• Justin Gauci

Is your business "post-COVID" ready?

As we approach what we hope is the final days of level 3 here in Auckland, at Blue Horizon Consulting we are asking ourselves, what makes a good business advisor? And, how can we stay ahead of the curve to future proof our business? Many businesses rightly at some point during 2020 would have considered the second question.

And whilst the narrative is around what lays ahead in the future, a lot of what we should implement should be adopting some of the changes that have been forced upon us and transitioning back to the office from a WFH environment. Here are five questions we are asking not just ourselves, but business owners we work with that you may want to consider:

  1. Will your business now be changing direction? During the past few months many businesses would have at some point self reflected and assessed if their vision and purpose has changed. Do you now have the right strategy in place to get there? Have you engaged with your staff to let them know of these changes? Teams that understand goals and purpose will help you get there.

  2. Do you have a WFH policy? Many businesses going into COVID frowned upon the idea of allowing flexibility to their trusted employees. This has had to change and many businesses would be surprised to see just how little slippage there has been. Businesses who have managed this well have actually seen efficiencies within their teams and post-lockdown will have a more engaged team than going into it.

  3. Following on from point 2, are your team structures adequate for the new world? This by no means is referring to restructures or phasing employees out at all. What we refer to here is actually finding more resources to capitalise on talent been let go elsewhere. And by becoming a flexible employer are you now opening yourself open to to a wider talent pool?

  4. Out of 10 ask your teams to anonymously score your business' communication during lockdown. If you get a score of 7 or above, well done. And I'm sure many of you will. The reason for that is businesses were more conscious of open communications without the face to face, day to day hours spent together. If you did score that well look into how you can maintain good communication as part of your business as usual. If you scored below 7, try spending time within your teams to understand why that was the case but more importantly find out how the teams are currently feeling.

  5. Is there contract or third party resources available for quick wins? Some people have lost or had to reduce hours, so have capacity in specialist areas. Think marketing resource, strategic planning, or ad-hoc project work you may need temporary support with.

A philosophy and piece of advice we have unashamedly borrowed from Harvard Business writer Nancy Koehn at the beginning of this global pandemic is that, "real leaders are forged in crisis." Whilst self-assessment is what good leaders do, now is not the time to dwell or be too critical on past actions. It is the time to make sure in the future we provide our teams clarity, purpose and a sense of belonging.

Well done for making it through another tough period. Kia atawhai, kia kaha, ma tatou e whai ake.

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