Let’s start planning a post pandemic world. Throughout history we have prevailed over the most difficult of times. In fact, as far as we know there have been 20 major outbreaks over the last 2,000 years. That’s about
one event every 100
years and every now and then one may become a global problem. Keeping in mind that we haven’t recorded all of history.
However, we are very fortunate because vaccines are rolling out. I am not imagining a world without social distancing and masks in 2021 and perhaps it may run off into 2022. I do believe that and many agree with me. That we will not see a recovery to pre-virus levels in business until 2022 and for a number of reasons of which you can read this newspaper article here. When I was writing that article I had drawn out a potential timeline of events and I kept coming back to the same conclusion. Decide for yourself!
What can we expect post pandemic?
A plan for the vaccines is underway and all of that is good. But being prepared for a post pandemic world will not be as simple as reopening your doors. Every business will be fighting for sales to make up losses. Everyone will be hoping that there is pent-up demand I am dubious about. Many people will still be working from home possibly throughout all of 2021 so e-commerce and essential businesses may still have the upper hand. As I said in another article it is about relaunching like a new business.
Understand the environment around you.
A strong business leader will always look at the positive and negative side of every equation. That’s why you conduct a SWOT analysis the idea is to take all the different and potential scenarios and work them through. I can tell you that if you do this right you will have some numbing moments particularly if you have been thorough with your analysis. You will discover weaknesses and threats that need to be addressed. Now you will be surprised just how many companies large and small (and their boards) ignore the threats and weaknesses section. That is why you have events like the retail apocalypse. Someone ignored the warning signs.
Building Strategies for post pandemic world
So conduct the SWOT analysis to the best of your ability. You will now have a current snapshot of the world around your business at least as far as you have allowed yourself to see it. Once you’ve done this exercise, the next step is to conduct what is referred to as a TOWS Matrix . This is simply a process to match strengths and weaknesses against opportunities and threats with the intent to identify solutions. The intent of this exercise is to show yourself how you can prepare for and develop contingency plans to protect your business. Or strategies to pursue and rebound faster. There are two challenges when going through this process. First who ever is doing this exercise needs to be honest with themselves. I’ve seen executives fight and argue against threats and weaknesses because it was exposing them or their functions.
The second challenge is to have the willingness to look deep into weaknesses and threats, I cannot emphasize that enough. If you don’t do this thoroughly enough unexpected risks and and missed opportunities are more frequent.
The reasons we are not as good at looking at the dark side of things is because we believe that positive strategic thinking doesn’t need to be tainted with the negative. Ask the book stores that closed when Amazon stated selling books and put them out of business. The dismissed Amazon and the convenience they offered as a passing. Same with Telsa, Apple and Netflix as some examples.
If you want to be ready for a post pandemic economy do your homework look at the world outside, create a vision for you brand and pursue it.
George Minakakis is the CEO of Inception Retail Group Author of The Great Transition The Emergence of Unconventional Leadership
Also watch for two new books, with announcements in the near future.
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