COVID-19 has profoundly pushed the way we do business transformation
It has forced organizations to think differently about how they operate with little cash. A lot of businesses have been fast to find innovative ways to overcome the crisis by engaging remote workforces, ensuring onsite safety through rigorous protocols, and identifying novel ways of working. All the while, remaining focused on delivering shareholder value.
With the year rapidly approaching H2, there remains a cautious sense of optimism – some countries are opening back up, while others are heading back into lockdown. The global vaccine rollout is encouraging, and many are focusing their hope and efforts on a post-COVID ‘new normal’. For many sectors however, the devastating economic and productivity consequences of the crisis will be felt for years to come. There is no question that the pandemic has had a significant impact on industrial activity and markets. The road to recovery is long and the potential for prolonged economic weakness remains a source of ongoing uncertainty. And this, in turn, could undermine growth, weaken market sentiment, and increase price volatility.
The world has changed, normal has gone and we are never going back. This creates the need for leaders to reinvent their businesses.
So, what does this mean for leaders in 2021? Given our work with some of the world’s leading organizations supporting their operational and digital business transformations, we recently developed a blueprint on how leaders can transform their operations amid ongoing uncertainty and achieve operational excellence. Here are our top five tips on what you can do to implement business transformation on your operations:
1. First and foremost, focus on your people.
The future of business transformation is still people. Untapped people power is a company’s greatest asset and its secret sauce. Create an engaged and energized team willing to ride out challenges and buckle down to perform by adopting Active Management Behaviors and a HeadsUp Leadership style.
2. Implement active management strategies to ensure speed and certainty to cash.
Budget blowouts and schedule overruns negatively affect the financial performance of a company and ultimately, its share price. Ensure speed-to-cash and limit budget overruns by analyzing risk, developing detailed mitigation plans and implementing Short Interval Control. The outcome will be a continuous improvement loop of enhanced productivity and saved time.
3. Do more with less through an Active Management Operating System.
Constraints drive innovation and change. This is true not just for tangible resources, but for intangible assets such as leadership. A well implemented Management Operating System (MOS) will allow you to maintain high levels of productivity with limited resources. Active Management Behaviors provide a framework for people managers that ensures consistent and focused leadership for their businesses’ operations.
4. Think of the customer journey when you evaluate your supply chain strategy.
Never has it been more critical to deliver against customer expectations. Increasing communication frequency with your supply chain will ensure agile responses to changing needs. First movers can compensate for the challenges left in the wake of COVID-19, by delivering an enhanced customer experience. Achieve this by launching rapid and targeted cost reduction, optimization of capital projects and revenue enhancement programs.
5. Digital benefits through humanistic enablement
Digital business transformation programs will be an important lever, but only when enabled through people. New technologies need to add to existing human capabilities, not replace them. Businesses looking to digitise should have a Digital Journey plan that ensures ROI by successfully implementing proven technology and engaging your people in the process. To reference our first point, first and foremost, it should be about your people.
In summary, businesses across most sectors continue to face further uncertainty and challenges in the remaining year ahead. The key to success, however, is how leaders respond to ongoing uncertainty. Getting on the front foot by securing your operations through a sustainable framework is key.