It seems like a long time ago that this crisis started. Pre-lockdown seems a distant memory and now we are all getting used to working from home, queuing outside supermarkets, walking around each other in wide arcs on the street and the daily doom and gloom of the media. I am particularly fond of Zoom, Skype and Teams video calls, looking like a rogues’ gallery of unshaven faces and unkempt hair, sharing a glimpse of their home life behind them! There are new ‘normal’ phrases for meetings, “sorry, I was struggling to connect”, “Sorry, that’s the door!’” and of course “You’re on mute!”, which we’ve all become accustomed to.
I think it is fair to say that not many would have predicted the depth and scale of the crisis and its impact on society, lives and of course business. The impact has been far reaching and will stay with us for a long time to come.
As we see the start of the process of easing lockdown and restoring the economy businesses now face a Herculean challenge. Getting restarted, weaning off furlough, finding customers, investing when money is desperately short and rebuilding confidence when uncertainty and doubt exists.
The tools available have been somewhat diminished, markets have shrunk, supply chains broken and certainty on what the future holds is non-existent as we all tread new territory. There are some things that we can draw on though.
Energy and resourcefulness – a forced rethink of business priorities is still a rethink and we can see that many businesses have adapted very successfully.
Innovation – finding new ways of working and delivering services that could actually be more efficient than the old ways. I am doubtful that many businesses will simply pick up doing things the way they did before the crisis.
One thing is for certain, the world has changed but Business has never been for the timid, now more than ever is the time to take brave steps. Don’t be lulled into the position of ‘wait and see’, better to take action and keep battling back to recovery!