“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” – Sir Winston Churchill
The COVID crisis will position every business for the "Next Normal". Will the position be positive, status quo, or negative? Visionary companies will use specific strategies to use any crisis to their advantage. According to research by global leaders like IBM, Deloitte, and McKinsey & Company, businesses that turn COVID into a (non-virus) positive will approach the future in these five ways:
A crisis is a magnifying glass. The people, products, processes, and relationships that are essential come into sharp focus. So do gaps in service and opportunities that may have been overlooked before. Businesses should enhance and elevate the “essentials” and find ways to:
It’s no secret that COVID has accelerated the use of digital or virtual channels and products. Companies positioned to advance will expand these opportunities, specifically after reviewing data on how and when they can increase efficiency and links to customers. This analysis, combined with anecdotal feedback will determine when to dial back on digital expediency and when to tune in to more authentic, in-person methods.
Finding a balance between virtual and in-person operations may be the biggest way to succeed in the long term. According to April 2021 business findings by McKinsey Management company, 60% of companies said that remote sales operations were 30% more effective than traditional face-to-face methods.
Companies that waste a crisis will slowly return to the status quo when it comes to operational pace and job descriptions. Businesses that refuse to return to life before COVID will:
McKinsey found that many leaders will check in more often with their teams to learn what is working and what is not. In a matter of hours, they will solve problems, pivot, and create new ways to deliver better service and more valuable products.
Many traditional processes and organizational charts are far from nimble. Even how companies match talent with tasks should shift to ensure a competitive advantage in the future. Deloitte, a global consulting group, shared that organizations are learning to connect the right employees to the toughest challenges, regardless of where they fall on the employee chart. According to both McKinsey and Deloitte research, successful leaders will:
5. With a Distinct Human Touch
If COVID taught us anything it is that we need thoughtful human connection. McKinsey and Deloitte share that progressive companies will use this lesson to focus on employees and customers. They will take the time to ask, consider, and review how employees perform best. In fact, 61 percent of CEOs in a 2021 Deloitte survey said they will re-imagine how employees work compared to just 29 percent the year before. People-centered companies will:
An IBM study showed that 80% of CEOs and 46% of employees shared that supporting the emotional and physical health of the workforce was important.
74% of leaders indicated to the IBM Institute for Business Value that they will invest in employees to help them learn the skills needed for the future of work.
To stay on the positive side of any crisis into the "Next Normal", it all comes down to perspective. Approaching the future in the five ways listed above will help any business turn any unforeseen circumstance into far-reaching and creative opportunities.
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