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Rethinking your Strategy for the "New Normal"

The pandemic is having a substantial impact on people and businesses alike, forcing organisations of all sizes to review the way they operate across various channels.

What we have witnessed is two-fold. On the one hand, there are organisations who have been quick to adapt and are maximising opportunities during a difficult period with some even prospering. Meanwhile, those who are not redesigning their strategy are sadly struggling to stay afloat or going out of business altogether.

With regards to remote working, we are all aware of the monumental shift needed to keep businesses running as close to normal as possible, but ask yourself if you are maximising the unique set of challenges therein. Naturally, there needs to be a working conditions minimum level to enable employees to perform efficiently, but for business leaders it goes beyond that, including being able to follow up from a distance and therefore alter the daily management of teams. This comprises the need to adapt KPIs, to implement efficient project follow-up strategies, and to ensure that implicit processes that usually take place in a face-to-face environment still get given the attention they need. This is not to mention the onboarding of new recruits, and the retraining of employees in certain areas. Of course, these can also be opportunities, including the chance for businesses to review processes, bring employees together, and to globalise.

Adaptation speed and business agility is also crucial to success in this uncertain time. We all know that in “normal times” 70% of strategies fail; the pandemic only put the spotlight on that fact. As a process, strategy needs to be agile with monthly – or even weekly – strategy reviews, which allow for a faster reaction, adaptation, and deviation correction. Integrating an agile culture within the company will ensure that you have greater ability to cope with change in a short period of time. 

Another point of recognition are businesses initiatives to increase revenue by fast-tracking themselves thanks to the pandemic. The most popular onset here is in improving digital marketing and strengthening e-commerce. And why not? Online sales in the UK, for example, have peaked since the beginning of the pandemic, providing an approximate 9-year growth in just 1 year. There are many other cases of organisations using the pandemic as an accelerator for growth where a period of uncertainty for some fast-tracked others long-term plans. Another example is retail discounter Aldi who recently set up a “click & collect” service which its competitors had been using but which Aldi had not been able to implement until now.

Finally, the most popular measure to improve employee motivation and to reduce costs is to focus on continuous improvement and cultural transformation. The three capabilities in the KAIZEN™ continuous improvement methodology are to rethink your processes, change the people, and redesign a solid, structured strategy and respective deployment. Equally important is to manage change throughout and give adequate support to employees, as it can be a bit daunting. Remember, though, that with every challenge comes opportunity, and digital tools are the ones businesses should be taking full advantage of. They bring new revenue, customers and markets. 

These findings were evaluated by experts João Castro, Senior Partner at Kaizen Institute Western Europe, and Simon Crowther, Chief Executive Officer at i-nexus, based on our latest peer-led survey which contributed to last week’s webinar exploring the challenges in strategy redesign.

You can access the recording of the event on the following link.

#strategy and leadership

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