Covid-19 – How will your company navigate the next normal?

Inspired By McKinsy Article – Reimagining The Way Businesses Operate (20-Nov-2020)

Months after WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, Executives around the world suggest a positive shift in economic sentiment as they said that economic conditions in their own countries will be better six months from now, according to the latest McKinsey Global Survey responses.

What happened? Economic contractions resulting from Covid 19 pandemic have far exceeded those of the Great Recession that ended in 2009 and have occurred at a much faster rate, hitting all sectors and many of the world’s largest employers.  Organizations responding to the crisis have deployed more advanced technologies, digital products, and tech talent adjusting to change in work environment and stay competitive.  Businesses have reorganised supply chains, set up remote operations, and made tough financial decisions.  Some companies have been able to operate at an unimaginable pace and with so much resilience and creativity.

While the world anxiously awaits potential successful Covid-19 vaccine to deliver the new normal, organisations priority is – to act rather than react and act quickly.

This is easier said than done, the goal must be for the longer term.  Imagine Cyprus where companies are defined by their ability to inspire, foster collaboration, and create experiences for employees and customers that are simple, meaningful, and enjoyable. Sound like some impossible, distant dimension?  To leverage these challenging and uncertain times, organisations like others globally need to reinvent, reshape, and reimagine how they operate.

What’s next? Companies need to find new ways for serving their employees, customers and communities.  So what are the changes that matter most?

To reimagine, organizations should start by addressing three core questions:

Who are we? Do we have a compelling, standout identity that attracts and inspires employees, investors, clients, and partners? Do we convey why we exist through a resonant purpose, a strong value agenda, and our unique culture?

How do we operate? Do we have a nimble, flat operating model in place that fosters teamwork and rapid decision making, and that values and develops talent throughout the organization—not just at the top?

How do we grow? Do we have a robust ecosystem that values internal and external partners, leverages data-rich tech platforms, and is committed to doing whatever it takes to create and maintain a continuous learning atmosphere?

The companies that are doing it right—the ones that are going to thrive in the Next Normal—have fast and flexible operating models underpinned by an unshakeable sense of purpose. Instead of control and hierarchy, they cultivate collaboration and teamwork.

The biggest shift seen come out of the pandemic is that when thinking of doing something new, companies first think about whether there is a digital solution and doing it fast. Any downtime in your IT operations is unacceptable.

Operating remotely, and rapidly trained leaders to understand their new responsibilities to connect with their people and customers in a drastically changed environment where they need to feel safe.

Changes that the pandemic has also brought about is that strong leadership needs to be conveyed through crystal clear and effective communication by communicating more frequently and how the organisation is moving ahead.

The biggest challenge is making sure these changes stick is by training managers to make sure they learn how to lead and manage better virtually, recognizing and rewarding the people who have done an outstanding job through the crisis and getting a read of how employees are feeling.

The engine of success is fuelled by continual learning. Part of reimagining organizations, is the ability to create an atmosphere where purpose and skill travel on the same path.

Organisations have to live their purpose through action, not in words, not in posters on the wall.   People learn best in areas that they feel purposeful about and bring their best every single day.

From there, the plan addresses employees’ energy level and overall well-being, and how they can improve both; leadership training and areas of development; and, lastly, actual skills.

There isn’t one path to reimagining the organization, leaders and managers need to address the business as a dynamic system in which purpose, strategy, and learning are the necessary ingredients.