Massive Change: Restarting Business
Change is inevitable, especially in business. Here are tips on how restart and re-organize.
As the pandemic and quarantine began, many companies quickly implemented security measures, organized online, and reduced costs, leaving only what was necessary. Today, it's clear that the crisis won't go away quickly, so simply continuing to cut costs won't work. The time is right to launch larger changes within companies to meet new external requirements.
But what are some points worth looking into before you decide to restart your business and start anew?
#1 📚 The business model
Your company's business model needs to be revitalized: it's time to rethink the direction you want to take your company in and the strategic goals you want to achieve. Even in difficult times, you have to remember that any crisis is not only a pile of problems but also a pile of opportunities. "Survival is neither the strongest nor the cleverest, but the one who adapts better to change," wrote Charles Darwin. The emphasis should be on flexibility and rapid customer satisfaction. Apply a range of measures, from diagnosing the company and conducting a SWOT analysis to developing a new strategy, rethinking the product, customers, markets, etc.
Moreover, these activities need to be carried out regularly, much more frequently than before. At any moment, the business environment can undergo decisive changes for the company. And its survival depends on how soon we can turn the ship around.
This is probably the time of turquoise organizations, the kind where there is no structure at all. If not completely disappearing, then at least becoming more flexible is the main challenge for structure. The usual hierarchy should change to a horizontal or matrix structure and the titles of individual positions should disappear altogether. Divisions and structural units should be replaced by project teams. All activities in a crisis become, in essence, project-based. The team must be responsible for all the tasks previously carried out by the functional units. The transition to self-management is forthcoming, which means that the team itself defines the roles and tasks of each employee. Leadership functions of the center should be reduced to a minimum.
#3 👏 Team
As the hierarchical structure changes for teams, the next step is to form them. Here, the key workers for the operation of the business must be identified. In addition, a talent pool must be created to take care of the interchangeability of personnel. A lot will depend on the staff now. So another priority, after customers, should be employees. A variety of training programs for new and shared functions should be launched.
Since changes will happen very quickly and the number of tasks will increase (and so will the need for time), care should be taken to organize people themselves. How do you manage your tasks? How do you use your time effectively? How do you prioritize the essential and the non-essential? How do you make decisions quickly? The rules of time management, personal efficiency, and productivity will come in handy.
Also to keep in mind nowadays, allowing your team to have schedule flexibility – working from home, having online meetings and understanding that the hybrid module is a thing of the future, is a must.
#4 💻 Corporate culture
It is not enough to take an employee and define what he or she is responsible for; what matters is the environment in which he or she will have to work. A team spirit helps in crises. That's why the next step is to change the corporate culture. The company is reviewing its rules and principles of work. People like principles and rules, but when they are few and when they are followed by everybody. So a manager has to start with himself, he has to take over strategic HR functions.
A human being is a social creature. Employees must feel that they are not alone with their problems. Being able to read and see the course of action gives each employee a sense of belonging to a group. Also, the workplace is important too. A good manager should pay attention to whether his employee feels comfortable in the new workplace. The right workspace can create the working atmosphere to raise the quality of work. Regular communication is important, as is support and trust in each other. This is a great chance to build a strong corporate culture. Therefore, the manager needs to make this process as serious as possible.
#5 ⚙️ Processes
Changing the structure is only part of the necessary transformation. When you change the structure of any company, you must rethink its business processes. Better yet, do the two steps simultaneously.
Business process review and optimization start with building business processes. The next step is to identify the main processes and determine the value chain. This is also where business processes are ranked in terms of importance, criticality, and potential for change. This will help to differentiate between important and unimportant processes. In addition, for each process, you must identify critical points on which its execution depends.
It's a good time to remove all superfluous policies and procedures. The only ones that should remain are those directly related to customer satisfaction, employee safety, and company security. All other rules and procedures for specific business processes should be set by the teams themselves.
Once the processes have been simplified and streamlined, they will be automated. It is not a good idea to start by automating what is there now. The unnecessary should be trimmed first, and then the work with the rest should be facilitated.
#6 👩🏽💻 Management
In times of crisis, the whole management cycle - planning, execution, monitoring, analysis, and control - has to go much faster. A management accounting system is a good place to start. Cost accounting methods should be reviewed. MBA or CIMA programs in management accounting can help. Good management reporting shows current problems, makes it possible to predict future problems, and allows for good management decision-making. The decision-making process should become clear and transparent (this will strengthen team spirit) and the list of tasks that teams are working on should be clear and open.
The planning process should focus on critical points for each business process. At each point, different scenarios should be envisaged. Further, it should be determined what actions will be taken when each scenario occurs. Clear instructions on what, who is doing what, and how to do it will come in handy so that when the appropriate situation arises, you are not putting out the fire, but are as ready to act as possible. Risk management becomes critical.
Since all plans and budgets are already automatically affected, it makes sense to review the budgeting system. The process must be continuous and flexible. The objective is to adjust the course, not to control it altogether. A plan and budget are developed for each business process (taking into account rankings) and all possible scenarios are analyzed. Preferably, planning and budgeting are handled within the teams themselves (perhaps with certain limits or set from above), then employees will have a sense of belonging and not being imposed.
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Redirect your strategies, business model, customer experience – but overall, cherish and appreciate your loyal customers who have stuck with you since day one. And most importantly, launch again with a true mission and direction of where you want your organization to go and what changes you wish to see in the field of expertise.
New ways of working for organizations of the future.