How Business Should React to Pandemic?

COVID-19 has brought everyone in a stage where we have to relook the ways of our work. Conventional strategies for doing business won’t work any longer. This is the time where true leadership traits will be visible. This unprecedented time has also brought an opportunity to revaluate our strategies. 

Crises are permanent. There are small crises we ignore or large crises we’re victims of. Picture yourself about to serve yourself a nice glass of wine. I’m sure that you’ve experienced that dreadful moment when the glass slips from your hand and hits the kitchen sink with a glassy clink. The destiny of glass is to break, sooner or later, so we have some interruption: Glass is intact or the glass shatters or abandon the idea of a glass of wine or drive to the store to buy glasses. In either case, you need to change what you intended to do and reschedule.

Foremost is to bring awareness in your organization about importance of Social Distancing, Workplace Hygiene. Deep dive and identify all possible areas of risk for mitigation.

Go Lean, this can be the prime objective of the entire organization. Although lean might seem fragile to crises, because of low inventories, it’s quite the opposite. Lean thinking is about training to solve small crises – problems – daily.

Carrot & Stick Theory may not work longer, rather motivation is less about employees doing great work and more about employees feeling great about their work. People should be priority for any organization. People are not resources, they are assets. This is the time to win their confidence to yield greater output later on.

Make scenarios, lot of scenarios. This will not only make you competitive but also your sustenance will be ensured in longer run. 

Focus on sharpening your tools, you may not get this opportunity anytime soon. Train, Train & Train, organizations must drive training sessions to make people future-ready. 

Analyze your blind spots and act. You may get some breakthrough. Make a list of Strategical Drives & Tactical Projects and allocate responsibility to your managers. Review frequently for controlling and monitoring.

Driving innovation, implementation of innovative ideas & new technologies in current situation is debatable. What is the Payback of Innovation? What is the likelihood of success? Are you willing to invest? All these questions need to be answered first before making any decision. Until you make any decision, work on short term ideas, implement and check results.

Capex free buying is the need of the hour. Develop OPEX based models with OEM’s considering Total Cost of Ownership. SaaS can be priority, by eliminating problems like software maintenance and incompatibility, SaaS can provide streamlined focus and greater productivity. Similarly, RPA can result in faster payback & benefits.

Cutting down rentals, contractor’s management fee or agency fee may not be long-lasting solution. Organizations need to work on lasting partnership approach with their suppliers and service providers.

Organizations need to drive efficiency improvement programs through Low Cost Automation, Process Improvements & driving Kaizen (Kaizen (改善) is a Japanese word for “Continuous improvement”) & Value Engineering.

Remember, Cost of Non-Compliance is very high. Deep dive into Legal, Tax & other any other compliance and its consequences before taking any decision. 

Last but not the least is being honest to your Job & Belief. Believe in your mission & vision, Believe in your people, Believe in your supplier community and foremost believe in your customer because he will come back to you, if you really want him to come back.