Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


When the black swan event of Covid-19 overtook the world, businesses experienced a shock of unprecedented proportion that disrupted demand, supply and operations – all at once. Companies didn’t have any option but to react with damage control measures that will ensure business continuity in the short-term. However, soon it was found that the uncertainties of the pandemic were here to stay.

One key priority for businesses right now is to stop reacting and start taking some bold actions that will rebuild the organization in the long-term. It is essential to work towards making the company stronger and more resilient, to thrive in the “Next Normal”. Here are McKinsey and Company’s list of 10 actions that can help companies to achieve this goal.

Return from Covid-19 should be seen as a muscle and not a simple plan

When companies make business plans to return from the pandemic crisis, they must be ready to exercise capabilities like willingness to alter future plans and implement structural shifts. They must be ready to shift the focus from protecting 2020 to reinventing business models to flourish in 2021 and beyond.

Increase focus on digital initiatives

The focus areas of high-impact actions would be different for different businesses but the way to recovery from Covid-19 would definitely involve increased emphasis on digital initiatives like automation, analytics and embracing tech enabled operations that increase productivity and enhance customer experience.

Rebuild a speedier organization

The next normal will be extremely dynamic where business scenarios would change quickly. To thrive in such an environment, businesses must speed up decision making and execution capabilities by making teams nimble and redeploying talent. Tomorrow’s leaders must be empowered to take responsibility and delegate nonpriority work to speed up important tasks.

Reimagine your workforce

The pandemic has changed people’s reality. Some people have emerged as natural leaders and some people’s stress has increased. Companies must take all factors into consideration and shuffle their workforce from top down. Whether through flex teams, job sharing or important changeovers – ways of working must be reviewed and altered with a continued emphasis and investment in learning.

Make bold portfolio changes

Companies must analyze each and every business arm and reevaluate its relevance in the new normal. Shedding redundant portfolios to make way for new business initiatives that can boost future growth would help businesses to be better poised for strong progress in 2021.

Reset your technology plans

Technology will play a key role in determining business recovery and success post pandemic. Companies must reset their technology investments to get maximum value and speed. The goal must be raising all employees’ technology quotient with a clear focus on enhancing customer value. Organizations should start afresh and not try to clear the backlog.

Rethink your global footprint

Covid-19 has revealed several vulnerabilities of supply chains and highlighted cost advantages of offshoring. Companies should thus, rethink global strategies and give more thought to multi-shoring operations and develop regional strategies.

Factor in climate change and sustainability

Climate change is the next crisis staring the world at its face and businesses must embed sustainability practices by design with the aim to set new industry standards and create large-scale impacts.

Work with the government

The governmental reach has extended into all business aspects as governments act as lenders, payers and insurers as the last resort. Governments are bringing new policies and regulations to help businesses navigate digital transformation drives. Businesses must work in collaboration with governments to reskill employees and build digital infrastructures.

Reaffirm purpose

The world has undergone a major shift and companies must re-establish their core purpose to impress upon employees and customers that they are working towards building a better future and not just making profit. Now is the time to embrace stakeholder capitalism and reposition their brand accordingly.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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