How to Leverage Corona Lessons into Business Benefits
Leverage the Business Benefits of COVID-19 Lessons
Many people are writing about the many lessons learned from this current pandemic; the short term adjustments required to continue trading, the need to act quickly to protect businesses and managing businesses with less staff. Some organisations believe that the world will never be the same again, others (like ourselves) believe that humans have a pretty short memory and an incredibly powerful ability to adapt to new circumstances, but equally the ability to fall back into old habits and routines.
We have learned to conduct business in new ways as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of these ways are less than ideal substitutes because needs must. Still, some organisations are being pleasantly surprised with some of the benefits, such as quicker co-located virtual meetings or training sessions that cut down on travel time and encourage people to focus on the essential points which make the meetings far more succinct.
In terms of what we have experienced and heard, here are some of the questions we should all be asking about our businesses:
- Are virtual meetings more efficient and effective in certain circumstances?
- Are there roles and responsibilities that have been merged and muddled in line with staffing changes and do any of them make more sense moving forward?
- What have you learned to live without, and are these savings or efficiencies something to consider keeping to improve results?
- Is flexible working a benefit or a very viable way to work? Now that we have had to trust people to work from home, was it so scary after all? Is work still getting done?
- Does remote management have a stronger role to play in the future of the business?
These seem to be recurring themes in our internal and external discussions. Undoubtedly we are sure that there will be more questions in due course.
Back to the initial question, will we seek out and embed benefits and lessons from this upheaval? Or will we forget them and go back to doing what we have always done? Forgetting and going back to old habits is easier after all…
The changes that we will make is a topic of some speculation at the moment, and only time will tell, but in our opinion, the answer will depend on one thing... leadership.
Returning Back to Work
If leaders identify and consciously choose to keep and embed beneficial practices, even fighting against their own comfort of doing what they have always done, and manage the change effectively, then lessons will be learned and the benefits retained. Should leaders refuse to change, then the organisation will lose these benefits pretty quickly.
Every organisation is different, and each will have its own lessons to learn, so there is no definite conclusion, but as a business, you should be asking yourself the following questions about COVID-19:
What have you learned?
Where are the benefits?
What will you change?