Outmaneuver Uncertainty: How to run effective business services during COVID-19

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As governments make significant interventions in response to the coronavirus, businesses are rapidly adjusting to the changing needs of their people, their customers, and suppliers, while navigating the financial and operational challenges.

With every industry, function, and geography affected, the amount of potential change to think through can be daunting. 

How can business leaders react to the challenges, reassess what they do, reconfigure their companies, and reinvent their activities to adapt to the disruption and prepare for the new normal?

The implications of climate change, new technologies, digitalization, demographic changes, artificial intelligence, and financial and political uncertainties have moved many of us. We saw a significant event coming, but the pandemic has likely taken it at least one level up from our expectations.

The impact of the coronavirus is being felt globally by organizations, governments, and people.  As organizations seek to open business operations there will be an ominous question lurking over these organizations, in the form of “ What business operations do we need to prioritize and adapt to start our journey to recovery?”

Most organizations’ will look to implement or adapt business operations, as we wait to see how society loosens social distancing and how consumers react to the bearish economic downswing.  There will be plenty of opportunity in business operations, but few organizations’ will fluently navigate the correct channels to achieve this sort of success.

Over the next 12-18 months, business leaders will be inundated with how to adapt to these trends accordingly, I believe leaders should consider the following:

  1. Get ready for a new normal. As anticipated, business operations will change indefinitely until we can assure the safety of everyone’s well being.  With that being said, we look at how many businesses might choose to rework supply chains or find local suppliers. Try to envision what might change in your industry in the future.  Be thoughtful about what jumps out at you, and figure out a way to adapt to these shifts in your business and everyday lifestyle in order to keep up with these changes and seize opportunities that come your way.

  2. Embrace your brand.  During these untried times, we need to look at how to efficiently and effectively tap into marketing channels that will continue to spread our mission and corporate values.  As emotions are at an all-time high (rightfully so), we look at the importance of seizing this opportunity to build community and a resilient brand that creates a silver lining of emotion in their customers’ and target market.

  3. Leverage technology business applications. To maintain social distancing, many leaders have turned to video conferencing and other tools to help them communicate with their teams. We encourage leaders to learn how to leverage these applications effectively. These can help you communicate with and support your team virtually now and in the future if you choose to continue operating remotely.

  4. Maintain optimism. As a business leader, I believe maintaining optimism is one of the most important attributes you can have. More than ever people are looking to business leaders to seek reassurance that things will be okay during these times of uncertainty. Remember to keep basic fundamentals strong and strive to remain confident in your teams’ abilities and work ethic. Continue adapting, and you could see things turn around. 

During times of crisis, business operations—the intelligence engine of an organization—are more important than ever. Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are being tested by rapidly evolving challenges, such as travel restrictions, and as large-scale remote working becomes a reality.

Take the steps to today to help ensure and strengthen your organizations business operations preparing it to lead the landscape of tomorrow. 

Megan Van Petten
Van Petten Group, INC.

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