Re – Vision the business, Re-prioritize and Revise ways of working.
It is said that it is not the strongest but the most adaptable which survives. Covid has disrupted lives and business like none other. Businesses have had to go virtual or cease operations. Retrenchment and salary cuts have become essential to survive. WFH seamlessly has become an imperative and IT has had to scramble to deliver the same in double quick time. Supply chain, manufacturing, transport cash flow, the sinews of the business have all been disrupted. In this changed world what changes should a CEO/OWNER prepare to make, so that the organisation becomes more resilient and in fact thrive in the future?
Re-vision the businesses, reprioritise what really matters and revise the way of working.
During the pandemic, customers have appreciated businesses / brands that have shown concern for the safety of the customer, concern for the employee, and concern for the environment. Trusted brands have been endorsed firmly with customer preferring them over others. CEO and business owners need to embrace this new reality when thinking about their business vision and purpose.
Digital transformation has become a necessity. Online access or ecommerce has become the customer’s choice, but enabling that is not enough. It needs to be linked to management of customer relationship. Supported by use of social media, to communicate, build a two-way dialogue with customers to convey the purpose and essence of business and how it is being realized by the actions of the company. Data analytics is used to mine customer information and understand the customer better so that one can tailor products and communication accordingly. The better a business is able to do this, the more it can stay ahead of competition and become more efficient in acquiring and retaining customer. One can start small and build as one goes, but its real benefit emerges when all the components fall into place. This can drive business efficiency and hence competitiveness.
The demand side is linked to the supply chain in the digitization process, right down to vendors. The purpose is to drive agility in fulfilling demand while driving cost efficiency.
Workflow automation with remote access will allow for accuracy, agility, effective collaboration and flexibility for a distributed WFH workforce. All to be run on technology that is run off the cloud and hence variable in its cost, depending on size of business and components digitized/automated.
During the disruption, rigid structures were replaced with agile cross functional team work, more often than not led by those on the front line and they demonstrated great adaptability to the new environment. The CEO/Owners have to realise this, flatten structures, allow for greater work flexibility and drive agility and innovation. The person will take precedence over process, whenever innovation or agility is sought and this will need to become the revised way of working. The employees are valuing health, wellbeing, and work-life balance more than ever, and businesses have to put this front and centre. They want to see their companies be responsive to the environment, emphasize information sharing and find more ways of working together, rather than in silos. These values will need to be prioritized in addition to traditional business priorities of profit and shareholder return.
For CEO’s/Owners, understanding these shifts in priorities and culture, offers a great advantage to merge what you do with how you do it. Whatever the future may bring, organizations will need strong cultures to support them through periods of uncertainty. As research has continued to show time and again, healthy organizational cultures are more resilient and lead to both more engaged and productive employees, as well as greater financial performance over the long run.