Making Proactive Shifts During a Crisis

April 21, 2020
Leadership
By Magdy Mansour

For a full list of resources and toolkits, check out our COVID-19 response page.

There is no doubt the effects of COVID-19 and the ensuing social isolation and movement restrictions have surprised and shocked people everywhere. While we have led and managed through ambiguity in the past, we are living in unique times with increased confusion and sometimes hasty decision-making. It is essential to remember that we will not be in this restrictive environment forever as we rely on each other to look for ways to connect. Your customers and employees will have a new perspective on what’s important to them. But what will that be? There will be new opportunities on the horizon and that requires a proactive approach to prepare for change. Let’s consider the following ideas:

Road Map of Productivity

DETERMINE WHAT HAS SHIFTED

The world has changed; recent events will have a lasting effect. It is essential to determine what attitudes and needs will be different for your customers and employees once we return to “normalcy.”

  •  Will customers and employees prefer remote meetings and virtual services even when physical restrictions have lifted?
  • What changes in safety and security standards both on and off-line may continue into our new reality?
  • Spend some time thinking about how your business operated before COVID-19. What shifts have you made recently, and where there is potential to maintain or improve upon current services once the daily threat has subsided?

DISCOVER WHAT POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS MAY HAPPEN SOON

Being prepared for a boom can be just as important as being ready for a downturn. For example, the current demand for specific medical equipment created a supply gap that many providers are now scrambling to fill.

  • In the near future, what new or increased demand for goods and services will be present in your industry?
  • What will your customers and employees need to meet these new demands? Think about your operating model as a whole, spend some time anticipating your customer’s journey.
  • Understanding the environment as a whole will help you better identify potential gaps and demand increases to get ahead of the curve.

EXPLORE WHAT POTENTIAL SETBACKS MIGHT BE AROUND THE CORNER

Sometimes, when we are in the midst of a challenging situation, we may not be as aware of other challenges looming on the horizon.

  • Spend some time thinking about what other future changes may impact your organization in the near future.
  • Impacts may take the shape of: changes in the economy, continued disruptions to supply chain or decreased demand for current services.
  • Setbacks may also present new possibilities. What can you do now to better serve future customers?

LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES

In a recent Forbes article, Heather McGowan discusses How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Accelerating The Future Of Work.

  • What new opportunities can you now explore regarding business processes and culture that may not have been possible before?
  • Think now about how you can utilize the shift to virtual to retool your organization, upskill employees, and strengthen teams.

Being proactive during this challenging time will help better prepare your organization and your customers for what may lie ahead. Our current situation is temporary but business as we know it will certainly look different in the coming months. Carving out time to think proactively now about what shifts you and your organization can make to meet new demands will position you powerfully for the future. What opportunities are you already seeing? Are there any shifts you’re already planning on making permanent? Let me know!

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