How to future proof your business.
As business leaders we should be asking ourselves this question: have we taken our eye off the ball? We have been focusing on surviving a pandemic but the business world keeps on turning below us. AI, the digital natives and the gig economy have been gathering momentum over the last 15 months while many CEO’s have been focusing on just getting through and not on the longer term issues and goals. The business landscape is changing and we must prepare our businesses for a different kind of future. As business leaders Covid has needed our urgent attention but as we move through the pandemic, we must have a business which works in line with current trends and survives and prospers in a digital age.
As business leaders we must pay attention to digital transformation. It is important we do not see new technology and digital change as a fad. We must embrace change. Do not forget that many people thought the internet was a fad and that it would not last. Now the internet runs the world. Digital transformation is less about technology and more about your end goal. Find your three end goals and ask yourself how can I utilise technology to improve the customer experience, improve my employee experience and completely revamp my business model? Netflix is a great example of a business who took those three end goals into consideration as they transitioned. They started out as a mail order DVD service in 1997. Fast forward ten years and they transformed their business model by streaming movies as DVD’s became obsolete due to new technology. They embraced digital transformation by keeping the customer and the employee at the centre of what they were doing digitally. Other video renting services who did not change their business model to support the changing technology failed.
Flexible and hybrid working is the new normal. The work from home model is here to stay. Consider how can you implement it successfully into your business. Organisations who do not address a professional blended working economy and do not have a cohesive plan will fail. You need to create the right environment for your employees to thrive working remotely. This comes down to technology.
Focus on improving your customer experience and your employee experience. Look at your business model and see if it makes sense to continue with it or revamp it completely. Create a very strong purpose that employees can get excited about. Think about the younger people coming into your workforce. They have different priorities and may want to see what your company offers beyond profit and loss. For example, what are you doing to help the environment or put back into society? Create a culture of innovation and fun. Inspire constant learning. The next 10 years are going to be a challenge as the global economy recovers. It is up to you as a leader to show your employees you can create a fun working environment which is constantly evolving and not stagnating. Do not give them a reason to go elsewhere.
Meanwhile, getting support as a leader is paramount. If you have help dealing with the pressures and strains of the business at the top then it will not cascade down and affect your staff. A good example is Southwest Airlines. The travel industry has seen huge disruption over the last seventeen months but their brand promise has remained clear and strong. When you travel with them you become a part of their fun family. It is like hanging out with old friends. One traveller complained that the employees were having too much fun. The CEO replied with one line, “You will be missed”. CEO Herbert Keller has not let the stresses and strains affect his employees. He has created a loyal and strong workforce who deliver a fun and inclusive experience.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Hood .