Spring is emerging. Some curves are bending. Some parts around the world are easing the lockdown. Yet families are still suffering under those curves and much of the global economy remains frozen. With each challenging new week of the pandemic, CEOs gradually transition their focus from protecting business to recovery to retooling and asks: How do we learn during this crisis and retool our business so we emerge as a clear future winner.
While these CEOs agree on the “what” of the big idea, they differ on the “why”. Let’s explore the following ways you can categorise their vision:
The “lessons from lockdown” CEOs. They are enjoying the flexibility of working from home, the smaller and shorter Zoom meetings, the faster cadence, the greater experimentation, the empowerment of local offices and more.
The CEOs “rapidly speeding up trends.” They argue that the crisis brings nothing new, in fact, it is a rapid acceleration of current trends. This could be a digital disruption for their company, evolving customer behaviours, new attitudes towards climate change, globalisation erosion, and so on. They say, “These trends are gathering momentum. We need to have less talk and more action”
The pandemic has underlined the failure of the professional management system to put the client first. Customers suffer from the complexity of the organisation. Many CEOs understand that the more disruptive post-crisis world will require a leaner but stronger global centre. Center upgrading begins with risk management: the ability to predict risk, adapt and test resilience. Additionally, the Center must provide customers with the benefits of speed and scale.
Business builders will be the companies which emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. They understand the behaviours and needs of the customers will change. To respond to those changes they will build new businesses. They know the boundaries of the industry are to evolve. And they are going to build new businesses to lead and control those new pools of profit. This is the deepest, most critical work of the firm, yet it’s been forgotten by most incumbents. Long ago in favour of the professional management system and its promises of efficiency they lost the true art of business building.
As CEOs reconfigure the company around the building of the business, they will find that their global capabilities are not suitable for this purpose. They’re designed to run businesses, not to build. And the senior team is not designed to be fast, adaptive, and local experimentation and learning supportive. It is best to recognise that right from the beginning.
CEOs will also find they are suffering from the illusion of speed. They believe their company makes quick decisions. We’ve heard a number of CEOs commenting on Amazon over the last year, with some version of the following: “I’ve talked to a lot of Amazon leaders. The time taken around these legendary six-page memos makes my business look like a fast-moving startup. The processes that surround that memo are more bureaucratic than we have.
Opportunities for a Business Consultant
The current situation has affected not only the consulting sector but also the consultants. It’s not new working remotely for consultants. Consulting is the first industry to pioneer remote work since consultants need to work for their projects from different parts of the world. The current trend in digitization and technology adoption has become key to helping companies survive during these challenging times.
At the same time, these technologies have made consultants’ jobs easier by bringing their customers closer to them and working closer. Companies around the globe are looking for answers on how to handle this situation, and they are looking for consultants to get those answers. Companies have to restructure and cut their costs to reduce losses, something that consulting firms have been doing for a long time. Covid-19 has also created strains for corporations in human capital. HR consultants are highly demanded in addressing these economic consequences.
The seemingly slow six-page approval process is just one aspect of a “go” vs. “no go” decision. The business builder can get on with it when it leads to a “go.” By contrast, hundreds of meetings and thousands of decisions involve the notably undefined process for business building by most incumbents.
How do we learn during this crisis and retool our business so we emerge as a clear future winner? If your small business struggles strategically and looks for survival strategies through the current crisis feel free to get in touch on 03 9798 6622. Our business consultants will be eager to assist, and possess a wealth of knowledge and experience to help grow your businesses in hard times.