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The Post-Pandemic Paradigm: Gearing Up for the New Normal 2.0

The Post-Pandemic Paradigm: Gearing Up for the New Normal 2.0

According to a 2018 IBM study, there are three types of disruptive companies: 27% are “reinventors,” 37% are “practitioners,” and 36% are “aspirationals.”

study by PTC with leaders of various corporations reports that the main benefits of digital transformation are a 40% improvement in operational efficiency, a 36% faster time to market, and a 35% boost in the ability to satisfy customer expectations.

In a disruptive scenario, such as the current pandemic, senior leadership within companies needs to be able to work with incomplete information in a timely manner. They need to decide what actions to take in order to mitigate damage and manage the crisis in question. Their wisdom and the serenity of decision-makers are essential in these cases, as well.

Adopting an agile mindset is key to transform attitudes within the company and foster collaboration among peers. Working with “sprints” with the best talent available in order to reduce the time to market is the best strategy to seize opportunities on the horizon.

Creating a culture of experimentation where there is a constant feedback loop in the learning process of the company, through trial and error, enables the company to adapt and remain competitive when facing complex scenarios.

Moving into the new normal 2.0.

Based on a study by the International Data Corporation, worker efficiency in the digital workplace will grow by 35% until 2021 due to new practices of collaboration among peers, enhancing productivity and innovation in the process.

For example, digital native organizations tend to implement remote work as a viable way of operating, where team members from different time zones work collaboratively. Working entirely remotely demands trust and accountability among everyone on the team as they strive to achieve company goals.

According to a Gartner study published in April 2020, 23% of company executives plan on keeping at least 20% of their workforce working remotely, and 74% intend on transferring at least 5% of their onsite workforce to permanent remote positions.

Also, data from Merchant Savvy shows that remote work has grown 159% worldwide since 2005. According to the 2019 IWG Global Workplace Survey, the remote work option has been used as a recruiting tool by 77% of global companies. 67% of companies worldwide consider that remote work enhances productivity by at least 20%. In fact, 62% of businesses currently have a flexible work policy.

[Related: How to Engage Your Remote Teams]

Disrupting the value chain.

In order to adapt to the new reality, people need to find alternative ways of continuing their daily lives. This requires a paradigm shift in what is considered the “normal” way of doing things.

During crises, companies rely on their best talent. However, in order to promote an innovative culture capable of being adaptable and effective, an environment of trust and collaboration is necessary.

Employees with the most practical skills are usually responsible for contributing the most to the company’s innovation process. They tend to be natural leaders, since people approach them for technical advice and mentoring.

Therefore, temporary or permanent layoffs of high achievers should be the last resort during times of crisis, in order to not compromise the future performance of the company. Also, a minimum operational level is needed in order to not disrupt the value chain.

According to The Information, as we gradually move into the reopening process, companies experiencing increased customer demand are now preparing to bring back some of their employees that were on temporary unpaid leave.

[Related: Six Reasons Why Talent Development is More Important Than Ever]

Cooperation is key during chaotic times.

We’re in the midst of an unprecedented world event, but we have the data, technology, and talent to navigate it.

For example, the most responsive countries that have been through the pandemic have used mobile data to process and generate recommendations in near real-time, using Big Data technology, requiring large volumes of data.

The private sector has collaborated by providing the data required to make it possible, taking privacy concerns into consideration when necessary, such as the GDPR in Europe.

Governments, civil society, and companies around the globe need to work together to solve problems facing the healthcare systems that were not designed to handle the huge demand from patients.

If a lesson can be drawn from all of this, it’s as follows: Companies that work toward preserving their team during this chaotic storm and act responsibly toward their communities will also generate goodwill from their customers. These companies tend to be seen positively by society and are capable of finding opportunities not seen by others.

This is a time to live and act upon the values companies promote. There is no longer such a thing as “business as usual.” The status quo is not risk-free.

[Related: Stripping Away Bias, One Avatar at a Time]


Saleema Vellani is an innovation strategist, teaches Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking at Johns Hopkins University, and is the author of Innovation Starts With “I.” Sign up for her free biweekly newsletter, Impact Insights, and follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Renato Sant Anna is a Digital Business and Insights Specialist. He can be followed on LinkedIn.

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