Rebuilding Business: People Strategies in a Pandemic by Guy Kawasaki



Guy Kawasaki is a known name for his work as an innovator, business pioneer, and his role as an evangelist. He starts off his talk on 'Rebuilding Business: People Strategies in a Pandemic' for PeopleMatters by explaining the meaning of evangelist which means bring good news. He is helping Canva with the online design platform. With his profile, he brings new customers to Canva and helps companies like my companies (ADGES) to deliver a lovely design without hiring pricey designers.


With such a bold topic of ‘Rebuilding Business: People Strategies in a Pandemic’, he delivers his talk by giving 10 ideas to live-by which, as an author squad for PeopleMatters #TechHRSG, it is my pleasure to summarize his 30 minutes talk as follow:

  1. Run the right race: Set your mentality right. We are no in the sprint race but rather the marathon. While the vaccine is still many months or even years to come, perhaps we don’t even know what kind of race that we sign up for.

  2. Give the benefit of the doubt: Pandemic brings up many doubts in all of us whether WFH, on-line learning for us, and (for our kids). Beware of the message that you send during this time. Do not micro-manage and trust your employees that they will do their works.

  3. Make meaning: How can you make the world a better place? Perhaps, this is not a time to think about who makes the most money but rather how an organization makes meaning to their employees and business? Apple is about increasing productivity, Google is about Democratize information, and Canva is about ‘Democratize Design’. How about your business?

  4. Jump to the next curve: During the current situation, innovation is counted even more. The question is how can you jump to the next curve? While customers’ insights are important but often not enough. Since customers tend to root their desire based on the current product and service but wish to have it cheaper and faster. Follow your passion, vision, and heart and jump to the next curve.

  5. Don’t depend on miracles: There is any such thing as a knight on the white horse. Moreover, it is beyond our control anywhere.

  6. Be transparent and real: Now it is time to be transparent especially with your team. Beware of Toxic positivity that things will work out or have faith and miracle will appear. Sometime it might and sometime it may not. People soon will know that you make it up. Let be real and be open.

  7. Share the upside: During the current crisis, organizations ask a lot from their employees. We thought WFH is a benefit but we might overlook the frustration and pressure that come with it. Be generous about the stock options and equity shares if it is possible for you. You need to motivate your staff beyond the traditional way.

  8. Do the dirty jobs: Meaning gaining new skills, spending time to do training that you always want, learning new technology. In the future, the Pandemic will be over. We should be in a better position. Do not giving up.

  9. Ignore naysayers: Beware of people who are rich and famous and they might think fame and money to wisdom. The danger of these rich bozos is they tell you it can’t be done and it shouldn’t be done. Successful in one curve doesn’t mean that they can be very successful in the second wave. Don’t listen.

  10. Ask, ‘Therefore, what?: You need to look into your insights, your industry, and the environment. Ask yourself what does it mean. The current pandemic forces people to social distancing and virtual. What does it mean for learning and business?

Finally, ‘Get high and right’: If you just simply put the horizontal line as Valuation and a vertical line as Uniqueness. It’s very simple and it can explain life. You should 'get high and get right' to capture the top-right corner to ensure high valuation and high uniqueness position. The question is how you get there.



Guy Kawasaki, People Matters 2020 (#TechHRSG)