The phrase ‘new normal’ has been trending on LinkedIn as a consequence of the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. A crisis is a great revealer and is starting to learn a lot about people, companies and communities. Leadership teams and C-suites executives are being put to the test. Crises expose both organisational strengths and weaknesses. They ask businesses to disrupt, reconsider and reimagine revenue streams and establish new ways of working. We find ourselves more aware of overlooked complacencies and pivoting to uncover innovative solutions to work. Maybe this is no bad thing. What’s more, this crisis will be one that may accelerate our future.
Rapid changes and uncertainty are the undercurrent of this crisis. Each day brings new developments and a raft of information and businesses have to be able to adapt quickly to stay relevant. When it comes to uncertainty, leaders will often look to other scenarios where perhaps there have been similar experiences. There has never been an experience like COVID-19, so leaders are the unique position whereby they are making decisions without ‘reference points’.
Of course this is also not just about looking after our individual business. It is also important that businesses meet UK government advice and guidelines. At Linear Investments, we have developed a crisis management plan that is specific to COVID-19, placing the health and wellbeing of our employees and clients as our priority and managing business disruption alongside this.
Whilst managing any crisis in the short term, leaders need to also think about the long term. There will be new fires that need to be put out as new problems arise, but we mustn’t lose sight of the end game. Therefore, managing the short term and keeping the longer term in mind is vital. Like all difficult times, this too shall pass.
This crisis has the capability of accelerating a new normal, so how can the world and businesses alike work towards building and shaping that future? Financial markets will be observing how businesses respond to the pandemic and have planned for crisis management. For many companies, this can be broken down into the following: immediate, medium and long term. Organisation’s immediate response in the initial weeks of crisis management was centred around mobilisation; ensuring the safety of the workplace and putting in structures to allow work to continue. In the second stage, the dust starts to settle and companies are in a stabilisation stage while understanding how this ‘new normal’ way of living and working translates for their individual businesses. Once a company has adapted to this climate, internally and externally, then can then begin to think longer term, and strategise for the future and emerging stronger.
It is hoped by many that companies carry forward the lessons they learn from COVID-19. We can work better and smarter, not harder. We need to be open minded to creativity, change and disruption. We need to tap into our entrepreneurial zeal to carry us through this time, so we come through the other side better than when we were before.