Gary Morton, CEO of The Morton Group, gives us the lowdown on keeping positive through these difficult and uncertain times.
Recent events have undoubtedly taken their toll on all of us in different ways of the past few weeks and there is no doubt that the implications of coronavirus will be long lasting.

For businesses, including those of us who work in the construction sector, the uncertainty, closures, restrictions and strained cash flow have resulted in making some business decisions difficult – or at least, especially in the long term.
But, now more than ever, how we respond to uncertainty is critical to our future success. We need to stay positive and remind ourselves that times will change and this, too, shall pass.
My best advice would be to accept what has happened, stay calm focus on the positives. Only then will we be able to get through this together.
We should accept that this fast-changing situation isn’t easy for anyone, but if we panic, we will almost certainly make the wrong decisions for our business and our employees. It may help to reflect on the past while reminding ourselves that the good times will return again.
Positivity is the core ingredient for a recipe for coping in a crisis, alongside resilience, agility, and adaptability. We can plan as best we can for when life returns to the ‘new normal’ – but we may also  need to consider making changes to the way our business works, all the time remaining flexible to fast-changing conditions.

At the Morton Group, like so many other companies in the world, we did not foresee or have a plan in place for such an event as the Covid-19 pandemic. We did, however, have the ability to plan and safeguard our business and employees by adapting the way in which we deliver our projects almost overnight.

The agility of our Companies and individuals to pivot their delivery plan, schedule, supply chains and clients is critical to surviving the current environment. The next challenge we face is how we emerge from this current phase of the pandemic. We as a group are currently in the process of identifying the risks both physically and commercially to increasing our productivity.
Throughout this whole process we have maintained a positive approach to the problem we are facing, from Senior level to the wider team of the Group and I believe as a result of this we have been, so far, successful in our approach.

Positivity should not be confused as optimism; positive thinking is an attitude and a conscious choice whereas optimism is a personality trait. Optimism assumes everything will work out OK in the end with little or no input to achieve this result. The leader of a team with a positive approach does not assume the odds will be in their favour, instead the positive approach will establish a belief in the team’s ability to act and respond to the problem presented in effective ways with clear plans and objectives to overcome these. These problems are not ignored or minimised, they are approached with a purposeful belief that a solution can be found.
Over the last 20 months, we’ve signed five development deals and we have a further 9 schemes underway or which will start on site later this year.

One of our companies, LOK Developments, recently completed in the Covid-19 era a £17million refinancing deal for a luxury property development on the site of the former Sanderson Hospital in Gosforth, named Sycamore Square.
This is a tremendous achievement and has taken a monumental effort from everyone involved, and just goes to show what can be achieved in the midst of a global crisis.

We are grateful for the continued faith and support that everyone has shown us so far and we are determined to maintain this high level of positivity and energy over the many challenging weeks and months ahead.

Stay safe and stay positive!