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James Parnwell

James Parnwell

Thinking Like a LEADER Through COVID-19

Thinking Like A Leader - Passion


A letter from our MD James Parnwell, to Australian business leaders.

Dear Business Leader

Are you asking yourself how you can respond to the current COVID-19 situation? You are not alone; we live in a period of uncertainty. In times like this, we are handed a range of challenges but also a list of opportunities.Thinking Like A Leader - Seeking Opportunities

The whole world seems to be in a strange place at the moment. Toilet paper is in short supply, sporting events are being closed down, stock markets are plummeting and there is a general nervousness in the air. The best advice I have heard so far is to be both calm and vigilant.

The coronavirus threat is real, so we need to be careful, but allowing fear and panic to set in isn’t going to help anyone – and as business owners, we get to choose our response to these situations.

My Grandfather was in his mid-twenties when the Great Depression hit. He was originally a fitter and turner but saw an opportunity in farming during the 1930s and was able to shift gears into a new area. He ended up using his mechanical skills to introduce a raft of innovations and efficiencies that meant he thrived and prospered during one of the toughest economic periods of Australia’s history.

His ability to see opportunity in hard times has been an inspiration to me.

History looks back on the Great Depression as a period of poverty, however, there were many people who had their eyes wide open and were able to pivot into new business opportunities and thrived in the storm.

So, my question for you is…

What opportunities are opening up for you in today’s economy that you will look back on in ten years and be grateful that you were able to capitalise on? To see clearly we need to get our eyes off the problems and onto the opportunities.

We have implemented a remote working environment for the past 11 years. We did this because of the increased job satisfaction and productivity, but it means we are super safe and well-positioned at times like this… So The OnlineCo. and all we do for you will continue as normal.

So. Where do the opportunities lie?Thinking Like A Leader - Creating More

We made the decision to increase our marketing. It may seem counter-intuitive, but in uncertain times lie unexpected opportunities. It’s a sad fact that some of our competitors will close in the coming months. Who will service their clients in the future? What is happening in your industry that will enable you to unlock new potential?

What “out of the box” opportunities are going to open for you? You need to put your entrepreneurs’ hat on, open your eyes wide and look for ways to expand. In ten years’ time, you will look back on this season. Make sure you look back with fondness, grateful for the forward steps you took in overcoming adversity.

I met with our management team and discussed out of the box ideas. We spent 20 minutes and came up with 9 ideas. We will now spend the rest of the week working through them. Perhaps you could do something similar with your team?

As always, we’re here if you need us. We will partner with you through this storm and out the other side!



James Parnwell
James Parnwell

James is the Managing Director and resident strategist at TheOnlineCo. He is clever and creative with a flair for making complex things sound simple. He has been in the marketing game for over 2 decades and has watched the landscape slowly shift. James has his finger on the pulse of every aspect within TheOnlineCo, meeting with all clients as well as every core team member and strategising a specific plan tailored to each client.

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