Whilst ‘Lockdown negatively impacts our ability to stay positive’ might seem like stating the obvious the underlying trends from the insight6 Business Optimism survey are interesting.
Since the second lockdown has been imposed in England, business optimism has fallen by ten percentage points. However, the largest group of leaders within the optimism survey were optimistic, with more than 50% of leaders stating they felt optimistic about the future of the business.
The number of business owners who are sitting on the ‘Optimism fence’ has remained consistent with just under one third describing themselves as unsure about the future. The biggest shift has been in those leaders moving from being optimistic (64% to 54%) to not optimistic (7% to 15%).
So what can we learn from this?
1. Those who are optimistic feel supported in their business by the government interventions such as the furlough scheme and are using this time to prepare for the recovery.
One business leader articulated this perfectly in why they ticked yes to feeling optimistic “The government are providing an element of job security for employees following the announcement of the furlough scheme, we are resilient and adaptable and will find a way through”
As we referred to in our findings from week two if you are in business then asking yourself the question “what can I do?” given all the constraints and barriers to trade is the source of resilience, motivation and ultimately an optimistic outlook. As one of the business leaders described in his reasons for being optimistic, “I feel like businesses are still looking for ways to grow despite the situation.”
2. For those that are not optimistic the prospect of more uncertainty is creating fear for the future and a lack of energy to deal with the constant changes to the circumstances.
One leader summed up why they are not optimistic with “it is hard dealing with the constant changes, I have no trust in the decision-makers and I am tired with it all”
3. Those that are unsure about the future describe lacking the clarity to know what to do next and in this state are focused on the problems more than perhaps the possibilities. “a new lockdown, more uncertainty for many businesses makes it difficult to plan”
To wheel out some of the cliches of our current time – we are where we are and the only thing we can do is to make the best of it and use any time we have to be kind to ourselves, look for the opportunities and build back better.
Using this time to create some clarity for yourself and your business is vital for your wellbeing and motivation by talking with your colleagues, engaging with your team and your customers. instant insight is providing a rich source of leadership insight which we can share with you. What can you share with your community that would benefit not only you and your business but also your customers or clients?
We would love to explore this further with you and share what we have learnt from the benefits of instant insight for our own and our clients’ businesses.