By Lyndsey Hall
The Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday 10 May left more questions than answers, but one thing we can take from Boris Johnson’s words: there is a light at the end of the lockdown tunnel.
During the announcement, the PM said that those who can’t work from home should return to work, leading to a 16% increase in traffic on London roads on Monday morning, compared to the previous week, as well as a rise in public transport use. This surge of commuters getting back to work is a good sign for the UK economy, we may not be quite ready to return to business as usual, but now is the time to prepare your strategy for when the time comes.
For now, stay alert and start to plan your post-lockdown strategy. Here are a few things you may want to consider:
Set out your goals
The current disruption being experienced by businesses across the world is a huge challenge. However it may also be an opportunity for your firm. Start by thinking about your current market position, relative to your key competitors. Where would you like your firm to be in 12 months’ time? Is there an opportunity to overtake a competitor? Take some time to set out your key business objectives for the next year including the key deliverables that you will need to focus on each month.
Is there an opportunity to make some changes to your business model? Perhaps your firm has the opportunity to embrace automation, take a new approach to its distribution model or expand into new markets. As businesses return to normal in the next few months, they will have to contend with various unknowns. The firms that succeed will be the ones that are agile enough to pivot their strategic focus, when the right opportunity presents itself.
Changing the culture of a business is a very difficult thing to do. However, the return to “business as usual” post-pandemic gives firms an opportunity to drive cultural change. Will your firm embrace remote working after the lockdown? How will this affect the culture of your firm? It’s important to set out your vision for the firm and communicate that to everyone across the business. Your vision should set out the key attributes of the new culture. Managers should be prepared to lead by example and develop their teams through training, follow-up and feedback. Sharing success stories of individuals and teams across your business will help to influence others and drive cultural change.
Your firm will need to be ready to take on new projects, execute business development plans and drive change. Take some time to map out the key behaviours that you will need your people to adopt as you move forward, after the lockdown. If training is going to be needed, perhaps this could be provided, online, now. Doing as much pre-work as possible now will ensure that your team is ready to hit the ground running as the country emerges from lockdown. Be careful not to take on too many new projects at once. Regardless of the size of your business, resources are finite. Prioritise the key projects that are likely to have the biggest impact on your business.
Review the goals that you set out at the beginning of your strategic planning process and identify the projects that align with the achievement of those goals. Ensure that your management team are on board and that they understand the overarching objectives of the firm. This will help each team to move forward in a joined-up manner.
Do you have a strategic plan for when the lockdown restrictions are lifted? How long do you foresee it taking before business returns to its pre-coronavirus state? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Linkedin.