Has your company been well positioned to bounce back after the terrible covid time?
Of course, the industry you are in, as well as other factors would have an enormous bearing on speed of recovery outcomes.
BUT, across all sectors, basic common principals apply.
500+ organizations, from medium to large corporates, volunteered to engage in this independent research, gauging readiness & ability to reposition themselves, amid untold stress & social change.
The lessons learned from this research are shared & provide invaluable intel for us all as we each struggle with our own challenges.
The study reflected three levels of recovery
- Responding – Managing for continuity, reacting to a sudden disruption, keeping essential services operating & ensuring safety in systems are addressed.
35% of organizations taking the assessment, characterized themselves in this phase.
- Recovering – Learning what the new circumstances are & considering the opportunities, & to adapt.
45% of respondents believed themselves to be in this phase.
- Thriving – Preparing for the ‘next normal’ by putting in place long-term strategies to be successful for the next 3 years or longer.
18% of respondents characterized their organizations to be thriving.
The study revealed 4 key drivers in arriving at the ultimate Thriving level:-
- Business culture (positivity)
- re-skilling staff in new norm tactics
- revised processes & procedures
- revamping technology with the emphasis on efficient virtual communication
Enabling these 4 elements has shown to be the key drivers in fast-tracking recovery.
Thriving organizations showed significant advancements in all 4 aspects vs Responding & Recovering level companies, which reflect a more haphazard graph across the 4.
Those organizations still in the Responding level, felt they lack the culture, technology & processes to improve performance in the new normal.
Large organizations in particular, indicated confidence in technology & process readiness, but less so in their people having the new-norm skills required to drive towards a point of achieving the Thriving level.
Pertinent points across companies researched
#1 reconstruction of business models
50% of organizations researched have forcibly changed their business model as a result of covid.
And 50% of those, have also reconstructed how they deliver their products/ services.
25% of the top 50%, have further also changed both how & what they deliver.
Of the organizations that have not changed their business model, 74% claim they anticipate doing so in the next 12 to 18 months.
#2 Strategic Shifts
47% of organizations believed their executive teams know what strategic shifts are required to get to a Thriving level in the new normal.
BUT, 38% of large corporations, of an annual T/O of $100mil+, confided that they believed company Excos within the organization, fall short on ideas on shifts that should be deployed
Recovering Organizations: key lessons learned
#1 Curved Balls
41% of organizations believed felt they were forced to repeatedly Recover from indecisive &/or conflicting regulations thrown in their path unexpectedly.
Lesson ~ the need for agile Leadership
72% did have outlined contingency plans ready.
Even if their plan didn’t anticipate such a widespread pandemic, their plans were adaptable, enabling their organization to get up-and-running again sooner.
Lesson ~ build plans with flexibility / the covid climate can change at lightning speed leaving no time to abandon 1 plan & devise a new one / an adaptable model should be able to meet fresh demands
Covid is swift with unexpected turns.
Making the need for the shortest & instant lines of communication from Exco down & vica versa accessible, cutting through normal chain of command etiquette.
Abandoning old-fashioned protocol allows the organization to give & receive commands & messages instantly was noted as critical for Recovering organizations to rebound quickly.
Lesson ~ open & clear communication lines down/up & up/down, minimising layering is a key factor
Those who had invested in technology pre-covid, found it easier to bounce back quicker.
In fact, most recovering organizations were investing in technology because they saw technology as a means to improve quality & efficiency, regardless of the sudden work-from-home shift most organizations had to make.
Lesson ~ upgrading IT systems must be at the forefront of all strategies, within financial constraints
With the sudden advent of staff having to work off-site, the stark reality of access to document storage cropped up.
A largely forgotten & underrated aspect of any organization, with so many other pressing issues demanding easily attention.
Lesson ~ installing electronic document management systems with access to all, is an invaluable practice for efficient business management
The final word: those who, through it all, managed to overcome & Thrive
An interesting comparison of common strategies capitalized on by those organizations classifying themselves as Thriving due to opportunities presented.
#1 Embrace Remote Work
62% of Thriving organizations commented on the efficiencies gained by a shift to partial or full remote work, permanent because they saw it as a more efficient and productive way for their teams to work.
#2 Stay Focused
86% of Thriving organizations didn’t change their vision, but simply adapted approach & strategies to achieve their vision.
48% cited the key success factor of staff inclusion in unifying the clear vision, which in turn was understood & embraced throughout all levels of the business.
#3 Seize the Opportunities
63% used the sudden disruption as an opportunity make far-reaching changes.
79% described putting on an optimistic & enthusiastic face as a driver to gain their Teams willing support of any changes made.
86% of Leader commented on changes being fully embraced in these unusual times, which under normal circumstances, may not have been so enthusiastically received or acted upon.
#4 Company Culture
91% credited an already strong culture, plus living their core values as significant reasons why they were able to rebound so quickly.
They firmly believed that through the backbone of a strong culture, they’ve been able to keep their teams engaged & motivated during disruptive change.
75% of the organizations that took the assessment, identified some opportunities as a result of covid
Smaller organizations, with a shorter chain of command & more agile, reported significant opportunities uncovered.
#6 most-mentioned opportunities adopted:
- Online business model: unsurprisingly, 88% cited opportunities were related to how organizations deliver their products or services: from traditional, retail or bricks-and-mortar to online delivery.
- Customer retention: keeping Customers informed, shifted an after-thought to a cost-effective way to protect revenue. 72% created out of the box incentives for existing Customers. Common outcomes achieved ~ stronger relationships, longer commitments & expanded contracts.
- New markets: looking beyond traditional markets became a key factor for 78% of successful Thrivers. It was declared that it was surprisingly easy to move into & capture market share in new sectors, where competitors had adopted a more defensive approach to the pandemic.
- Local is lekker; where organizations had traditionally, previously focused on out-of-market growth, 67% of Thrivers credited shifting focus to more local markets in replacing lost revenue.
- Strategic Alliances: 58% of Thrivers collaborated with other enterprising companies; those already supplying to the same &/or new markets; as well as 37% with competitors, in crafting win-win scenarios for both to thrive.
Wishing you the very best in your own journey to becoming the next Thriver!
Often, it takes an outside eye to spot opportunities that may have been overlooked in the helter-skelter of the daily grind.
If you find yourself & organization in such a space, BizGro is your preferred market partner.
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