Until recently, the term “disruption” in business circles meant a radical change, bringing evolution to its entire processes. However, in the wake of COVID-19, the term has changed, and “Business as usual” is now infamously known as “business unusual.”
Agile culture or the zeal to be flexible enables organizations to pro-actively respond to the challenges of COVID-19 crisis, which includes the shift of the competitive landscape in an environment of heightened anxiety. Business culture is an essential component bringing together colleagues, and stakeholders engaging them to feel involved in a shared purpose and mission. The behaviours which power an agile work culture in these challenging times can be cohesively understood by examining the three critical dimensions which include, employee listening, inclusion and diversity (I&D) and communication.
COVID-19 has bought a gamut of uncertainty making organisations sit up and recognise leadership and employee sentiments thereby explore new ways of working for business continuity. This perspective piece provides humongous change management insights with the best practices that assist organisations in minimising the COVID-19 impact on employees, operations, stakeholders and the macro business environment.
Changing the Covid-19 Curve with Business Agility
To quote Bob Dylan, “Times they are a changing”
Though this may be an understatement that doesn’t mean that change itself has to be scary for the businesses. However, addressing change management with a flexible attitude can be the push businesses need to better address their customer’s present needs as their behaviours change in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing Business Agility with Resilience
More customers are likely to seek and use digital channels for a better reach of their products and services. Businesses must take into account that in-person actions may fade to the background and will be replaced by remote digital customer interactions which would gain sudden prominence. Conventional interactions are evolving to address the interactions that happen between staffers and businesses. This leads managers to delegate critical decision-making aspects to those “in the field.”
Maintaining existing connections with customers and fostering new ones is crucial to an enterprise’s economic well-being.
Here are three agility concepts to consider-
1) Taking Customised Calls for Business Operations
Remember the cliché “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures?” Well, this is an extraordinary crisis. To remain relevant, enterprises need to strategize for restructuring and re-allocation of its resources to new priorities or the new normal.
2) Harmonise Team Management and Call for Employee Safety
Ensuring employee safety is a primal concern. Equally important is empowering employees who are working remotely to enable them to make critical and informed decisions in real-time. Agility calls for unified decision power down the enterprise funnel. That paves way for digital solutions like unified communications platforms.
3) Transparent Communication to Keep Connected
Whether or not enterprises can see their customers in person, they must continue nurturing those priceless relationships. Beyond being merely friendly, it is good brand-building. It will keep businesses top-of-mind with decision-makers when the time arrives to choose from the business or a competitor’s offer. Ditto keeping in contact with suppliers and vendors. Enterprises must note that there’s no excuse for being “out of sight and out of mind” when the nearest online Zoom meeting room is a click away.
The ongoing pandemic has laid grounds for the organization and their ability to embrace change. Their response will determine whether they manoeuvrer the high tides and venture out with an agile, flexible, and resilient mindset, or turn topsy-turvy in the future. The present new normal is not just a question of surviving, instead becoming agile is a pathway to thriving. Not only does it benefit the enterprise, but it helps stakeholders happy too.