How to lead your business to survive now and thrive as the economy rebounds from the pandemic.
Are you also feeling uncertain about what leading a business beyond the pandemic will look like?
After the nightmare that was 2020 the world has begun to vaccinate its citizens against the Covid-19 virus. Reports show that the number of new infections globally is going down, businesses are reopening and employment numbers are recovering.
Business leaders should be excited that the tide is turning and that they will finally get on with the task of running their businesses. The truth is that instead of confirming excitement, surveys are reflecting a rather subdued mood by business leaders?
Do you, like many, feel that the Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with your approach to business success? You know how to hone values, mission, goals, culture, strategies and processes. Your mastery of all of them has enabled you to consistently deliver the required results.
At this moment you realise that the pandemic has caused a shift but you have no sense of how big it is. Which shifts will be permanent and which will be temporary. This moment may be leading you to doubt the relevance of the things that you know, as a leader.
You have succeeded because you fit the culture of the organisation, you understand the environment, you inspire employees, you ensure that customers are satisfied and costs are managed. You have been guided by this blueprint for sustainable growth and profitability.
Competition has always been a part of your world. Your business has always competed on costs, quality, customer service, innovation, exclusivity and convenience, among other things. You are successful because you always figure out what matters most and have the right teams. You were rewarded well because you are deemed to be visionary, bold and innovative.
In the recent past you accepted that the business environment is increasingly more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. You thrived as social media exploded, youth culture globalised, technology advanced rapidly, environmental consciousness increased and geo-politics shifted. You totally understand the benefit of being agile.
Suddenly the Covid-19 global pandemic arrived without a rule book. Agility did not work when entire industries stopped operating. In the place of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, for which you have frameworks, there was havoc so deep it shut-down of entire countries. The moment defied the frameworks and guidelines that you know.
Business leaders are forced to make a shift. Long-established as well as new businesses will shut down, some for a while others permanently. The shift requires keeping businesses alive for as long as possible. The idea is that they must survive the pandemic and outlast their competitors. Survival has become more important than profit.
Another shift is to prepare for a new normal whose shape and timing that are unknown. It can be anticipated that customer behaviour will shift fundamentally, supply chains will change irrevocably and employee concerns will be driven by new considerations. Leadership will matter more.
It is an exciting time to be a leader. Success will depend on the paradigm you as a leader assumes. For each industry, company, shareholders, customers, teams, suppliers and products a leader will always need a mix of knowledge, skills and a determination to lead. Success will be determined by your readiness and commitment to lead your business beyond the pandemic.
Readiness is not determined by having all the answers. They are not there. It is focusing on the right questions that will matter.
- What products and service quality will matter for customers post the pandemic?
- Which suppliers will be around to provide the quality that is required?
- Will employees be expecting a different engagement with the business?
- What training will employees need?
- Will values, missions and culture be strong enough to hold everything together?
- How will agility matter for a business that has been redefined by coronavirus?
At this moment you must believe that leadership matters. Understand what knowledge, skills and commitment matter in helping you to survive now and also be ready for the post-pandemic era. Old paradigms and frameworks may not provide the edge that they once did. As you are asking tough questions about the future remember that your first imperative is to survive. In the process embrace the shifts that are demanded by the moment.
Believe in leadership and invest in knowledge and skills that will help you to survive and lead beyond Covid-19. We work with business leaders to determine what is changing in their environment. We help them identify the shifts they need to make in their approach. Together with them we deal with the tough questions that insiders may be reluctant or scared to ask.