It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since terms like quarantine, social distancing and remote working became part of our normal vocabulary. We’ve been through a lot in 12 months, and our organizations have become stronger, while at the same time, in some cases, have paid a steep toll.
Looking ahead the future looks brighter, dare we say even more certain, yet we cannot afford to pause to catch our breath. For many organizations, 2020 and the start of 2021 has been more about surviving and stabilizing than growing and optimizing. As the Rolling Stones told us, time waits for no one. And so here we are, with barely three quarters left in the calendar year, staring at an uphill road to get back on track in terms of growth plans and margin improving initiatives.
However, let’s not let the past 12 months pass by in vain. There are some learnings we can take and apply to our organizations to best position us for a post-COVID growth cycle. Our own research, combined with the transformation we’re supporting clients through at this very moment, has brought to light three critical lessons we believe are vital for organizations to incorporate, now.
Let’s be honest, these concepts were important pre-COVID; yet, as we look ahead, they are even more vital to organizations looking to differentiate and “win” post-COVID. They also are neither mutually exclusive, nor collectively exhaustive. Yet taken in part, or in whole, these lessons can dramatically change the direction of an organization, create competitive advantages and position an organization for sustainable success.
The pace of change continues to accelerate. Organizations must be flexible and nimble, adapting and evolving at every turn. Simply adding head count to solve systemic process and technology issues is costly and inhibits your ability to quickly react. Agile organizations don’t happen by accident, however. Leading organizations are investing in the following areas to become more agile.
Prior to COVID, unemployment was at an all time low. Fast forward 12 months, top talent is even more difficult to find (and keep). COVID in some cases has shrunk the labor market, due in large part of the complexities of keeping children in school and in child care. In other cases, roles are also changing and organizations must be proactive in understanding these fundamental shifts. Investing in the areas below can help your organization stay out in front.
Higher workforce and customer satisfaction — that is what’s at stake here. A clear purpose is everything to an organization. It is why it exists and why it is relevant. It’s not that purpose has not been important in the past, but current trends point to purpose being more important than ever. It defines why customers choose to do business with us, and why talent wants to be a part of our organization. What’s more, our customers and employees are more sophisticated than ever and can detect pure marketing from something that is engrained into the fabric of the organization. This doesn’t mean you need to have a century old history to lean on. But, rather, you must be able to effectively answer the question, “why do we exist?” And, further, you must have the vision, strategy and operating model that proactively supports and answers that question. These next few areas are critical to success.
These three strategies are not necessarily simple nor quick to implement. However, making calculated investments and putting key components into motion now can help accelerate execution. In its most simplistic state, it boils down to driving toward greater awareness, agility and resource effectiveness. That’s how organizations will position themselves to win in the future.
Contact John Cavalier at firstname.lastname@example.org or a member of your service team to discuss this topic further.
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.
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