The world changed. Organizations were dropped into the deep end, and no one had time to put their life jackets on. Has there ever been a time when businesses and people needed to deal with this much uncertainty? Once we've come out of Covid-19 pandemic or adapted to the new normal, the world will not be the same as it was before.
With over a month of remote work behind us, we've learned how it's done and people have built new routines and learnt how to balance the days. Businesses have been on a steep learning curve. They've reorganized work, adopted remote working tools and practices at an alarming rate, found ways to support their employees and many have had to modify their daily, weekly, and monthly operations to secure their existence. Now it's time to keep the business running and to execute. Organizations also need to start planning ahead and start adapting to the new normal.
1. Customer understanding is still key
Do you already know how your customers business is impacted in the short and long term? Do you already know how your customer’s business is impacted in the short and long term? Do you know if the previous demand is still there? Might the customer want you to serve them differently going forward? Restrictions and social distancing are causing huge impacts; we’ve already seen new services emerge and face-to-face services transform online.
Your customer is very likely preparing for financial challenges and some might even be struggling for existence. Do you know what your customers need now, and in the future and how they want it? Make sure you plan ahead for this and think about your customer strategies.
2. How do you lead?
Leaders and managers are now faced with a whole array of (new) challenges. I foresee many teams losing their efficiency and new risks emerging and realizing.
Do you know how your people are really doing? For many, workplace can be the place where you go and leave personal life behind for a while. Now they can’t do that. Furthermore, you worry about your loved ones and community at large. Employees maybe fear for their jobs – and their family members’ jobs. They also need to worry about their children’s care and education. Individuals are dealing with a lot.
Take time to ensure that the vision and targets clear to everyone and are they remembered. Try to understand whether “alternate truths” are born in discussion tracks and correct if wrong. It is good to understand that individuals may create their own truths as they are stuck in their own bubble and exposed to messaging from more and less reliable sources.
Leaders need to consider how to increase transparency, create trust and reinforce direction. In the time of less physical structures we need even more interactional practices.
3. Revisit your plans
Do you agree with me that the world and operating environments will permanently change; either a little or a lot? If yes, it is time organizations revisit their strategies and plans. Let’s use the time we may now have in our hands and prepare for the future.
Get your team together e.g. for scenario planning, customer insights, team strategies and visions, account strategies and action plans. Not only will this create clarity and direction, it also brings people together and creates a sense of community and commitment.
How do we come out as winners? Could the key ingredients be: positive mindset and drive, good leadership and forward-looking approach? What do you think?
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