirus and its impact on businesses through our A Conversation With webinar series.

In today’s morning webinar, Powills and Internicola spoke with former professional poker player, author and decision strategist Annie Duke about how leaders can learn from the COVID-19 crisis. 

Here are some of the key insights from their discussion.

Uncertainty is Part of Life

We think we have a lot more control than we actually do. Whether it’s COVID-19 or a natural weather disaster, the issue will pull back the curtain on how much uncertainty there is in our lives. Our normal, everyday lives might be more fantasy than reality. 

Don’t simply be reactive. Be nimble. Things are very unpredictable right now, but they are closer to what real-life decision making looks like. You just can’t hide from it anymore. 

Thinking Ahead 

The more businesses can think ahead to different economic scenarios, the better. Think about where you’d like your business to be and what things you will wish you had not spent money on. 

We are usually bad decision-makers, especially when we’re in the middle of a moment when we’re losing or on a bad streak. Know when to be on the offense and when to be on the defense. You always want to pull yourself out of the moment and get yourself ahead. Imagine a previous unlucky situation and how you would react to it now versus how you reacted to it in the moment. 

Keep thinking about what would happen if your business situation goes south. You always want to be thinking months ahead or a year ahead. We tend to think that the way things are now is the way they’ll always be. 

Diversity of Ideas

It can be affirming to a team’s identity when everyone agrees on something, but it can also have the unintended consequence of suppressing new opinions. It’s important to hear different perspectives. 

If you want to get the best, most complete range of opinions on how a business could be affected, both positively and negatively in any given situation, simply email your team and ask everyone to send ideas directly to you without replying all. Let them give their ideas independently. Now you can collate that information and see where people came up with the same idea, where they came up with unique ideas and which ideas overlap. 

It can be uncomfortable for teammates to disagree. There can be a lot of soft-pedaling. Emailing your team and asking them to not reply-all allows everyone’s opinions to bloom and reinforces that you value the diversity of your team. It also makes for a culture where your team is cohesive not because you automatically agree on everything but because you’re all really open-minded. In team meetings, people tend to lean on agreement and agree with each other and with whoever is facilitating the meeting.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.