When Covid-19 burst on the scene in early 2020, businesses faced dramatic shifts and the importance of strategic agility became critical. To survive, leaders were encouraged to pivot into new markets by developing new business models.
As history has proved, during unprecedented times, it is necessary to prepare for what is next. Visionary leaders like Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Winston Churchill, and Nelson Mandela did not simply react to threats they looked beyond the horizon. They were guided and their people in turn motivated by their vision for a better future.
McKinsey research demonstrates companies who pursued big strategic moves persistently through every phase of the economic cycle, increased their odds of outperforming their peers.
This is especially urgent during a global crisis. Trend lines have changed, global supply chains are fractured, many of B2B customers have closed, and millions of consumers unemployed.
When the pandemic comes to an end the business environment that we operate in will be very different from what it was prior to the crisis. Businesses need to begin preparing for this now. It may be hard to see, however the seeds of the next great growth industries are beginning to take root.
Spend time envisioning your future
Given the urgent present demands, leaders can be tempted to delegate responsibility of strategic thinking to others. However, it is critical that people who sign off on decisions dedicate time on a weekly basis to explore and envisage where they want their organisation to be when the crisis passes.
Interrogate what is likely to change about your customers, markets, and operating environment, and what is not. Focus on what your customers will require, how you will meet their new and evolving demands, along with the resonance of your products and services, and your overall capabilities.
Lay out a path from your long-term vision to the mid-term, and from there to tomorrow.
Reverse-engineer a series of benchmarks and milestones at regular intervals. This process allows you to drive your business forward and not be overly constrained by the current climate.
Take time to listen, and then pivot if necessary
It is crucial now more than ever to listen to customers, measure and track your progress, conserve resources, and enhance your ability to change direction, if required.
When working toward goals, you must be attentive to feedback, abandon ideas if failed after tested. Remain agile and learn quickly. Continue to envision future actions.
Rally the troops and replenish your mind and body
The cohesion of your team is critical. Changing environments require your team to adjust and make sacrifices so they need to believe in a better future.
Do not underestimate the importance of finding time for simple daily routines that preserve your mental and physical stamina. Fatigue may cloud your judgment and interfere with your ability to process information and remain level-headed.
Identify moments when you’ll especially require an energy boost. If you know you have a stressful task ahead, take a walk beforehand. Exercise is a tested way to restore energy, therefore plan workouts into your schedule. Sleep needs to be a priority rather than an afterthought. Try switching off from screens 30 minutes before bed to help you unwind. Encourage your employees to embrace these habits too.
Once a crisis ends, everyone is likely to remember how CEO’s acted during the pandemic. This is the toughest leadership test, but by spending 10-20% of your week focused on your strategy and vision, it will ensure you emerge stronger and more resilient.
Imagine gaining peace of mind to seamlessly access these answers and navigate other business challenges as they arise, simply by connecting with empathetic, knowledgeable industry peer leaders and entrepreneurs?
We encourage you to leverage Coraggio’s support system and capitalise on our give-and-take dynamic amongst people who have walked the path before.