It happened so fast. With one quick COVID-19 jolt, everything about businesses, their strategy, plans, and even their products and go-to-market strategy had to change. 

Many had been in business for nearly a decade. For example, one company had a slow start during the first several years, they had achieved modest growth in revenue and profits for the last five years. They had a solid leadership team, 100+ employees, strong partnerships, good brand awareness, and many customer testimonials. The team had developed a plan for substantial growth for 2020, which included expansion to multiple locations. Everyone was optimistic about the future.

That was pre-pandemic. They were in the education industry – a sector that was massively impacted by the pandemic – across all educational institutions — private, public K–12, colleges, and universities.  As a result of COVID, education changed dramatically, with a sudden shift away from the classroom and in-person learning to online and remote learning.

Yet, even before COVID-19, there were already cues that the education industry was shifting to online learning. High growth and adoption of online learning technology. Yes, there was a significant surge in online learning usage during COVID-19, but the change in the educational landscape to online and e-learning was already happening. 

How did they not see this shift happening?

They couldn’t see the forest through the trees. 

The founders, an engineer and a designer had spent the prior decade working in the business. They had become so preoccupied with the details and too heavily invested in their particular approach that they could not see the big picture of what was happening in the world outside their organization and its impending effects on their current strategy.  

It is a situation we see repeated in many of our clients. They are so focused on operational details, driving efficiencies, process and systematizing, and the tactics of the day-to-day business that they lose sight of the big picture of what’s happening in the market. They can’t see the forest through the trees. 

In reality, you need both the day-to-day and big picture perspectives to grow and thrive. Our consulting firm begins with an assessment that provides the CEO with a visual snapshot of their organization’s true strategic and organizational strengths. This process also identifies strategic insights they can put into immediate action to drive growth. 

We use our online organizational assessment tool to help clients develop smart strategies, which are designed around their organization’s unique SmartPlan360™ data and aligns the organization’s plan to meet the needs of their clients.  

Are you too focused on the details and too invested in your current way of making necessary changes? If you want to get insights into your business’s strengths and gaps, take our free assessment and begin the process of seeing the forest through the trees.