The New Normal In Business

It is clear that the present-day situation is very different from the recessions of recent decades. We are coming to not just an end of a business era, but to a complete restructuring of the economic and business order.

For many organizations, near-future survival is the only agenda. Others are dwelling through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once this crisis has passed and things return to normal. “What will the new normal look like?” While we cannot predict how long this crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal we were used to before COVID-19. Today’s new normal for businesses includes work-from-home challenges, disrupted operational chains, cash crunches and strict compliance obligations. In such an environment, business leaders will have to make tough decisions. The actions they take now must be tactical, but also should align with the company’s future plans/purpose. The keys to success are preparation, agility, optimal use of data, and a willingness to harvest smart ideas from every layer of the business.

Undoubtedly, running business in near future in the same way it was before COVID-19 is a fatal mistake, innovation has become the only way forward for businesses to survive. Many businesses including large corporates who have been around for long are shifting their products to serve the change in consumer behavior. For instance, LVMH Paris a MNC known for their luxury goods is now manufacturing hand sanitizers instead of perfumes. Automaker Ford is now supplying ventilators and respirators. The reason behind these shifts could be multiple: Changing the product lines to keep operations running, converting threats into new opportunities, boosting reputation and diversifying customer segments.

Technology is another inevitable tool for success in the ‘new normal’. Maximum use of technology will help curb overheads. Run as many experiments as you can with minimal risks, methods like MVP (Minimal Viable Product) could come in handy while introducing a new product/service. The world has moved to the digital sphere completely. So, making technology work for you is essential considering the endless opportunities it poses in the ‘new normal’. We should learn to “do more with less”.

We cannot complete an article about the “new normal” without throwing some light on the human resources element in this new order of business. It still remains imperative that businesses retain their best teams in whichever way possible. Although current times may call for reductions in salaries and other monetary benefits, today’s leaders must try and retain their best employees and motivate them so that they maintain their integrity and passion during these difficult times. It’s always good to remember that its ‘people’ who make a company successful and not just the numbers, in fact 32% of companies success is contributed by team & execution, so while taking the required steps to cope with the current crisis, leaders should remember to be as human as possible.

Communities and businesses will definitely find a path out of these dark times. Our companies and everyone who works for them will learn to operate in initially uncomfortable but ultimately more productive digital ways.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.” The difficulties that lie ahead for all of us are likely to be extremely trying, in our businesses and our homes. But we together will get through this storm. For it, too, will pass, and life, work and joy will soon return.

- Mohamad Shams / Managing Director