• Rod Sherwin

Your business has survived the last 6 months, now what?

Does it feel like your business is holding it's breath until we get back to "normal"? You've got things set up for a remote workforce, which made sure your business could keep functioning at a basic level, but what about the other ways the business needs to adapt and adjust such as strategy, finance, policies, processes and decision making?


As we know, especially in Melbourne, it's a long slow careful return so what else does your business need to do to adapt to the constantly changing environment? To not just survive until things return to normal but use this time as a catalyst to make your business even more responsive and adaptive.


In this article, I'll explore a few key areas and look forward to hearing from you about which areas of your business still need to become more adaptive and responsive.


Strategic Planning and Decision Making


In Australia, we saw a situation where the Federal Government was passing legislation that was more than two months out of date. This is an example of an organisation that can't keep up with the rapid rate of change the world is experiencing.


In your business, how relevant is that strategic planning that you did at the start of 2020? What about the planning you did at the start of June 2020? Do you have projects, possibly implementing these strategies, still in progress but no longer make sense? How long does it take your company to identify these and reallocate the funds and staff to more useful efforts? Are HR policies enabling or hamstringing these changes?


Budget and Finance


What if you could adapt your strategic planning and budgeting process to respond and adapt each quarter, or even each month? This would be an incredible competitive advantage compared to traditional ways of operating. The faster things are changing, the more often you need to check that you're heading in the right direction.


How easy is it for your business to reallocate finances as needed? Is the annual budgeting process slowing down the speed at which you can react? How can you work with your finance professionals to be more agile in response to shifting needs?


Marketing, Products and Services


Many traditional bricks and mortar businesses have made the shift to online more rapidly than they thought was possible a year ago. What if this channel actually proves more profitable than existing sales channels? Have you got plans to restructure the business to focus on this, or are you still thinking of going back to your previous channels after this is over? Most likely it will be some combo of both. How can you combine the channels to best effect?


And what about the commercial real estate? If 20-50% of your workforce no longer needs to work full time at the office, how can you work with your facilities team to adjust the property portfolio to this new normal?


Innovation

You hire smart people at every level of your organisation and the person closest to a problem probably has the best idea on how to solve it. How is your organisation giving every staff member the freedom to innovate? Which policies and processes are making this harder than it needs to be? Are you proving the capacity to innovate versus trying to optimise resource allocation to 100%?


Health and Well-being


If there's one area that has really been highlighted as part of the Covid crisis, it's the need to take care of our employees. Resilience, mindfulness and work life blend have become incredibly important to ease the mental health stresses we are all experiencing. Under stress, in flight, fight or freeze mode, the brain is not capable of the creative thinking and innovation that's required to help you business thrive. Rather than just yoga at lunch time, how can you make employee well-being an integral part of how your business operates?


End thoughts

I've asked a lot of questions in this article to spark ideas for your business. I'd love to hear these thoughts and the other ways in which your business can respond and adapt that I may not have touched on. I look forward to reading your comments.

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Melbourne VIC, Australia

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