Making Sense Of The Road Ahead
It would be an understatement to observe that the COVID-19 global pandemic forced multinational organisations and their leaders to adjust sails and navigate around a series of unprecedented business challenges.
We can only hope that the disruptive forces that forced difficult, long-lasting decisions about our business models, customer interactions and human resources over much of 2020 and likely well into 2021 soon flow into our collective memories and experience as once-in-a-lifetime events.
Surely, the promise of vaccines and the resolve of modern societies to dampen the effects of the virus and develop better countermeasures to limit its spread give us all reason to be hopeful for the future and a return to more familiar business conditions and growth opportunities.
So comes the question of your preparedness, and that of your employer, for what comes next.
Let’s take a moment to consider this issue of future prioritisation and focus on the critical few elements of your business (and perhaps, your career) strategy to provide some much needed context for the decisions that may be coming your way in just a matter of months:
1. What your business needs: If there was ever a time to step back and assess your organisation’s business strategy – and how it engages customers – this is it. We’ve learned that we may have to make long-term adjustments to how we visit customers, how we deliver products and/or services to them, and how to respond to crisis.
Yet it may also be high time to reconsider your sales model, particularly if your team is wondering – perhaps learning – that customer expectations have changed and there may be significant implications not only for your field sales team, but also for potential new investments in digital marketing and brand awareness. What your business needs acutely is data and experience in the form of sound judgments about how it should evolve, not “if” it must change to keep pace in the new business normal.
2. What your best people need: Having assessed your company’s best strategic moves in light of many new operating realities and opportunities, global leaders would be wise to pivot quickly to focus on retaining, rewarding and, yes, incenting their very top performers and high-potential up-and-comers. As the global economy recovers, so, too, will the global jobs market, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, driving many into unemployment or toward staying in jobs and organisations they don’t really enjoy.
Take the time – now – to check the pulse of the critical members of their team. Are they still enjoying their work? Do they expect to continue a remote-work arrangement for the long-term, or are they itching to get back to the office? And given all the time they’ve had to think about the future and what’s important to them during the pandemic, ask if you and your team remain central to their future plans.
3. What your executive career needs: Because of the volatility of the global economic environment, let this serve as an important reminder to keep tending to your best professional relationships. Give people time when you can to counsel them, direct them and make referrals. And always return the recruiter’s call, for you never know when opportunity will come knocking, no more than ever. And take the time to figure out your own long-term growth plan.
4. What your community needs: One of the starkest leadership lessons to come from the age of COVID-19 is the realisation that governments will continue to be stressed by social challenges and the need to help the less fortunate whose numbers seem to have swelled.
Looking ahead, companies will continue to focus on sustainability, corporate responsibility and perhaps now even a higher commitment to charity, whether that be supporting special public works, raising the minimum wage to livable standards or investing in underserved communities. The business of business may have to change, so keep this in mind as you chart your own way forward and particularly if you wish to be among the leaders committed to making their companies – and the places they do business – better for more people.
By considering these possibilities, we as global leaders may ourselves a decided head start toward facing our new global commercial environment – and the broader economic and social opportunities that will beckon. The call of leaders is to serve, but the fire must be ignited within before any one of us can move to make the biggest impact we can for a brighter future.
Copyright © TRANSEARCH International
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