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Shifting back from the personal to the professional after disruptions

This is an article ‘Shifting back from the personal to the professional after disruptions’ by Marc Primo


Business leaders probably would have mentioned international relations, startups, sector diversity, and artificial intelligence as the most significant industry disruptions before COVID-19 broke out. Perhaps thousands of CEOs, owners, and entrepreneurs of private businesses worldwide were caught off guard when the global health crisis suddenly affected operations across industries. Now that its adverse effects have somewhat waned in recent months, the shift back into professional standards may have a few changes we must consider.



Refocusing on new growth strategies undoubtedly overhauled priorities and introduced fresh concepts such as work-from-home arrangements, fintech, or eCommerce, among others. But what does it take to future-proof your business in a post-pandemic world?


As CEOs prepare for rebound and recovery strategies, those who have survived the disruption must deal with transformed customer expectations, a still-challenged supply chain, and hybrid working practices. In this article, we shall learn more about how their priorities shift and what this means for our aspirations for future growth in entrepreneurship.


Reimagining opportunities for business continuity


For most businesses, the health crisis offered a changing set of problems. These challenges have forced them to transition from a phase in which ensuring business continuity was the top concern to long-term strategies that will allow them to adapt to new conditions, gain resilience, and embrace new economic possibilities.


Given the need to adjust, many entrepreneurs are placing a high priority on redefining their business growth perspectives that can withstand more unforeseen disruptions in the future. Although some of the most pressing priorities today seem to represent past COVID-19 issues, each has evolved to suit current circumstances in the new normal.


The importance of resource allocation and its alignment with business goals has increased due to changing operational circumstances. Private businesses generally fall into one of two categories: those that were severely impacted by the pandemic and needed to resort to some forms of restructuring or downsizing, and those that are adjusting to new business models to improve the way they handle resources, skill sets, and competencies. Developing digital competencies is now even more crucial for both than before COVID-19.


Strengthening operations with people in mind


Employee resilience is essential to long-term success if the pandemic has taught company leaders anything. It has also become evident that a company's human resources are the most crucial component, even while other factors like digital transformation, improved value propositions, reimagined customer experiences, and risk assessment activities all contribute to organizational strength.


It is not surprising today that developing a more people-centered plan which places the company's staff at the center of its strategies has shot to the top of most business leaders' priority shopping list. This new practice aims to renew the focus on creating a more aligned business that safeguards and continuously develops talent, instituting new work models, boosting agility, and establishing a more transparent culture in the workplace.


Recent studies show that among the top initiatives that put people at the heart of business strategies concern efforts to ensure leadership visibly rewards innovation and creates a clear management roadmap for long-term resilience.


Service improvement at a faster pace


COVID-19 has transformed how customers expect services and products to cater to their needs. This change is dictated by how businesses can experience a sharp rise in online sales resulting from work-from-home arrangements, for example. One thing for sure is that most of these changes are becoming new practices that put sustainability as another main focus for businesses to reshape customer expectations. Although developing new products and services has always been every business's goal, company leaders are now trying to better understand the risks and merits of these changing customer demands and needs. Doing so allows them to modify what they can offer their niche markets while also readjusting customer journeys that will perform better across the marketing funnel.


The health crisis demonstrated how resourceful some organizations are at reorienting to meet needs that are changing quickly. For instance, some cosmetic brands changed how they offer products by developing hand sanitizer goods. Some companies that offered alcoholic beverages made more ethyl or isopropyl alcohol by volume to meet increasing demands and the lack of supply. Some manufacturing businesses turned to make ventilators during the pandemic.


While some of these operational spin-offs may only be ephemeral or perhaps foreseen as new possibilities to explore, other significant business pivots may tell loyal customers that a shift in how their favorite brands can meet their demands might also occur. Because of this, identifying the product or service innovations that are essential for success in customer expectations in a post-pandemic environment has become critical for most business leaders.


Data matters more than ever


Even before the pandemic, a significant number of companies have already begun shifting toward cloud-based platforms and other digital transformations. During the health crisis, though, nearly every business has one way or another invested in eCommerce, with 43% benefitting from the transition during the first year of COVID-19.


Private businesses are prioritizing AI and ML-powered real-time data analytics and migration that can accurately spot customer behavior patterns, purchasing habits, and satisfaction levels after witnessing the pandemic's tremendous influence on customer practices.


These customer manifestations have since put data analysis at the higher tier of business leaders' priorities post-pandemic to gain reliable data-driven insights and decisions and allow them to experience improved traction in their online channels, which leads to higher conversions.


Sustainability is what matters most


Businesses that have survived the pandemic still face significant challenges in identifying the strategies and business models that will propel their companies forward sustainably. Up to now, the pandemic's effects continue to manifest themselves in the global market, which leaves many wondering what strategies can future-proof their businesses amid more unforeseen disruptions.


In any market or economic condition, companies that put a premium on the range of capabilities they can muster in balancing time, resources, and human resources investments enable them to be more resilient in adapting, shifting, and developing new strategies. These four fundamental shifts that every business should prioritize could further allow private entities to attain long-term sustainable growth as they reimagine their business framework amid any disruption.