• Adam Hill

Seven initiatives for resilient organisations entering recovery and thrive phase

A typical crisis unfolds across three phases: respond, during which the company deals with the present situation and managing continuity; recover, when a company learns and emerges stronger; and thrive, where the company prepares for the “next normal”. The challenge lies in being able to nimbly consider all three phases concurrently and allocate resources accordingly.

The necessity of operating differently gives businesses the opportunity to understand what they can do, especially as they start to emerge from the respond phase and move into recovery and thrive. Moving forward, they have to increase the speed of decision making, while improving productivity, using technology and data in new ways, and accelerating the scope and scale of innovation.

1. Uncover value. In order to stabilise the company, rapidly reallocate funds and people towards projects or programmes to drive profit. Discontinue obsolete products or service offerings. Define the transformation journey towards growth either through customer focus, product innovation or market/revenue growth.

2. Inspire and empower the business. Leaders who empower employees to take on more responsibility for execution, action and collaboration. Develop an approach to achieve “fail fast” culture in order to drive agility and speed. Address concerns early for faster decision making.

3. Speed up decision making. Empower employees to approve decisions within agreed parameters. Be clear on who that is and when they have the authority to approve a decision. That means tolerating mistakes that don’t put the business at risk. Organisations who want to move faster must put trust in employees and motivate them to be willing to act.

4. Stay engaged with customers. Organisations that genuinely address customer needs can strengthen relationships. Review and adapt the customer communication strategy to be more reachable. Innovate the product portfolio to address urgent needs.

5. Workforce adaptability. Organise your teams around a flexible way of working. Focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to strengthen communities. Focus on outcomes rather than activity to accelerate pace. Turn employees into culture creators, rewarding good ideas.

6. Develop emotional intelligence. In addition to making the difficult decisions, leaders need to express empathy and compassion for the human side of upheaval. Encourage people to adopt a calm and methodical approach to whatever happens next.

7. Leverage technology and accelerate digital transformation. From enabling remote working and driving better collaboration to supporting clients’ changing requirements. Simplify processes and eliminate unnecessary tasks, determine the fastest ways of getting work done.

And at the heart of each of these tactics is speed—getting things done fast, and well. Organisations who remove boundaries, break down silos, streamline decision-making and other processes, empower frontline leaders, and suspend slow-moving hierarchies and bureaucracies will see powerful outcomes. These outcomes are possible, but not inevitable.

Driving organisational change is deliberate, it does not occur organically. It requires desire, effort, investment and action to cultivated and maintained by leaders.

Company successes forged during the crisis need to be hardwired into the new operating model; and leaders must ensure their organisations do not revert to old behaviours and processes. That requires making permanent structural changes that can sustain speed in ways that will inspire and engage employees.

For further information, including details on how to accelerate growth including three building blocks for success, download our full whitepaper.

In our next blog, we’ll be sharing the first of the three major building blocks for the new normal, hybrid working, so keep an eye on our social channels where we’ll be publishing details.

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