Don’t Just Chase the Puck – Do you know how and where to position your company in the future?
By Kristin Kelley Janacek, Digital Strategy Officer at VNCTech Group
Let us start by stating the obvious, how we work has radically shifted. We entered the year of 2020 full of hopes and aspirations for the onset of a new decade with emerging opportunities and changes. Little did we know on January 1st that our world would be transforming so rapidly and dramatically.
(Source: JPMorgan “2020 Business Leader Outlook”
Do you know where your market is heading? Do you know your market needs for 2021 and beyond? Are your customers demanding more from your company? How are your employees doing? Are they thriving in the automatic shift in work environments?
Business leaders are challenged to chart the course and create the game plan for the team. Serving customers, developing future offerings, watching market signals, and creating efficiencies in the workplace are a few of the typical tasks business leaders work on each day.
This year, the world abruptly changed. Perhaps you had a vision of creating a remote work option for your employees but now you have boot-strapped tools to allow virtual collaboration to keep your company operational during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Your customers are now working with you remotely and processes for delivery have shifted. Did you have the infrastructure planned out or were you forced to create a solution over night?
You have created a method for working through the pandemic in new and innovative ways, jumping past the “digital divide” and you have embraced technologies which you might have been evaluating but had not committed to. Good for you! You are an emerging leader.
But what does your company’s future hold? Will you be chasing the puck or getting ahead of the puck and playing offense? Business leaders now have a choice of how they want to lead in the future.
Play Defense: Pre-Pandemic Comfort Zone
Will you revert to pre-pandemic methods of doing business? Have you considered your go-to-market strategy, your workforce environment, your pricing and payments structure? Some companies are comfortable with the way things used to be and there will be some that revert to what has been tried and true in the past. Time will tell if these companies have the strong foundation to continue to serve their customers in a compelling way that continue to drive success. Will employees be as satisfied going back to the way things were or will there be a new standard of working that will be set?
Chase the puck: Sustain the changes
Will you sustain the changes that have been implemented? By now, you have experimented with technologies that have helped your company survive these drastic changes. Perhaps you made a hasty decision for which technology suite to use, but you have seen the value of different technologies like video conferencing, online white boarding, e-payment options, workflow management or other tools. Which of these are providing flexibility for growth and efficiency that you have been seeking? What tools will stay and what will be swapped out. Many companies will be using this time to benchmark decisions and, in the future, continue to improve from the foundation that has been stitched together.
Advance to the Pros: Embrace the momentum
Will you embrace the pace of change and continue to propel forward to the new decade of change and find opportunities for growth and improvement? Now your company has potentially embarked in more change than had ever been experienced before. This momentum to continue to improve will be the new culture inside of companies. Companies are also recognizing how agile and fragile the market is and will be more dynamically nimble to the evolving needs of customers. Will your company embrace the momentum?
The truth of 2020:
Half-way through this year, we can say one thing is true, 2020 is the year of rapid change unlike any year we have seen before. If our new years predictions of this decade are true, then we will continue to see this trend continue and will become the new pace of doing business. Are you ready?
The Call to Action for Leaders:
To be able to keep up this pace, it is vital to understand the variables in your control and out of your control to realize future success. Taking a deeper look at your business model can help you to understand these variables and how to watch the trends so you can create a roadmap that is robust to most changes that occur. Externally, you will realize that how you position your products and services is as vital as understanding the adjacent market trends. Perhaps growth opportunities in markets which you previously thought were out of bounds become visible and achievable.
By now you have taken a look at your internal variables, but perhaps the quick decisions you were forced to make during the pandemic have caused a loosening of grip on some of the costs and efficiencies you have worked hard to establish. Now is a great time to press refresh and benchmark what is working well and where improvements can be made. Because processes and procedures existed before, the only reason to keep things the same is if it is still creating value and efficiency for your organization. The tools you are using should also be providing value and a return.
2020 is the year of change and why not reassess what works for you. Companies now have momentum they need to determine what their company will provide in the future. Many have strong values and a loyal customer base so perhaps staying true to your values and processes is important. For others and likely most companies, this is an opportunity to continue the momentum and make the changes to emerge as a stronger company with more loyal workforce and delighted customers. The opportunity to chase the puck or play offense is yours.
To make this all happen requires a bold new type of leadership and in some cases, additional help. The VNCTech Group brings together experts with diverse experiences and a numerous success stories helping business leaders create the necessary change to propel them to the next phase of evolution for their company.