That the year 2020 was the year when businesses became truly flexible is no longer news. The year witnessed dramatic change in many businesses such that previously restrictive work concepts as working from home, digital transformation and work-life balance became acceptable and in many cases accounted for business continuity.
Solutions such as online services, home delivery options, video conferencing and cloud computing kept businesses afloat. Business leaders had to make quick decisions; one of which was Pfizer’s ability to produce one of the first COVID-19 vaccines to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in less than one year.
The trick of businesses and many CEOs in 2020 was mostly adapting in response to the challenges created by the outbreak of Covid 19 and dealing with the consequences.
With the year 2021, came a more aggressive trick of adapting proactively to the reality of the aftermath and continuous consequences of Covid 19 on businesses and the economies in general. The emphasis on digital transformation has become more intentional and not as a temporary solution as it was in 2020. Most CEOs have stepped back to review the spontaneous practices during the pandemic to see what works and can be adopted with many of such converted into policies and procedures that align with their corporate strategies.
In this last quarter of 2021, it is time for CEOs to shift focus on the future by not just adapting to change but anticipate change and assess what changes need to be made so that their businesses will thrive in the coming year.
Without any doubt year 2022 shall be a year of new opportunities to be explored only by those who are ready. This last quarter is the most apt time to brace up so as to have an early start in the coming year.
One of the areas that may draw attention of CEOs is the need for organization design; not reorganization or change of job tittles or job description but a redesign of systems, skills and strategy. Focus on the business strategy for the purpose of alignment may be required. In addition, systems must be designed to have clear policies and procedures which may be an offshoot of the post pandemic experience. To ensure performance the use of score cards, dash boards and effective KPIs are crucial.
One other thing that the pandemic has taught business owners is that many of the answers to uncertainty cannot be found in management theories. The business that will thrive in 2022 must therefore be ready to introduce Agile working conditions, redefine work as an activity we do and not just a place we go and must be willing to create a work space whether virtual or physical with matching appropriate practices, processes and technology.
For businesses that did not transform in the year 2021, next year will not be too late to catch up on the realities of the time. While transformation is a major shift in the organization’s capabilities and identity, it should be a welcome disruption that is expected to deliver valuable and competitive results that will help the business to build organizational agility.