Thankfully there appears to be some light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel.
The disruption to you, your loved ones, your organisations, employees, colleagues, customers and suppliers has been significant. Now it’s time to think about turning the corner – or several corners!
Business continuity planning is something which has been raised in a lot of virtual meetings and discussions and is a hot topic! This process is normally an advance planning and preparation process to ensure you can operate your critical business functions during an emergency event. When Covid-19 struck, not all organisations had this plan in place but there has been a lot of time invested in such planning to date. Another related hot topic is agile business process management, which is knowing how to change from your pre-defined and predictable business processes into flexibly handling challenging situations, resulting in major changes to your policies, processes and procedures. Granted some of these changes were speedily determined by Government regulations, but future-proofing your organisation will require this to happen as the country is gradually reopened.
The new norm is agile – as there may be future waves of the pandemic and you need to be able to respond more quickly based on the learning from this current crisis. Here I would like to share some proven key practices to guide you in mapping your own roadmap for your agile organisation and which can be used as a benchmark.
The key to creating a more agile organisation is to change your mindset. Move from the ‘tried and tested’ model based on competitor and market positioning, to one of recognising the value and importance of your frontline employees in creating a lean environment which will help to improve quality, efficiency and customer service.
The key practices are prioritised as follows:
- Your People – all frontline employees have more than proven their worth. They have risked their lives for the greater good, they have embraced working from home and they have engaged with swiftly changing processes and procedures – all of which has not been without it’s challenges. The absolute requirements for leading your people through new growth now are:
- People and heart-centred leadership;
- A culture of community, partnership, respect, recognition and accountability;
- Driven, passionate and dynamic employees;
- Role mobility and professional development.
- Your Customers/Clients/Service Users – their trust in your organisation has been phenomenal. Change was foisted on them, for some this was life-threatening and for most it was deeply disturbing and restrictive – all forced to live a compressed life. What have you learned from them about your readiness to serve and your ability to deliver what you promise? To grow from this, the key requirements are:
- A customer-centric approach to business;
- Ensure your stated corporate values are embodied in how your customers are treated, with respect, dignity and as valued members of your wider community;
- Ensure your employees have the skills, competencies, tools and equipment required to deliver on your customer promise and mission statement;
- Diligently apply the needs-based approach to the provision of all sales and service.
- Your Strategy – assess how robust your strategy was when Covid-19 struck. Realign according to the lessons learned from your key stakeholders and with the re-emerging global markets:
- Revise and share your values, vision and mission statements and ensure they are embodied in how your services and products are delivered;
- Consider and sieze all opportunities for growth;
- Ensure you have a people policy which is flexible;
- Have strong strategic and corporate governance guidance embedded in your Board of Directors and/or Executive Management Team.
- Your Processes and Technology – some of your technology platforms have been significantly subscribed to as a result of the closure of physical outlets. While some of this growth in usage will continue, people love people, and there will be a return to the physical outlets. Your business processes may have taken a big hit or you may simply have found more efficient and effective ways to conduct your business. So some growth practices to consider now are:
- Ensure your business processes are fit-for-purpose, scalable and customer oriented;
- Improve your results-based decision making process;
- Improve your performance and service-based learning processes;
- Ensure robust technology architecture, determined by your customer’s needs;
- Develop systems and tools that are user-friendly, not simply developer led.
There is only today – the past is gone and the future is unknown. Do what you can, with what you have from where you are today!
I wish you well in leading your teams as you manage the way forward for your organisation and all your stakeholders. If you have any questions on the above guidelines or would like to connect with me for a quick chat, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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