Jimbo Clark helps individuals, teams, leaders and organizations to challenge their current thinking in a way that will allow them to create better thinking. His motto is “Don’t just think out of the box, build a better box”. This gives his clients a better chance of getting more of what they really want while experiencing less pressure, frustration, and stress. He helps them understand their awareness of their company culture and the invisible boundaries that they create for their own success. He helps them gain a reflection around seeing what they want to keep and what they need to change and then create an intentional box or boundary and intentional new way of thinking as an individual, as a team member, as a leader that’s going to give them more of what they want.
I sat down with Jimbo to learn more about how he is helping his clients.
What is your message to Entrepreneurs who are struggling during this pandemic?
My message to entrepreneurs is to think carefully about how to pivot because pivoting may not be enough. It depends on what they’re leaving stuck in the past model and what they’re being flexible with. If a bus is coming at you, pivoting is not going to get you out of the way. It may not be pivoting as much as it might be jumping or rolling or cartwheeling or climbing.
How do you take advantage of this shift in how we spend our time and energy? Let’s use that time to be creative and rework systems. Let’s plan for the future. Let’s stop doing stuff that wasn’t working anyway. This is a time that small and medium-size businesses have to do this because they don’t have the deep pockets to weather the storm and come out on the other end as big corporations do.
Social distancing can be a condition for creativity if you turn it into one. This means changing at the fundamental level, including your business model if you need to. Take a look at evaluating your business model against the lens of what you think the future might be like. Every business model has an expiration date. You don’t know what it is when you make your business model, but no company that has been around very long continues to use the exact same business model they were when they started. What happened with COVID 19 is your expiration date just got pushed forward. It is possible you are operating with an expired business model and not know it.
Can you give some examples of how organizations can pivot to meet new demands?
There are so many different ways of adjusting. For example, In-person events are not allowed now with the social distancing guidelines put in place and if my pivot is only to take my in-person events and just put it online, (which I think everyone in the training industry is going to do), I’m becoming a commodity in a game I can’t win. A better way might be creating interactive situations for people to engage in an app. It’s gotta be something that makes the participant think “this was great. I’m so happy I did this.”
Here’s another simple example. Las Vegas shut down the strip for a month and one of the unintended consequences was the pig farms around Las Vegas were used to getting all the buffet scraps. Now there are no buffets, so there’s no scrap for the pig farm which means the pig farmers can’t afford to feed the pigs. What is that guy going to do? Is he gonna wait for a month and hope that the Vegas strip goes back to have huge buffets? Not going to happen. Even when the hotels open back up, they’re not going to have the flow of guests to justify a buffet. They’ll have a limited menu as they open up for the public, so, this farmer has to rethink the whole business model because that one link in the supply chain for him is gone and conceivably gone forever. So how does he turn the coping behavior into a future success strategy? How does he learn from that and turn that into a business model that is going to work in the future? He can’t afford to say, I’m going to hold onto my business model for one more month and see if the strip comes back online. Small and medium-sized enterprises have to be looking in-depth at the business model aspect of it and seeing what are the parts that weren’t working anyway or what were the parts that had an expiration date, and make decisions based on the foreseeable future rather than past experience.
How do you help people change their thinking?
They first need to be open to it. I think people usually find me when there is a level of frustration or a desire for a brighter future than they’re unable to attain. I have really locked into this phrase, “think out of the box”. It’s a commonly said phrase of why we truly need to think out of the box. And they say, Oh, Hey, I know a guy, he’s got a box we can think out of. Then the conversation is what is the box that they’re stuck in and what is the success image that they are trying to obtain that their current thinking isn’t allowing them to get to. I use several different facilitative tools, where we train up people inside the organization with different kinds of thinking.
Before the economic crisis of 2008, 2009, I would say maybe 70% of my business was running off-sites with senior management teams. Let’s get together on a beach. Let’s get together on a mountain, we’ll be together for two to three days. 25% of it’s social, 75% of its business. The real meetings happen after the third drink. We get on the airplane and everything goes. After 2009, some of the pictures of different companies being out on a beach, spending shareholder money came out and it suddenly became not a good thing to show publicly. The management teams then found ways to make decisions without needing to spend the time, energy, and money on travel. They didn’t stop doing offsites, but the number of off-sites, the scope, and scale, the money they spent shrunk dramatically. That was the high point and they’ll never go back.