How do you get through a crisis and bounce forward afterwards? Public Speaker and Author, Sam Cawthorn, shares his insights.
We’ve all heard of the catch phrase, “bouncing back”. We probably even used it this week about how you or someone in your team has actually “bounced back”. But I believe that bouncing back focuses on what was, what has already been, so you’re just bouncing back to that same position.
But if you want sustainable practices and future thinking, you need to understand that “bouncing forward” focuses on what you can become. The potential and power of bouncing forward is much greater than bouncing back.
Andy Grove was born in 1936 in Hungary. He’s one of the founders of Intel. He founded the microprocessor. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Intel was making millions upon millions of dollars from this microprocessor.
In the 80’s, the Japanese came into the scene and they also started making these processors, but they thought of making it cheaper. What did Intel do? They also started making them cheaper, but also faster. So then the Japanese made them smaller, cheaper, and faster. Then obviously, Intel came on and made them smaller-smaller, faster-faster, and cheaper-cheaper. This went on for about 5 years.
Emotion Vs Practicability
Meanwhile, Intel’s losing quite a bit of the market share, they’re missing out on millions of dollars. In Andy’s book “Only the Paranoid Survive”, he confessed that he and his team have completely fell in love with making this microchip.
One day in 1985, Andy and Gordon Moore—the CEO of Intel—sat down in Andy Grove’s office. They started to discuss about this whole issue between them losing all these millions of dollars and this huge crisis they have. They got one question out of that—this one question actually has really changed me and a lot of the thinking in my world, and it’s this:
“If we got kicked out, and the board brought back in a new CEO, what would he do differently? He’d come in with fresh ideas, and would have no emotional connection at all with ideas and things that we’re currently doing. What would this new CEO do?”
This begs the next question that is:
“Why shouldn’t we walk out of the door, come back in, and do it ourselves?”
Sometimes in business, we know what to do, but we’re not just willing to do it. Be real about the crisis that we’re in and tackle it head on. In the end, Andy grew Intel by 4500%, the company’s worth is now close to $197B.
It’s not about bouncing back to where we were, but it’s about bouncing forward to what we can become. So here’s the challenge:
If your company brought in someone to replace you—someone with fresh eyes, new ideas, and no emotional or sentimental values connected to the current system—what would he do differently?
Now, walk out of the room, come back in, and just do that.
I’m Sam Cawthorn, and let’s not only bounce back, but let’s bounce forward.