Now that COVID-19 has left many businesses / business functions in a state of trauma, the question of “Re-building” is at the fore-front of most CEO’s minds. Referencing the tried-and-tested Blueprint Model shown below – the question is: can it be used as a reference point for businesses / business functions to develop their “Re-build” operating model? The simple answer is yes, however the “How” becomes most relevant and is the most important lever for shifting and pivoting businesses / business functions.
The “How” of re-building post COVID-19
Although COVID-19 is part of the here-and-now, most businesses are investing in planning for the “new-normal”. Metaphorically speaking businesses will not only be required to change the wings of their plane while flying but also re-modelling the plane itself. This will require many businesses and business functions to re-invent and re-build themselves. This will also mean that businesses need to tap into the intrinsic agility of their people
Based on recent articles, a number of themes emerge:
1. Understanding the New Normal
Once again, we go back to basics and first understand what the new world looks like in order to define the business environment in which our Blueprint needs to exist. Although virtual borders make global borders somewhat irrelevant, it is important to consider that this will not always be the case; geography is important and does impact how we work. Linked to this, it is important to consider the impact of those digital and virtual ways of work that will stick once the world goes back to normal. And true to form, the involvement of government and its role in the economy will have an impact on the business environment. Markets and industries will have shifted as a result of changing customer behavior. In short, the full spectrum of environmental factors needs to be considered as we look to the future.
2. Considerations for Re-building
With the external environment considered, we shift focus and look internally using the blueprint as a guide, but with a lens of COVID learnings included. A key consideration is the health of your employees, and the financial wellbeing of your business. Stabilising operations and processes is critical as you re-organise for the future. The value that you deliver to customers may also need to be -re-defined and re-evaluated, especially in restoring trust and assuring customers of their safety. Also, key to consider are those temporarily changed ways of work that may need to become permanent, especially when looking at adopting more digital ways of doing business, and the implications that this has across your business model. As with any change, leadership and culture impact should be at the heart of the rebuild. All facets of business will be impacted by the re-build.
3. Moving forward
Next is to plan the way forward. If COVID has taught us anything, it is that businesses need to be agile and nimble enough to respond quickly, and we need to plan accordingly. Scenario planning can help with this and having scenarios pre-defined enables your business to move quickly, and make decisions quickly, when the time comes. Knowing the strategic direction of your organisation and holding this as a north star will help in developing a robust and sustainable plan. When defining this strategic direction, it is important to keep in mind potential future disruptions and the impact that they may have on your business model. As with our scenarios, pre-defining this impact will help you restabilise in the future.
4. Deciding what to Stop, Start, Continue
There are many learnings to take from the ways of working that COVID imposed, and these should be integrated in the re-built operating model of your business. Changed dynamics such as removing silos, streamlining processes, introducing more flexible working hours, and opening up communication levels are just some of the things that could deliver value to both employees and customers as your business heads into its future-self. Hindsight can be a strategic advantage and should be used as such. Your organisation will need to assess which of these dynamics and habits resulted in a more productive and effective working environment, both for the business and its employees. Then commit to stop, start or continue into your next phase of growth.
5. The Opportunity
Depending on the size of your business, the following strategies should be considered:
- Top quintile of economic profit – for companies thriving on the megatrends accelerated by the crisis this could be the opportunity of a lifetime where aggressive pursuit of market share and position may be the appropriate strategy
- Middle quintile of economic profit – for middling companies this is a call to action to use the crisis to leap into new trends and to reallocate resources to new profit streams
- Bottom quintile of economic profit – for companies facing failure it is critical to avoid losing further ground by being bold and moving into a re-build program that radically restructures your business and repositions you for sustainable growth
The Road Ahead
In conclusion the Blueprint Model remains relevant when re-building one’s Operating Model within the context of COVID-19. To complement this model MAC has also developed frameworks for Stability and Agility which are shown below.
MAC believes that stability is change and it is imperative for organisations to develop a mindset of fluidity, continuously expecting and embracing change. This enables organisations to have fluid transitions amidst volatility. This mindset of fluidity is a core capability, which once established and embedded as part of culture, becomes a key differentiator, and provides a competitive edge.
Developing your strategies and plans to be more adaptive and responsive requires that you truly understand the true value for agility. MAC’s agile offering integrates all aspects of your business and decision making to enable you to drive to competitive advantage.
For more information on how to use these models to drive pragmatic winning solutions in your business please contact MAC Consulting who would love to talk to you.