With many US cities emerging from lockdown, businesses are considering their next moves, but some fear their window to act has passed. Even with lockdown restrictions loosening, re-entry into the world isn’t going to happen overnight, and even when it does happen, how people make their way in the world has changed forever. Reopening has started. Is it too late to transform?
When cities went into lockdown and businesses scrambled to understand how and IF they could operate, we published a series that discussed what businesses should consider to address immediate, midterm, and long-term impacts of the pandemic. Just like you, we’re reevaluating the current situation and doing what we can to work with our clients on how they are progressing. Most of the conversation now is around taking a step back – a breath – and figuring out what to stop, start, and continue. Now is the time to reassess whether the decisions made at an earlier point in time are holding up, or if you can use this reopening window to course correct. We all know a lot more now than we did then. Take a day and evaluate your state-of-the-business according to the following stages your business likely dealt with in the early days of the pandemic.
Businesses struggled to react quickly to the impacts of the pandemic and some did a valiant job. Others, not so much. Think about how your business reacted to operational impacts, customer reactions, and employee needs. With 20/20 hindsight, can you identify decisions made that seemed good in the moment but now expose a gap? For example, were employees directed to work from home but not provided with the proper equipment? Has that continued? Were customers receiving daily communications on the status of your operations at the beginning, but they haven’t heard from you in a few weeks now? It’s not too late to address these gaps and authentically respond to mistakes with a clear plan on how these will be corrected now.
How are recovery efforts going? Everyone has been heads down, doing what they can to stay productive and positive, but has that heads-down focus resulted in new processes and approaches that are not good; not sustainable? Take a minute and be heads-up. How are your teams feeling? They are on the front lines and may have some good input on what’s working and what’s not. What about your customers? Have you reassessed their needs between the initial impact and now? Where is your industry at right now? Are you on par with delivering customer care and experiences with your competitors? Are you alone delivering something that is working really well?
If the assessment of your business’ initial reaction is a post-mortem with clear correction steps, assessing your current efforts is a bit like building the proverbial plane while it’s flying, but its important to not let bad habits, systems, and processes become the norm going forward and double-down on what is working.
This is the easy part. You’ve taken an honest look at your business’ initial reaction and noted what needs to be fixed and you’ve picked your head up and assessed your current recovery efforts. Understanding the gaps and opportunities, now is the time to re-revise that roadmap and build business cases. Transformation is not too late. You just need to start.