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Today as part of the Revenue Science™ Context of Business Series we have Susan Schramm a guest writer for the Revenue Science™ community.

Susan Schramm is a rare leader who leads by example, with compassion, and applies a great mind that asks powerful questions to find creative solutions. She has been a senior executive in some of the largest for-profit companies in the world and today she is helping leaders who serve all of us without a profit motive.

You will find her thoughts and wisdom a great read.

Thank you Susan.

Our current, as well as the post-virus economy, will demand not just knowledge, skills, and new habits, but a science based context in which to deploy.

Our guest author today is Susan Schramm!




Has the word “option” been on your radar lately? It has been for me.

The GameStop kerfuffle saw short-sellers lose $19 billion in just days. Many watching the roller coaster of stock prices were saying,

Options seem risky.”

Then there’s options we face because of the relentless pandemic uncertainty:

  • “Do we postpone the wedding again? Or do we hold it? Outside or inside?”
  • “Should we send our child to pre-school?  Full time or part-time?”
  • “Do we ask employees to return to the office or stay working at home? Or a mix of both?”

Too many options makes things harder. 

Researcher Barry Schwarz’s experiment offered buyers many choices of jam. His famous study found that there is a paradox of choice: if you have too many choices, it can actually freeze you from making a decision, for fear of choosing the wrong option.

Yet, having NO options can feel risky too. 

Lately, I’ve been talking to many CEOs and board members struggling to figure out how to make things work with so many moving parts.

With revenues falling off, continued operational and supply chain complexities, new regulatory policies impacting business models — some leaders feel backed into a corner.

A scarcity mindset can take over, and you can end up leading with a fear of failure.

But what if you are solving for the wrong problem?

When you’re in a corner, it’s easy to conflate HOW and WHY.

It may be that you need to focus on WHY first. And then explore completely new ways to achieve HOW by looking with fresh eyes at your assets.

Take the travel industry, which has certainly been slammed recently:

  • Airlines experienced a 60% drop in passenger travel. But some quickly realized they had aircraft they could repurpose. Some like British Airways and Emirates  started driving entirely new revenue streams from cargo-only flights, often for the first time in their company’s history.
  • Many hotel chains saw a 90% drop in bookings. Red Roof Inn realized their assets weren’t simply hotel rooms – they could also be quiet, comfortable workspaces with great Wi-Fi! They launched “Work Under Our Roof,” a special program for people working at home who needed relief from noisy house-share situations.

What ASSETS can you use in new ways to create NEW options? 

If you and your team are feeling backed into a corner right now, here’s a quick exercise. Step back and breathe — then ask yourselves three questions:

1. WHY: Why do we exist? Is our mission still valid? What has changed about the problem we aim to solve?

2. HOW: What assets (intellectual property, real estate, talent, tools, physical assets, customer insights, etc.) could we use in new ways?

3. WHO: Who could we partner with to achieve our mission in ways we hadn’t considered before? How could our unique assets complement theirs?

Yes, there are risks of something not going well when you take a new direction. But there’s also a risk you’ll miss windows of opportunities if you don’t act.

Seeing your assets with fresh eyes can open new doors, optimize risk, and help you lead more confidently with an abundance mindset.

And isn’t that a better option? ????


P.S. If you’re a leader of an organization interested in ways to de-risk your strategy, learn more about the Changemakers’ De-Risk System for Impact. It can prompt some good dialogue with your team. And let me know if you’d like to chat about your own situation!

Susan Schramm, Founder and Principal
Go to Market Impact LLC

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Susan Schramm, Founder and Principal 
Go to Market Impact LLC 






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