COVID-19: Your customer’s business has changed. Time to change yours.

We are having forums with senior leaders across a diverse range of industries. Their key theme is not just how to deal with COVID-19 but how to emerge stronger, fitter in the future market.

Here are the 5 key approaches leaders are taking now: 

1. CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS: 

Example:

A company serving the non-profit sector is working on helping with efficient new ways to fund-raise, manage operations and serve their stakeholders.

Key principles:

  • Now is the time to connect with customers and stakeholders.
  • Support them as their businesses are evolving through COVID-19.
  • Seize the moment for opportunities in business-of-the-future coming soon.

2. CONNECT WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES: 

Example: 

A life sciences company is stepping up manufacturing of vital supplies in the research and development of pharmaceuticals. Employees are staying at work during this difficult but essential time to combat COVID-19.

Key principles:

  • Acknowledge and thank employees for their sacrifices and efforts. 
  • Show them you have their back and address uncertainty they may be feeling. 
  • Identify how their work is helping address greater needs of the world right now.

3. LEAD TRANSPARENTLY:

Example:

Organization hit hard by COVID-19 shut down is having to lay off workers. By being direct and empathetic, it allows all parties to plan their next moves and prepare for the future.

Key principles:

  • Be transparent – keep employees grounded in the facts
  • Make sure they can count on hearing from you, even if it’s not good news
  • Use powerful metaphors to help focus long-term vision and path forward

4. SPOT YOUR EMERGING TALENT:

Example: 

Younger front line and mid-level managers in a hands-on, labor-intensive industry are leading the way with digital transformation, ushering in overdue new communications and management practices. 

Key principles:

  • Keep an eye out for junior leaders rising to the occasion
  • Delegate to them vigorously, especially with new initiatives
  • Give them room to “fail-forward-fast”
  • Highlight effort and successes

5. REFINE YOUR “DIAMOND”:

Example: 

Consumer products company lacking retail distribution during shut-down is cutting costs and eliminating any initiatives that aren’t meaningful for the future – like a jeweler refining a diamond for greater clarity and brilliance.

Key principles:

  • Look for business-as-usual processes that you really haven’t missed since January and consider dropping them
  • Focus on the core value proposition that will serve your future markets and customer
  • Tap into employee ideas for streamlining, simplification and efficiency

Stay tuned for more “Future Fit” updates. We welcome your examples and suggestions!



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