Earlier this year, one Industry MD noted that he had estimated that the pandemic had been 5 years learning in less than a single year. Many leaders have faced so many emotions and talk of their despair at the start of the pandemic as they could only see their businesses collapse but strangely, many have become mentally stronger through the process by working through the challenges and finding new solutions.
When the time comes for experts to look back at the impact of the pandemic, one of the conclusions drawn could be just how it changed the way that many have managed and lead their businesses. Without doubt, the prevalent mentality built up over a number of years has been one of control and never sharing any knowledge. Many have joked that outsource companies are the first to argue of the value that outsourcing can bring and partnering yet are often the most nervous to collaborate or share. The same with consultants.
However, much has changed. Real collaboration has become a common theme and so many are seen the value in working with external experts, being more open, sharing knowledge. In fact, there has been an almost reversal in thinking when those who still try to control and protect are seen to be almost those who others do not want to do business with. When the pandemic struck, no company – large or small – was immune to its impact and all have had to bring in new thinking and knowledge to rebuild.
- Leaders will openly talk today in a way that they would never have done before the pandemic. They will talk of their pain is seeing those who have suffered and their desire to rebuild business for their people as well as their stakeholders.
- Pre-pandemic days were almost known for spin and soundbites; now leaders know they have to be genuine and authentic.
- So many companies tried to create their own digital solutions rather than bring in external partners. It was never logical but it illustrated how so many thought. Today many are reaching out to experts as never before to find new solutions.
These trends are likely to become even more pronounced as the pressures are set to grow and become worse. Many are noting that the challenges of operating are harder than ever so new skills will be needed, greater collaboration than ever.
There will naturally be many companies who do fail and will fall, even those who believe they have been successful during the pandemic.
Change is now happening so fast, no one can be complacent. No one yet quite knows how consumer habits will have changed. There will be new winners who break through.
It could be a surprising and unexpected four months leading through to 2022. It will have its twists and turns but it is very likely that the business mind-set and leadership will have changed with no chance of reversal