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I’ve been away for a bit, working through a class on post-pandemic strategies.


Well, the answer is pretty simple.

In my opinion, we will see new models and a new frame of being emerge from the time we’ve spent dealing with the pandemic including reactions to the social challenges we’ve had to deal with, the economic inequalities that are systemic in many countries, and the need to help countries around the world recover so that the entire world doesn’t end up back in a lockdown situation due to new, more dangerous variants.

But back to strategy.

One idea I went off in exploration of what the idea of “emergent strategy” as a tool to help us recover from the pandemic.


Well, an emergent strategy is a counterbalance to a classical strategy.

In a classical strategy, you lay out your strategy, planning for a predetermined period of time and you move towards achieving your goals.

An emergent strategy is a bit different in that you start out with a plan, yes. But your strategy can change and adapt as the situation you are facing shifts or you find challenges standing in your way that make the old strategy not as effective for your goals.

In other words, emergent strategies and the idea of fighting with constant change and volatility is perfect for a post-pandemic world.

How can you use this idea?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Have a plan, no matter what:

When I work with folks on strategy, I’ve come to recognize that somewhere around 80% or more of what are called “strategies” are not strategies.

Most of the time what someone calls a strategy is a wishlist of potential outcomes or possible achievements.

In all strategies that I’ve learned, the key launching point is around having a plan.

It doesn’t have to be a huge plan with hundreds of pages and footnotes, but what it does need to be is a plan with some specific goals, objectives, and outcomes that you are aiming to achieve.

I like to start mine by at least laying out one or two SMART objectives meaning:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Ambitious
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

As an example, at the end of 2020, I did research that focused on helping me grow my awareness and I wanted to judge it by growing my email list by 100% in 2020. That’s specific, measurable, ambitious and realistic, and at the end of the year I can look back and say if I’ve achieved my goal or not.

Schedule check-ins:

A lot of time the example of emergent strategies is paired with some sort of seismic event like the 2008 financial crisis or the pandemic.

In most cases, those don’t happen often enough to guide our emergent strategy or our strategies in general.

This can give you a false sense of security. And, it can dissuade you from actually taking action to straighten out your strategy, to reorient yourself, or to zig into a new area where there is a significant opportunity.

So schedule check-ins for your business and your strategy.

You might decide to do this monthly or quarterly.

You decide based on your specific business and goals, but the old “set it and forget it” model of strategy is likely going to be ineffective as we move out of the pandemic.

Set parameters for change and taking different action:

We get our hands tied by our goals and strategies because we don’t want to feel like we are quitting on something.

It is okay.

You can and should quit if you aren’t finding success on a goal. You can and should quit if you aren’t working on a goal or area you want to have success in.

The only caveat here is that you need to have parameters and plans for how you are going to quit and what you will do to make sure you aren’t just quitting as a form of procrastination.

In advance, it probably makes sense to lay out the signs that you should turn your attention to something else.

This could mean market conditions. This could mean revenue targets that are missed. I don’t know what the correct answer for you is, but make sure you have laid out your measures.

The next thing is to recognize that once you stop moving in one direction, you need to get moving in another direction ASAP.


Because like science says, “an object in motion stays in motion.”

And, when you quit something, you don’t want to have all of your progress lost. So lay out some action items for yourself.

As I’ve been working through this…I’ve laid it out as an acronym to help me remember it:






Do that!

Plan! Act! Review! Adjust!

It isn’t likely anything will be perfect coming out of the pandemic, but that’s okay…we have a plan!