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Is it possible to mitigate the impact of external events?
I was about to give some observations on one of our 8 Executive Trends for 2020, talking about areas of change as regards to corporate leadership, when I realised the Coronavirus would impact how all elements of leadership functions.
As always, external events are a touch paper that can light change, and they accelerate the importance of proper and correct planning so that companies and individuals can cope with a changed world – and recover.
The changes we identified in this year’s trends highlight the importance of understanding planning and leadership:
- Change & Transformation
- Distance Leadership
As you can see, the topics and themes for this year’s trends almost perfectly reflect the needs and wants the world has been looking for since the start of the crisis. This terrible event has already put incredible strain on people, businesses and governments alike.
On people to preserve physical, emotional and mental health. On governments on how to keep the economy functioning and the people safe. And, on business to preserve as many jobs as possible, and more, to look at their people and see how they can keep performance front of mind.
Flexibility and remote work
So how can companies and organisations make themselves more adaptable to unprecedented change? By reflecting on how they are managing the current situation and how they could have approached it differently. Remote work and flexibility, for example, have been on the agenda for years, and after this event will both make incredible leaps forward.
Leaders and companies that have organised efficiently through established KPIs and objectives, who use collaborative tools constructively, and who have maintained a caring culture will protect employees well during times like these. And because these types of companies care about their employees they will ‘thrive’, because in the end, it is up to the employee themselves to ensure flexibility and remote work succeed.
While the company can provide the framework for engagement and the drive for it, the employee needs to be a self-starter with a mid- long-term view. Planning and proactive thinking – instead of a reactive attitude – becomes important to reaching objectives.
Building remote relationships
When the wider economy opens, companies will put even more focus on the collective impact of behaviours, both digital and non-digital. Digitalisation will become even more paramount. On this topic, Page Executive have prepared an eBook Remote Recruitment: Search, Selection and Success to help you implement a fully digital recruitment process, including information on onboarding a remote hire.
Why mention this eBook, and specifically talk about onboarding and remote processes? Because all buyers (consumer and corporate) will need to prioritize purchases with more detailed attention to budgets, focusing more on the real-world value the service, product or person can bring.
My prediction is that buyers will only purchase things that have more meaning (and implied quality) for their specific needs.
This means that all companies need to reposition their brands to reflect real and truly applicable values, forgetting opportunistic approaches and low value transactional exchanges.
In short, we all need to provide real value for money to our clients, even more so than the past.
What does competence mean today?
Everyone will put more attention on information and competence.
Many people will read more and try to gain valuable skills during this period. Many will continue to work in unexpected circumstances, in difficult situations. Competence, therefore, will become something we are judged on – how did we manage the current situation, how did we prepare for the next ‘phase’, how did we view and approach our competitors?
In a world with (possibly) fewer players, that is more complex, that is faster changing, competence is key.
It is fundamental to understand how the regulatory and demand environment will shift in each industry, so that we can better prepare to prevent the impact of risk – with resilience front of mind.
Finally, what matters the most beyond an effective business model and an authentic value-added proposition is the personal aspect – so focus on your personal relationships!
If you have any questions about any topic I cover in this article, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat with me.