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StrategyApr 15, 2020

5 Predictions of How COVID-19 Will Change Business Operations Post-Outbreak

Andrew Warden

As the consumer changes so the leaders, employees, and businesses change. Business has already experienced significant disruption across global supply chains, employee work situations with the new work from home transition, and an amplified reliance on technology. These changes will most likely increase as the world experiences further repercussions of the COVID-19 outbreak across business processes, economic systems, and consumer behavior.

Our colleagues at sparks & honey used their Q platform to reveal new, emerging consumer behaviors. They’ve found six changes that will more than likely transform the way we all behave post-COVID-19:

  1. Health: Move from a reactive approach to proactive engagement with health and wellness.

  2. Education: Move from an institution-based model to an anywhere and anytime mindset.

  3. Relationship: Move from many superficial relationships with ambiguous value to focus on enriching ones with clear value.

  4. Work-Business: Move from hierarchy, silos, and complexity to flatter and adaptive organizations with the ability to pivot quickly.

  5. Connectivity: Move from a ‘why do this online?’ perspective to a ‘why do this in-person?’ viewpoint.

  6. Information: Move from an ecosystem where we’re all experts and influencers to a focus on the importance of science, concrete facts, and legitimate expertise.

These consumer movements in turn have an impact on how leaders and businesses in general transform. We’ve made five predictions about the way business operations and approaches will change in a post-COVID world.

5 predictions of how covid-19 will change business operations post-outbreak

1. De-stigmatization of Work Life Integration

We’ve been reminded of what is important in life. Additional time with family and the impact of working from home for many employees has dispelled any pretense that work and home don’t mix. As children and pets entered many a video call, organizations will begin to think about the relationship between work and home differently. Gone are the days of work/life balance, enter the days of work/life blend. This reframing will hopefully create more manageable work schedules for those who need it and increased opportunities for businesses to hire the right people even if they aren’t in the “right” geography.

2. Forced Digital Transformation

If we can thank COVID-19 for anything, it’s the modernization of some traditional industries. Employment agencies are forced to go paperless and now almost every gym has an online fitness offering. Organizations who have been pushed into a digital transformation because of necessity have the opportunity to capitalize on the potential new capacity and flexibility.

3. Supply Chain Visibility

The opaque supply chain is now dead. Organizations who didn’t know who was upstream from their product because of subcontracting felt the strain when their supply chain was disrupted. The consumer need for transparency will be translated into the global supply chain and businesses will require an additional layer of visibility from subcontractors.

3. Clarity of Purpose

COVID-19 has clarified the strategy for many organizations. With executive teams meeting daily and working more closely than ever to guide organizations through the outbreak, businesses are poised to bring that teamwork to bear in the next phase. Organizations who can bring executive teamwork and camaraderie from all employees will find hope and clarity of purpose after the virus. Here at Credera, we’ve found significant cohesion as an executive team as we have met more often and feel a strong alignment across our leadership team and firm.

5. Create Flexible Strategies

Organizations have been shocked into the realization that maybe they weren’t quite as prepared as their business continuity playbooks suggested. The new strategy will be a flexible one. When asked about innovation post-COVID-19, Jeremy Balkin, director of innovation at HSBC, shares that “the [business] mission should be to build new, resilient, innovative businesses.” Creating a corporate strategy that has innovation at the core will create a business that isn’t caught off guard as much as they may have been during this disruption.

looking forward

While the other side of the COVID-19 equation is still to be determined, there are some hints at what life after the outbreak will look like. Finding new ways to do business, embracing the new clarity of purpose and digital transformation that was created could result in the creation of businesses that are very different than their January 2020 selves.

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