We’ve all adapted to an ever-changing environment by leveraging technology and our abilities to creatively re-engineer our work paradigms.
- The majority of companies surveyed throughout the COVID crisis have said they plan some type of permanent changes to their current operating models
- Benefits Witnessed: Agility, Collaboration, Access to Talent (no geographic boundaries), Efficiency in Productivity, Work-Life-Balance
- Downsides Experienced: Face-to-Face Contact, Day-to-Day Management of Less Experienced Workers, Interviewing New Hires
- Leveraging Lessons Learned: We can’t plan for the unknown but we can prepare and learn to operate differently so future potential negative impacts are dramatically lessened or avoided
Can this type of operating model be sustainable?
We’ve all adapted to an ever-changing environment by leveraging technology and our abilities to creatively re-engineer our work paradigms. The key questions remain: 1) Is this is the best way for us to operate?, 2) Could we expand upon this strategy by reducing our need for physical space further?, 3) What have we learned from this crisis and how should it make us rethink our operations moving forward?
Is this the best way for us to operate?
Clearly, key variables are definitely predicated upon your unique organization. What is your culture, what you do produce/create/service, who are your clients, etc? There is no one answer fits all, it is solely dependent upon your nuanced operation.
However, there appear to be clear advantages realized during this accelerated experimental period. Specifically, fixed cost liabilities have been viewed and addressed in a more meaningful manner; i.e., a keen focus on what are non-essential vs essential business expenses. This distinction has taken on a whole new meaning given the heavy burden certain obligations have had on companies throughout this pandemic.
Could we expand upon this strategy by reducing our need for physical space further?
What are/could be the risks of operating in this environment within our physical spaces? Do we need to see each other every day/week/month? Can we operate efficiently and effectively in a new manner?
These are big, structural, and cultural changes to contemplate. A great first step might be to find out (and quantify) how your colleagues are adapting. Monthly or bi-monthly surveys can only enhance how your organization is doing. By looking at a timeline of results, trends and troubles will likely emerge which can provide a better guide to how to tackle the issue on a more permanent basis. In addition, closely monitoring your competitors and your industry as a whole will also provide great insights while internal examinations unfold.
What have we learned from this crisis and how should it make us rethink our operations moving forward?
Agility, flexibility, uncertainty. These are the constant themes of this crisis. We hear it over and over again from the C-Suite. The next step is diagnosing the issues (Revenue, Expense, Culture, Operations, Technology) and then systematically laying out what-if scenario planning to better map out a course to calmer waters in times of turbulent change that may lay ahead.