Our world, and business in general, has changed irrevocably overnight, resulting in uncertainty. Most companies and small businesses are now faced with the challenge to rethink and reposition their business model for the foreseeable future.
Researchers claim that people will be affected more mentally and economically, rather than physically, because of the virus. How we think and react to the virus, is almost more important than the virus itself.
Neuroscientists concluded that people and their brains do not cope well with any form of uncertainty and will experience high levels of stress until they feel they are back in control again. “In particular, CEOs’ mechanism for exercising control over their vast enterprises is failing, and where and why firms operate is in flux. That has big implications for business, and for anyone climbing the corporate ladder”. (The Economist). Coupled with that is a feeling of loss of choice; being severely impacted and left with limited or no leverage at all.
Businesses are therefore challenged to investigate and implement alternative options and choices.
“Find ways to infuse choice into your day. As much as possible,
set your meeting times and retain control over how projects roll out”. (Tracey Brower)
BRINGING HUMAN BACK INTO BUSINESS
More than ever before companies will need to invest in human capital. Social distancing is creating loneliness and a need for human interaction. With economies crashing, businesses are moving away from outcomes focussed, to people focussed.
“Your ultimate job is… to be human: The more we digitize our world,
the more human we can and we must become.” (Gerd Leonhard).
The World Economic Forum has identified ten critical skills and competencies for the next decade and they consist mostly of people skills, but also critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, etc.
PURPOSE AND MEANING
“Imagine a future where work is no longer the same as purpose, where we can find purpose
in what we can and what we are meant to do.” (Gerd Leonhard)
More than ever people want to go to work to experience meaning and add value, not just to make a living. Businesses will have to rethink their business model. Social responsibility will be an ever increasing focus-point and clients will expect businesses to comply and do their bit. The demand on leadership will be to make a concerted effort to really get to know their people individually in order to understand their unique strengths and apply that in positions where it can be best utilised.
INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY
This will become more and more an integral part of a company’s DNA. Leaders, managers and everyone else will have to walk the talk and not just have a nice value and mission statement on paper.
DISRUPT AND DISRUPT, AGAIN AND AGAIN
“The future works differently – but that might be the best thing that ever happened to us!”(Gerd Leonard)
It is never great to be plucked out of our comfort-zones, but for those who can face the future unafraid and with creative thinking, a bright future beckons. Yes, we need a lot of wisdom to approach this in an uplifting way, but that will be what distinguishes successful companies from those that do not make it.
About the Author:
Dr. Kemp is a registered Psychologist with a doctorate in Neurolinguistics, a Neurotechnology program used for changing mind-sets, attitudes, habits and improved understanding of what makes people tick.
He specialises in resilience programs for companies and individuals to equip them for the challenging environment we function in.
Dr. Eugene Kemp
Psychologist and Development Consultant