Staying ahead of the curve can make all the difference in managing through unexpected shifts. When Mike Beckley and his three Appian co-founders set out to build their software company in 1999, they knew change was going to be constant. What they did not know was just how major some of the transformations were going to be. Fortunately, they were well prepared.
Opportunity unexpectedly knocked in 2000 when the tech bubble burst. Their former company, MicroStrategy, was forced to rescind offers to more than a hundred new hires that they had just spent a fortune recruiting. They called up Appian and asked if they could take any of them. Beckley and his team interviewed 60 people and hired 12, growing the company from seven to 19 people overnight. This abrupt shift required a different way of managing.
The fundamental learning is that bridging unexpected discontinuities requires preparation, discipline and flexibility all the same time. To take advantage of crises and opportunities, be ready, be strong, and be open to the possibilities that interrupt your oh-so-well thought through plans.