Making Progress in difficult times

Given how prolonged the ongoing pandemic is, those who have been holding things off until ‘normalcy returns’ can no longer really hang on to that. You will have to start considering how to move forward, how to be able to making progress regardless of the kind of circumstances that are in place.

For starters, progress is non-linear. It is not unidirectional or unidimensional. You can’t look at progress just from one metric and certainly, it is not just about moving in one direction for each of those metrics. There will be trade-offs, and there is no single driver for the whole time.

I want to consider the example of the solar power industry. It had a lot of false starts which in retrospect, contributed to its longer term development. Those window of opportunities drew bright minds and investors into the picture when they otherwise would not have entered. And these were important contributions to the industry even if they did not immediately make things take off.

There were times when the industry was not focused and still in limbo as to whether mono-crystalline or poly-crystalline or thin-film technology would be the de-facto. Even when the leading technology became clearer, further cost reduction and revenue enhancement opportunities had to be explored, including replacing string inverters with micro inverters to reduce single-point-of-failures in the solar array.

So your business may not be getting so much volumes now, perhaps it’s time to look at improving customer service, raising the quality of service, introducing better processes. These are things that are hard to do when all your staff are engaged, and busy with the status quo. Investments take the form of capital and also time. This might be the time to work on those investments that takes time.