How Leaders are Approaching Post COVID-19 Business

The unprecedented speed and impact of change experienced by leaders during 2020 have highlighted the need for global insights, agility, fast-action and collaboration for sustainable success.

EGA connects open, committed, brave leaders with similar challenges and opportunities. Through proven peer collaboration and learning process, they overcome barriers, co-create new solutions and gain future-readiness.

During the COVID-19 crisis (March-May 2020), Next Step gathered perspectives (via surveys and interviews) from global business leaders across agriculture, consumer, education, energy, finance, health, industrial,  media, travel, transportation industries regarding the impact of the pandemic on their business and the approaches they are taking to move forward.

The results demonstrate open, passionate, brave trailblazers’ commitment to identifying, collaborating and creating new opportunities.

Future Ready Opportunities Perceived by Leaders in New Future

Through reflection, collaboration and commitment, future-ready leaders are building on their experience during the COVID19 crisis to:

  1. Transform services, products and business model to address radically different customer needs and behaviors in the ‘new normal’
  2. Leverage the rapidly accelerated technology implementation and operational changes required by their teams to maintain business during the COVID 19 crisis
  3. Build on the agility and speed at which employees adapted, collaborated and worked productively in non-ideal conditions in order to create new services, structures and opportunities
  4. Accelerate innovation initiatives due to reduced friction between innovation and ‘business as usual’
  5. Commit to continue flexible work-from-home culture to enhance employees’ work/life integration and serve global customers in new (and better) ways
  6. Implement new organizational structure removing layers to allow employees to make decisions faster
  7. Collaborate with other stakeholders in the value chain to identify and develop new business opportunities to address changing consumer requirements
  8. Redefine measures of success – moving to value-based metrics instead of traditional KPIs based solely on financial results
  9. Empower employees to be creative, take risks and explore new opportunities for business growth – through recognition and rewards
  10. Communicate and collaborate more frequently and openly with team members, customers, partners and competitors to co-create new services and value in the future

While interviewees empathize with those who have had health, family and financial loss due to the crisis, many see this as an opportunity for change, new growth and transformation to more sustainable future growth for their business. As noted by some of the interviewees’, there are positives ahead:

“Our business has grown significantly due to greater engagement with customers and new offerings to directly address their immediate needs.  April’s results were the best ever for our company.”

“Due to the rapid and significant changes in our business, customer needs and society, we have redefined our business model and offering and are now in a much better position for long term growth and adaptability”

“For years we planned for business transformation to increase efficiency. We achieved more in the past three months than in the past three years and are now investing to continue this accelerated growth!”

“While remote work was difficult at first, leaders and employees now recognize the benefits of greater flexibility, deeper insight into one another’s environments. We are WAY more productive and effective in leveraging the times we do meet as team”

Challenges Confronting Future-Ready Leaders due to COVID-19

Business disruption through the COVID19 crisis has led to challenges for all organizations. Leaders reported addressing and are investing in tools to overcome the following issues:

  1. Business, as usual, has been disrupted – economically, politically and competitively requiring us to restructure all aspects of the business – without guidelines
  2. Planned growth rate and ability to meet financial expectations have changed dramatically due to different customer expectations and economic uncertainty
  3. Empowering and supporting managers to lead effectively through uncertainty as to the previous ‘rule books’ and best practices no longer apply
  4. Gaining confidence to make the right decisions in a rapidly changing environment
  5. Motivating and engaging employees to continue delivering productively while working remotely
  6. Redesigning the organizational structure to maximize agility and empower employees for future success without clarity of long-term requirements
  7. Identifying and focusing on the best new opportunities and making the right decisions to maximize our position in the post-COVID future
  8. Measurements of success ie KPIs, growth goal and financial incentives are no longer viable – we now need to measure return on innovation and value creation in new ways.
  9. Changing customer behaviors and regulations require us to reinvent our business: offering, value proposition and service delivery model to address future needs
  10. Isolation through working from home, lack of meetings with customers and limited interaction with global partners has led to siloed thinking. We must seek new ways to gain outside perspective to avoid missed opportunities

“The COVID-19 crisis has abruptly halted our growth but in doing so it has provided the opportunity for leaders to think differently; collaborate with customers and employees to rethink our business.  It has been difficult, but we see many opportunities for more sustainable success in the new future.”

Future-ready Leaders leverage resources for sustainable success:

Uncertainty and disruption naturally lead to fear. Forward-thinking leaders are reaching out to customers, partners, employees and peers. By sharing insights, supporting one another and collaborating to address challenges together, explore new opportunities and hold one another accountable, they are shifting from fear to action.

Resources they are using include:

  1. Online discussion groups and through following global thought leaders online
  2. Peer collaboration groups including EGA Exec Growth Circles to gain global perspectives, co-create opportunities and overcome challenges
  3. Collaborating with others around AGILE methodologies, technology implementation
  4. Communicating more frequently via short virtual meetings with employees, clients, partners
  5. Through peer learning and support in Exec Growth Circles, EGA members are accelerating their future-readiness through global insights, exploration of new approaches and partners for co-creation of the new sustainable future.

EGA is a global community that connects Open, Committed Brave Leaders to prepare for the future. Through proven methodology for peer collaboration, members address common challenges and co-create opportunities.

In the words of EGA members:

“EGA provides me with the global insight, peer perspective, collaboration partners and ultimately confidence to achieve results now and in the future.”

“Working with global peers facing similar challenges in a confidential virtual environment, allows me to think more broadly and create new possibilities for the future.”

“The insights, support and collaboration with leaders from other companies and industries through EGA gave me the strength and tools needed to move into a much better future.”

“EGA has given me confidence as a leader. Thanks to the structured peer collaboration process I have been able to turn the company 360 degrees. Last months results were better than the past 12 months.”

Executive Growth Alliance accelerates future-readiness with a proven peer learning methodology.  Membership in EGA is available to global leaders who are committed to growth through peer collaboration and learning.  Benefits include participation in Executive Growth Circles; Innovation Expeditions, Summits and connection to forward-thinking global leaders.

Learn more about membership or check your Future-readiness to start the application process.