Organizational leadership will face a recurring pressure to adapt rapidly — or fail
The mid- and long-term effects of the current global pandemic have yet to show their true numbers. The economic impact on major industries will continue to ripple out, disrupting supply chains, advancing bankruptcies and entirely reshaping the very nature of how business is done.
While there is still much left to be learned, one thing is clear — this will not be the last major market disruption business leaders will experience. This crisis environment and sweeping changes will likely become a recurring theme. Organizations and industries with leadership prepared and willing to adapt will succeed. Those who fight the change and stick to the status quo will be shuttered for good.
Regardless of no one wanting to hear it, it is true: Our industries and markets will never be the same. Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Leadership around the world have started to and will continue to rethink how business is done — from manufacturing, distribution and supply chains, to service delivery and remote work.
Innovative leaders and organizations will thrive, and new cottage industries will emerge to take the place of aging or dead ways of doing business. Specifically, we will see major competitors to Amazon. We will see a monumental rise in home delivery over brick-and-mortar shopping and dining. Commercial real estate must pivot in response to a new norm as demand for large gathering spaces will continue to weaken.
Organizationally and internally, leadership must adapt traditional office norms to virtual work-from-home teams. Technologies that enable virtual environments, including AI, will increase in demand and output. Organizations are implementing digital tools at a rapid rate to enable personal and professional collaboration. Long live the virtual happy hour.
And with unemployment at unprecedented levels, leadership now has access to new talent that will be hungry for work. Leadership can take advantage of this time to improve its talent pool and weed-out any employees unwilling to or failing to adapt to the changing times.
In all, for leadership to stand tall into the uncertain future, they need to be proactive: Diversify revenue streams and implement technology now to enable your organization into the future. They must be balanced: Rethink traditional work environments, supply chains, physical spaces, and be ready to handle the “old normal” and “new normal” in equal measure. And they have to be innovative: Rethink and rebuild your business model, business processes, M&A strategies and technologies to enable greater flexibility and responsiveness to whatever the future brings.
Steve is a husband, father, and business exec. He loves anything outdoors, anything that is a hard challenge, and enjoys working with anyone who wants to continually improve. And golf. He loves golf. Steve is the founder and CEO of Executive Advisory Partners.