As one year has now passed since the first announcement of lockdown, we are relieved to see that businesses who have survived one of their most exhausting years, are putting themselves to the challenge of adaptation so they can continue to provide for their communities and support their employees. Sadly, many of the struggles that we faced will continue; personally, professionally, nationally, and globally.
However, focusing on reset for growth, businesses have heightened their appetite for success and proven to be resilient by amending their strategies to overcome the difficulties of the past year and to increase innovations. For many, weaknesses in their strategies were actually revealed due to the crisis.
As change continues to accelerate, the brave and innovative movers excel ahead of the game. To keep up, the strategic-planning process needs to be flexible to control the high uncertainty. How can you as a business continue to thrive and stay agile, whilst continually thinking ahead of the curve?
Set bold aspirations.
COVID-19 universally caused disruption, destroying the economy. However, with this came the time to explore new options. It was prime time for organisations to reset their long term strategies that were in place and execute on bold aspirations that perhaps had been in the pipeline for a while. Those businesses that acted early, managed to maintain and in some cases even increase revenue, compared to those who took a huge decrease in earnings or unfortunately had to close altogether. The accelerating trends, messages and widening performance gap heightened the urgency to act. Many organisations portrayed a head strong approach to overcome the challenges presented, building up their capabilities and carrying-out tasks in such a short period of time compared to what they did before. Does this highlight how much more productive we need to be? Or can be? Although, I do feel it is important to get the right balance so businesses can efficiently provide for customers, employees and society.
Develop scenarios, not forecasts.
This presents a fresh approach compared to the traditional way. Scenarios will enable you to be prepared for uncomfortable situations that may arise again so when it comes to the confrontation stage it will be a journey with as little disruption as possible. The idea is to stress test your planned moves against the range of potential incidents you may have to face and make sure it would stand ground. It is recommended business leaders should collaborate with all areas of the business including them in these scenarios and potential strategies. You may say ‘We’ve done it once we can do it again?’ But why not be prepared this time and keep disruption of business to a minimum.
Making moves will make your business work. This can be anything from performance related moves; productivity, looking at the effectiveness, quality, and efficiency of your employees output. Or, portfolio-related moves; set visions, visualise initiatives, execute framing and adapt to this rhythm. Execution of moves are effective in times of economic uncertainty and your competitors are suffering from a fear of uncertainty and failure. Despite encouragement to move boldly, it is critical to avoid committing yourself, only administer moves when you are assured that the proposed scenario will play in your favour and benefit your business, customers and employees to a great extent.
Adapt your strategy dynamically.
This ones a bit of a no brainer but the outcome of COVID so far from an economic standpoint is too substantial for your business to sit back and continue your traditional methods of your strategy. A process should be implemented to cater for faster iteration on plans that have been put in place, increasing the number of meetings than before to review the moves you’re going to make, the potential scenarios and monitoring new opportunities so you can develop your aspirations on how you propose to succeed and overcome them.