One event made a little-known city called Wuhan the centre of the world. Suddenly, the world made health care, its systems, processes, people and patient safety at the centre of every media and government agenda. What came out of that city affected the world in ways unimaginable and continues to disrupt people and businesses today.
The world is a different place now than it was before the pandemic. And one of the things that I have been helping my clients who are 6 to 9-figure business owners with is to look at the many lessons from these past few years and use them to navigate better change, both people and business operations, as well as strategy and plans.
The lessons learned during this period can profoundly impact tomorrow’s business. In this article, I invite you to take some time to reflect on how these enforced operational changes have affected your career and business and what you can learn to help you in your business’s future. Let’s take a look at some of them:
The World has Changed
The world has changed, and we have to adapt. The events of 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 continue to disrupt businesses today. Businesses that did not make the proper preparations for the pandemic are still struggling to cope with its aftermath. Old technology, processes, and systems were not up to deal with this new situation created by an uncertain future.
The pandemic was a wake-up call for many businesses: if you can’t predict what’s happening around you or how it might affect your business, you’ll be unprepared when something happens (such as a disaster). This can result in expensive revamps or even complete system failure during times of crisis – neither of which is excellent for any business!
We all know that nothing stays constant forever, but being aware of where things may be heading enables us all – as individuals within a company – to adapt our behaviour, so we’re ready when change does come along; whether it’s through some of my customised senior management and staff training programmes or simply knowing about new technology developments beforehand via newsletters/meetings etcetera.
The Pandemic and the Lessons
The world we know today was changed forever by the COVID pandemic of 2019. It’s not just that so many people died in the UK, EU, the United States, and globally; businesses and people’s careers were also dead, making life difficult. The uncertainty that followed undoubtedly did change things both for better and worse. It’s also how businesses reacted to those deaths. Companies with older technology, processes, systems, and no disaster recovery plans were hit hard. Businesses either had to adapt or die—and many died in ways never before seen by their employees or customers. Those able were forced into new roles within their organisations as they struggled to keep up with demand while ensuring food supplies lasted until 2020/21 when crop yields picked up again due to favourable weather conditions across much of the globe (we’ll get into this later). But, no one saw the war in Ukraine coming, hitting the world with energy price increases and forcing many people to poverty levels.
These extreme examples show what happens when governments and organisations are unprepared for such an event: They struggle with immediate needs first before moving on toward long-term goals like profitability or sustainability; some never recover from this type of disruption because they lack resources necessary for survival (like food); others do survive but only after significant internal changes have been made so that employees can operate effectively within new constraints.
Lockdown Advanced Planning
Once you have established your company’s lockdown protocols, it’s time to step back and assess the situation. What are you trying to accomplish with this lockdown? Is it to keep employees safe and healthy or to protect your data from getting out into the wild? Would a business interruption occur as a result of a lockdown? Is there an infrastructure risk if your facility has power and water shut off for an extended period? Are there customers or clients that this type of action might impact—and how would they respond? And finally: How will you communicate with employees about their role during a lockdown event?
You also want to consider what may happen if your organisation does not complete its pandemic preparedness plan; how will that impact its reputation among its customers, clients and vendors alike?
Technology Offering Opportunity
Technology is now the key to business success. The ability for businesses to adapt and integrate with technology provides them with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. However, in many instances, technology has been used as an excuse to replace employees rather than enhance their operations. Many companies have adopted highly automated systems, leaving their employees disengaged and unable to contribute ideas on how these systems could be improved or used differently from how they were initially envisioned.
Companies must re-think how they use technology if they want it to be beneficial for all parties involved – not just the company itself or its shareholders but also its customers and employees.
The pandemic was a dramatic event that had an immediate and long-lasting impact on employment in the UK, EU, United States, and globally. The Great Depression, which began in 1929, destroyed just over 40 million jobs by 1933. During this period, employment fell by 15 million. In contrast, during the 1918–1919 pandemic alone, US employers laid off 3 million workers.
The pandemic also affected wages, some reporting a decline of up to 25 percent and, in many cases, loss of income altogether. Although some industries were hit harder than others by these changes in employment and wages—for example, airlines struggled because most flights were cancelled and many of their employees were sick—the pandemic negatively affected all sectors of the economy.
New Job Opportunities
Like with everything in life, there is an upside to every downside.
- New job and career opportunities
- Opportunities in tech development
- Opportunities in AI
- Opportunities in new business models and industries
- Opportunities to start and grow a business
Integrating Technology Into Operations
Just as technology can be an invaluable tool to help us achieve our goals and improve our lives, it is also important to remember that technology is just a tool that can’t be relied upon as the sole solution. As someone who has led large-scale technology upgrade programs and coached many business owners, I know how the use of technology must be integrated into operations for it to serve its purpose.
We’re going to see more and more opportunities where companies are leveraging technology because they understand how easy it makes their business workflows and processes when they do so appropriately. We must keep in mind that this isn’t meant as an excuse not to have employees learning new skills or doing any responsibility outside of their role – but instead using tech as an aid that makes things easier, faster or less taxing on them so they can focus on other tasks which require their attention like developing relationships with customers or managing inventory needs.
Provide Flexible Work
Flexible work is here to stay. It’s a trend, not just any, but the future of work. You’ve probably heard that flexible work is all the rage in today’s modern economy, but you may not know that flexible work isn’t new, trendy, or particular to millennials. Flexible work isn’t just for self-employed people who can set their schedules and isn’t limited to gig economy workers (although they use flexible scheduling more often than traditional employees).
Flexible schedules are used today by millions of people across industries and at all levels of employment. They’re also greener than traditional nine-to-five lifestyles because they reduce carbon emissions from commuting and office space consumption (when offices aren’t needed at all).