In this guest post, James Atkins (below), Director at Vantage Strategy, explains why businesses should try and avoid the ‘new normal’ when planning their COVID-19 exit strategies and instead hit the reset button…
While some have optimistically spoken about a V-shaped recovery — and others of the economy snapping back — I personally don’t see that as the right mindset to approach the road to recovery.
Sure, it might help us feel more confident about the future. But it also means we aren’t setting our bars anywhere near high enough.
This is a unique moment in time for us all — including every business that gets to the other side of this crisis. If we simply plan as if life will return to normal, we’ll miss a major opportunity to hit the reset button. To reset strategy. To reset operating models. To reset how to go to market.
As we start to see lockdowns easing, now is the time to consider what you’ve learned during this period. You need to be thinking about what you take forward and what you want to leave behind —a sort of Marie Kondo exercise!
Having lived through the 2008 global financial crisis, 9/11 and the 90’s recession, I see this time as a gift. Certainly not one you wanted, but maybe one you needed. We’ve been gifted the opportunity to challenge not only how we think, but how we innovate and how we set ourselves up for the future.
I’ve been reflecting on Ansett’s collapse back in 2001. Having been a senior marketer in a financial services business that was linked to Ansett at the time, I know what it feels when sales fall off a cliff — and a very large cliff at that.
The opportunity then — as it is now — was to use the crisis to rebuild the business from the bottom up. And this opportunity is not just for those that have had a big revenue hit.
So where to begin?
Critically, it’s time to consider alternative business models — models that move away from the typically linear approach to business. Platform businesses have been steadily disrupting many industries well before we faced this crisis, so contemplate what you can learn or apply from their approach.
Look to businesses that have already transformed their go-to-market approach, and not just the usual suspects that are wheeled out such as Facebook or Google. Check out Kloeckner from Europe, who have reimagined the steel manufacturing industry model. Closer to home, realestate.com.au is well worth examining as there is lots to learn form how they have re-designed their business model. They’ve helped the property industry adapt to limited face-to-face interactions with their Digital Inspections platform, with listings now featuring video tours.
I see this moment as a tipping point for the early movers. Those innovators that can rethink how they deal with their supply chains, manage their customers, develop new types of partnerships and even work collaboratively with competitors to service a larger changed marketplace will be the winners.Technology will play a critical enabling catalyst for this reinvention. Technology that empowers customers and enables workforces. Technology that connects and removes friction at every key touchpoint.
So, let’s not slide into the ‘new normal’, as it has been described by some. Let’s reimagine and grab the opportunity that this once-in-a-generation moment provides. It’s time for a reset!