Making Sense Of Business Strategy Beyond COVID 19
Few global events have had bigger impacts on the business world order than the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways it has forced new ways of thinking, acting and planning for the future sustainability of multinational corporations.
The disruptions to business plans have been significant and worldwide in scope. The fallout in terms of unemployment and enterprise dreams deferred have been unprecedented. The requirements for change, too, have also been, quite literally, epic in both timing and proportional terms.
Few of us could have imagined the broad host of challenges and shifts that have been forced on global business executives. Yet, now that we have already learned to cope and adjust sails, perhaps we might find optimism in knowing that the world has indeed been changed in myriad ways and navigating our organisations to a better future will require a solid plan.
A strategic plan, that is, that may require construction with equal parts bold and flexible ideas, backed by data and metrics as much as with the special character and identity of the enterprise and its culture.
For certain, a plan grounded in great people, a compelling vision and a firm sense of the new business landscape will be a central requirement to pivot into new markets and seize on emerging business opportunities.
It all sounds good, right? Sure, but if you’re going to make sense of business strategy beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be well served to consider some of the following observations regarding the creation of a new, COVID-informed business strategy for the road ahead:
1 – Not everyone will be on board – That’s right. There will be business leaders and managers who simply cannot move fast enough in the direction of getting on with things precisely the way they were before the outbreak of the global virus.
Why, you ask? Well, it may be because things were going so well before COVID-19 that they simply want to return to those same business practices to yield the same positive results. Or because they believe the industry or business fundamentals your team now faces remain largely unchanged.
Or, perhaps, could be the reality that some internal stakeholders have vested reasons either to not throw their support in favor of a business shift, or quite possibly because they fear they could lose some authority or influence over the outcome, potentially minimising their business impact.
Whatever the reasons, consider that not everyone will support major changes – or bold ideas – from which to build a new strategy. Be prepared, demonstrate with metrics and bring others along.
2 – A new strategy will require detailed metrics and ‘Voice of Customer’ credibility – Nothing jostles the mind and stimulates creative discussion among leaders quite like fact-based presentation of customer insights, spending trends and statements of need. Whatever your future course, be sure to lock it down tightly with deeply qualified customer insights, not only about their intended resources, but their willingness to invest in solutions.
If you can pinpoint unique client needs and market forces that your team can serve and exploit to mutual benefit, now is the time for planning, action and continual measurement to ensure a smooth path forward.
3 – New skills, experience and open-mindedness may point to new talent needs – If your team is to pursue new directions, it may require new resources. The bigger and bolder your plans, the more responsibility you will have to create the right team to support its effective implementation.
Along the way to business growth and our collective business re-emergence from the COVID-19 storm, you will gain fresh allies and maybe even put one or more noses out of joint, depending on who has something to gain and who, potentially, could lose face.
Your ability to mobilise and inspire a high-performing team will be crucial to supporting any new business strategy, as will your capacity to put out fires and overcome obstacles. Just keep in mind that as you move forward, you will find supporters and in some cases need to recruit people who can bring new talent, fresh insights and an open-minded approach to what’s possible in order to reach your goals.
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