As a business owner, you may have reeled like so many others when the world shut down due to the pandemic.
Hopefully, you joined the ranks of many entrepreneurs who rallied and put forth strategic “pivots” in their business model that helped their enterprise survive over the past year.
Now that the world is beginning to open up again, due to a better understanding of COVID-19 and the roll out of several available vaccines, there are many businesses that are struggling with returning to pre-pandemic practices in an (almost) post-pandemic world.
The first thing to do is take a look at the major pivots companies made during 2020 (and into early 2021) that helped them not only survive, but thrive.
Remote working. Companies that may have been on the fence about their eligible employees working from home had no choice but to embrace the concept, or fold. More than a year on, remote working is now the norm for a substantial number of businesses, for at least part of their workforce. Hybrid models are becoming commonplace, with flexibility being a key factor.
Stress less. Encouraging employees as well as leadership to take time off and truly unplug proved to be the saving grace of many an enterprise. Taking a few days (or longer) to recharge your batteries is like a hard reset for the mind. Time away creates needed space that in turn sparks creativity as well as productivity, and combats collective burnout.
Nimbleness as currency. Innovation became a matter of survival for many companies, whether it was switching from making bourbon to hand sanitizer, or from vacuums to ventilators. The ability to assess the state of the market and meet the needs of customers dictates future success, even as the landscape changes, regardless of your product or service.
Collaboration over hierarchy. Switching from in person meetings to Zoom presented its challenges to those new to the concept. However, virtual meetings helped encourage a collaboration revolution, with leaders relying on key players across their teams like never before. What came from that was a collective indomitable will to succeed, coupled with a sense of unshakeable camaraderie when facing foreboding uncertainties.
These trends have not only served businesses and employees well; they’ve lit a fire for a future-forward perspective of work in general. Every enterprise will need to gauge their own pivots and practices for success, and adjust the dial as needed.
The silver linings to come out of one of the worst disasters in modern human history should not be overlooked. Out of tragedy, there were bright spots of innovation, collaboration and positive change.
And like it or not, there’s no going back to “business as usual.” This is our new normal. For businesses that can and have learned to embrace change and determine how to thrive even in tumultuous times, the future is bright with endless possibilities.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville, TN.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your personal circumstances and/or your business.