Our world has undergone the biggest reset in generations; the way we live, and work has been turned on its head. Established industries have vanished, and new ones are emerging out of their ashes. Once predictable markers such as year-end sales and academic calendars have been erased and businesses large and small have been blindsided.
If your strategy was based on ‘reliable data’, proven success factors, established consumer behaviours and once-predictable government regulations, you need to question the validity of all those assumptions and prepare for a new world.
If you’re not convinced, here are some reasons why you need to re-imagine your strategy
Rapid Social evolution
The human race has changed. Lockdown orders, social distancing, remote working and other mandates have changed how we work, live, travel, and even eat. With all these shifts, an era of experimentation has emerged among customers; those who were once reluctant to venture into ecommerce have started clicking. On-demand services have seen an astronomical rise and expectations around consumption have shifted. Google reported a huge global uptick in searches for things like ‘online classes’, ‘customer service ‘live chat’ and ‘virtual gym’ showing that people expect services to come into the home at their convenience.
The world of work has transformed for billions of workers, many of whom were sent home with a laptop and modem and told to set up their own workstations. Without ‘IT’ looking over their shoulder, they got on with it and discovered a resilience and agility they hadn’t claimed before. But the biggest revelation for many has been that traffic may be an unnecessary evil and that productivity is more about tangible outcomes than hours spent at a desk.
All these, and other factors have changed consumption habits, shifted values and reorganised priorities. Any business strategy, be it a marketing or sales strategy, or recruitment or business expansion strategy has to understand this brave new world.
Very few industries have been left unscathed by the last year. Even those that have thrived, have had to pivot somewhere along their value chain.
As banks closed during lockdown, some decided to keep physical doors shut, having successfully migrated millions of customers to digital-only services. From a macro perspective, we are seeing seismic changes such as the Reserve Banks’ December 2020 announcement that cheques will no longer be used in the national payment system. This marked the end of a system that was only made possible by the exodus to digital platforms by consumers and organizations alike.
In addition to aviation and financial services, healthcare has shifted immensely, with vaccines developed with a speed never seen before and patients having telemedicine consultations with their doctors from their beds.
Making future predictions has become increasingly murky and we are seeing that more and more predictive tools are hitting their limits.
The shifts of the past year and unrelenting uncertainty have made it impossible for strategists to use past experience as a reference for envisioning the future.
in the timely and super relevant, ‘your strategy needs a strategy’ Martin Reeves et.al., urge leaders to choose the approach to strategy that fits the environment by considering these three key fundamental dimensions, namely the predictability of the business environment, your ability to shape it and its harshness; which is, can we survive it?
The most familiar approach to strategy has been Classical, which assumes that the environment is relatively predictable, that the basis of competition is stable, and that you can win through positioning be based on superior size, differentiation, or capabilities.
While popular, this approach will likely fall short in the face of the scenarios leaders find themselves in today. The authors offer the Adaptive approach, saying it’s suited to environments where you can’t confidently predict or shape the environment
This approach to strategy favors experimentation, continuously generating a range of strategic options to test and carefully selecting the most successful ones to scale up and exploit.
This approach requires strategic experimentation and organisational flexibility. For those accustomed to the classical approach and all its frameworks it might feel uncomfortable, but worth the dynamism it offers.
If you’re reassessing the future of your business, what do these changes signal about the shifts you need to make today and the level of agility your team now needs? What is the ideal way to approach creating your strategy?
by Maanda Tshifularo: CEO: SuperLead Advisory
If you realise that your strategy needs an up-level, contact us to chat about how we can assist. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org |
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