As the founder and CEO at GB Advisors, Alexander helps organizations digitally transform successfully.
I had coffee with a fellow businessman a few days ago (digitally, of course). Our conversation focused on how we have advanced the management of our respective companies after a year of living the pandemic reality. We expressed our experiences, the ups and downs, and the anecdotes that occurred along the way, which enriched the virtual dialogue.
However, we came to the interesting conclusion that it does not matter if you manage a small, medium or large company. What is essential for business survival during the pandemic is based on two pillars: resilience and the capture of opportunities.
Business resilience is the ability to identify, address and recover from changes that have occurred and to drive favorable results amid adversity. On the other hand, capturing opportunities is linked to resilience because you must be able to visualize a profitable advantage that allows you to achieve the growth of your company and staff.
Now, when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic, I am reminded of a quote often attributed to the great scientist Albert Einstein: “Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress.”
Without a doubt, adversity must be taken as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and use creativity to propel us toward something better. In this sense, millions of companies chose to shift their operations partially or totally online, create specialized remote services, modify marketing patterns and so on.
The coronavirus pandemic represents a great challenge that not all companies survived, but in this article, I would like to talk about what those that continue to survive have done and especially those that are succeeding today through remote business management.
What are the opportunities that distance business management offers us?
I must admit that the virtual coffee with my colleague resulted in a magnificent brainstorming worth sharing. Based on my experience, remote business management gives business leaders the opportunity to:
Modernize your computer system.
This is a crucial point, and it breaks paradigms. Why? For the simple reason that at least 94% of business organizations worldwide have suffered a cyberattack in the last 12 months.
Consequently, it is an appropriate time for you to thoroughly analyze the cybersecurity infrastructure of your business (including endpoints and servers), if you have an optimal vulnerability scanner, the status of the devices associated with the cloud, among other details. The company’s digital security leaders and business leaders must work together to chart parallel tactics to strengthen cybersecurity and business focus. By doing this, you can calmly answer the question: How safe, or how at risk, are we?
Cultivate a hybrid workforce.
Gartner, in a very pragmatic way, has stated that there must be a change in leadership mentality as far as employees are concerned. It does not have to be a struggle between online work versus in-person. Why not combine the best of both worlds?
Allowing greater mobilization of employees in different flexible working environments, such as remote and in-office locations, could boost employee productivity and commitment. Additionally, it would be a demonstration of courage, agility, creativity and long-term thinking for creating flexible planning.
Focus on customers more than ever.
What would a company be without customers? We already know the answer. I would like to emphasize that the lack of face-to-face meetings does not have to impede growing your business, but quite the opposite. It is an opportunity.
Throughout this pandemic, we have seen how companies and enterprises that developed or increased their presence on the internet have been able to survive and even, in some cases, increase their mass of clients. In general, people spent more time in cyberspace to carry out all kinds of activities, especially to acquire goods and services.
This potential niche requires dedication and a solid communication strategy. The more interactions, emotional connections and humanistic sense you can have with people, the better the results.
Demonstrate leadership capabilities.
It is no secret to anyone that emergency situations have arisen or may eventually arise during the coronavirus pandemic. So, it’s time to do a self-assessment and ask yourself: How do I react to difficult scenarios? What is my position on making decisions under pressure?
Every one of us can be a leader. Empower yourself and be aware of your capabilities by identifying your obstacles and developing creative ways to turn them into advantages.
In addition, it is an excellent opportunity to communicate with your staff. Talking about their expectations, frustrations and emotions contributes to healthy leadership. This allows you to detect sudden dismissals early, communicate with colleagues and improve team dynamics.
Focus on training.
I never thought that I would take so many courses in such a short period of time, and it has been one of the best experiences I have had. To think that we know everything is a great expression of ignorance. Do not assume that you have absolute command of information.
Allow yourself to learn new skills that contribute positively to your business environment and personal life. For instance, I recommend business leaders seek learning opportunities on social media, creative writing, project formulation, time optimization, financial education and so on. Likewise, language training should be essential.
Remember, as complicated as a specific situation may seem, everything has a solution. As best said by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The pandemic has put us all to the test, and while it has not been easy, neither has it been impossible. It has been a juncture to make a deep exercise of personal and business introspection, evaluating the advantages, risks and opportunities in a business world that has changed forever.