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Many businesses have risen to the challenges presented by the pandemic. They have adapted and pivoted to new operating models that sustain or grow their enterprise. All these shifts have occurred out of necessity and will permanently change how businesses (both for-profit and not-for-profit) function in the post-pandemic future.

The Osborne Group has isolated five pivot points learnt from the pandemic that can help your enterprise.

1) Assessment of Costs

The pandemic changed how we perform tasks and service customers. The first pivot is to understand your new all-in expense structure better. Determining the changes of your production or service costs will allow you to price more accurately. Without an accurate and frequent ability to assess these costs, your organization will not succeed long term.

2) Reorder Priorities

During the pandemic, successful organizations have focused on their core priorities, with less critical initiatives being paused or discontinued. This strategy should continue and not falter.

The second pivot is to focus employees on fewer initiatives. Sustained attention and strategic clarity on necessary transformations will require deliberate process changes and leadership commitment. Critical performance indicators should be developed and circulated to ensure goal alignment. Every employee within the organization should associate with the goal and understand how their actions, behaviours, and communications support the organization.

3) Virtual and flexible workforce

The pandemic forced us to accept remote working, the third pivot in embracing the “work-from-anywhere” employee. Teams no longer need to be physically grouped to perform. The data is clear that remote working results in employees that are effective, efficient, and productive. This flexibility will make organizations more responsive, resilient, and adaptive.

Furthermore, the gig or short-term role worker is expanding and evolving as organizations seek-out team members to work through peaks and troughs of demand or for specific tasks. Locating workers for these situations is more accessible and less expensive as organizations can post roles directly on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Indeed, or even LinkedIn.

4) Digital Interactions

The amount and fluidity of information during the pandemic have required organizations to tap into alternative digital channels to communicate with suppliers, customers and even employees. As operating hours changed or service level modified, stakeholders needed information in “real-time.”

Our fourth pivot is to use social media to communicate with stakeholders frequently with important updates about how your organization is changing to accommodate them.

A social media or any other online media presence is an organization’s direct and unfiltered access to stakeholders. Using these platforms to share information endears the organization to its customers. Personal connections are the new intangible currency.

Leaders are the spokesperson of the organization. Fluid situations require flexible, open, and sincere communication.

5) Speed to Decision Making

Many leaders struggle with decision making. Consensus building or data collection is frequently the cause. COVID-19 forced many leaders to make many quick organizational choices, often with limited, imperfect, or frequently changing information. The emergence of expedited and focused decision-making is the fifth pandemic pivot that organizations should continue to adopt.

When making a critical decision, give yourself a moment and step back. During this time, a) find perspective, b) take stock of both the knowns and unknows, c) decide what can you influence and d) avoid knee-jerk reactions.

Amid the uncertainty, behind closed door decisions should be avoided. Instead, involve rotating stakeholders and subject matter experts. Encourage different points of view. This approach will lead to smarter decisions without sacrificing speed.

After making a decision, leaders must quickly pivot and speak to those who will be executing the decisions. Direct interactions with these participants are needed to: i) clarify the actions taken, ii) timelines, iii) accountabilities, and iv) answer any questions about what comes next.

Remember, making appropriate decisions is more about the logic, strategic alignment, stakeholder impact and the efficiency of its implementation.

The Osborne Group is committed to helping you during this pandemic and in managing its aftermath. If you need additional help making decisions or implementing change within your business, reach out to Jeffrey Roy CPA, CA. (416-873-9233) or at jroy@osborne-group.com.