My two sisters and I were raised on Disney movie matinees. We loved “Babes in Toyland” so much that we spent a whole summer practicing and creating costumes and sets so we could present it to paying neighbors. Another favorite was “Pollyanna,” starring Haley Mills. We decided that we needed to adopt her “Glad Game” even though our dark Northern European DNA didn’t supply that to us naturally. Later in life we put our own twist on it, and in the heart-wrenching scene when Pollyanna discovers she can’t walk, we would all chime in cheerfully, “But think of the money I’ll save on shoes!”
Although we poked fun, this is not a bad time to put our Pollyanna hats on and play The Glad Game. No matter how bad it is, you can usually find an upside, although admittedly, finding an upside in these times requires some serious spelunking in unappealing places. But now you can be glad that you have the time – and yes, the excuse – to do things that you know you should have done long ago: Cleaning up processes, scrapping products or services that are not adding to the bottom line, reviewing and updating job descriptions, moving employees from one job to another where they’re better suited, or releasing them.
We recently watched an interview featuring a professor from a well-known school of business who said that this was the time when owners and managers needed to “watch their numbers like a hawk.” Fred and I looked at each other and said simultaneously, “You should always watch your numbers like a hawk!” But we know from experience that not everyone does. So be glad that you have a good reason to make changes right now, and dig in. Your P&Ls will be glad, too.
July 22, 2020