“A new world could emerge, the contours of which it is incumbent on us to re-imagine and re-draw.”
- Prof Klaus Shwab, Founder & Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
Earlier in 2020, organizations across a multitude of industries did what they had to do to survive the economic impact of a global pandemic. We shut down physical spaces. We learned and implemented the new protocols for interacting with others safely. We made difficult business decisions reflecting a world-wide economic slowdown. To put it simply, organizations did the difficult things that are necessary to respond to immediate circumstances.
In the weeks and months that followed, we focused on recovery. Whether we saw this as a few weeks or several months, our mindset was to persevere and wait things out until our lives could get back to ‘normal’. Most organizations triggered a series of operational initiatives to help tighten our belts until things got better by resetting financial expectations, identifying operating efficiencies and drove cost optimizations.
Disruption or opportunity?
Many of us are still operating with some form of hope that things will return to ‘normal.’ But what if ‘normal’ will never be the same ‘normal’ in the future? What if we’re not necessarily going back to the way things were? What we’re likely experiencing is a shift to the status quo. You may see this as a threat to your current models. It could also be a tremendous opportunity.
Whether you see this glass as half empty or half full, you are experiencing change. Maybe it feels like complete disruption. And depending on the scale of disruption (and a global pandemic is a pretty towering disruption), it may impact our long-term business strategies.
We responded. We reacted. Now, it’s time to transform.
The opportunity presenting itself is one that may transform your business strategy, including your value proposition, your customer experience and route-to-market. You may find yourself either fighting the threats to your current model or exploiting opportunities you can seize upon.
The good news is that what happens next doesn’t have to be a panic-driven exercise. The same focused steps you learned early in business can help you now. The desire inside of you to succeed is the same drive that will help your organization adapt and thrive for the future.
Now is the time to reflect and consider.
- Assess - Where are we now?
- Clarify direction - What direction should we pursue?
- Review and refine strategy - How do we get there?
- Plan for implementation - What efforts/execution?
Put in the work
A few simple steps won’t guarantee that transformation will be easy. It will be work. But the alternative of doing nothing could cost your business, and us all, a whole lot more. We have the opportunity to take control of our circumstances, re-align with the market and find new relevance in the new normal.