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Time to Plan for the New Next

As things begin to open up and business leaders grapple with the new next, there are two questions arising. The first one is a basic one that's always been there - How do leaders cope up with the moving dynamics and hence re-skill, up-skill and come to speed with this changing world. Two, how to find ways to minimise the impact from the current crisis, quick enough, as Digital gets pushed to the centre, stronger powerful and changing us forever.

Irrespective of how the future shapes, this is the time to plan that mind-shift and bring it into action. Listing down some areas, many of which we may have already considered and are acting upon. They are simple yet powerful steps and as we begin to recover from the current COVID humanitarian situation; this short note below, hopefully provides direction helping us prepare for the bounce back and beyond.

1 About Action

Look back at the great ideas we all loved in the previous brainstorming meetings, those experimental projects and the we-could-try-these-too initiatives - they all need to see fruition. We need to get our top team to revisit, list and prioritise them. To bring them into action the moment we are back into action.

2 About Cohesion

Are all these half-through projects making a cohesive story? They ought to as this is the time to see them come together, get aligned with the macro goals of the Organisation. This will not be about that mammoth Digital Transformation story we had visualized once; but about making these smaller nuggets come together.

3 About Re-skilling

Any culture, environment will resist change, that we all know. Working with our Digital leaders and HR teams to identify what needs to change, the gaps in talent and then look at reskilling, realigning and listing the new training needs for the entire team. Consumers are going to change, their purchase insights, media consumption insights, social behaviour will undergo change.

4 About Success stories

Getting a team to share stories of other successful turnarounds is important. Look at China to see what shape brands are taking there. Watch consumer-facing companies or companies from Insurance, communication, media, entertainment, banking and consumer products who may be looking at the same future like yours. The entire world is learning 'work from home' dynamics and interacting with new technologies for the first time. How do these first-timers, this massive universe of newbies across generational cohorts make an impact on our future? Let’s start testing this now.

5 About Digital Every-Where

Digital is all people, all functions and no particular department. Each one has to embrace a new mindset and be accountable for their new set of KRA’s. Yes, new KRA’s. This becomes the time to set those new expectations because, when this COVID situation ends we need double the effort to build all back.

6 About Impact, Buffering and Mirroring

This is a model I use in my digital strategy workshops. Learning about possible impacts, getting a quick team to share new ways to deal with emerging technologies, from any field. We could be in healthcare, while a new retail technology at a far end, could signal an impact in our ‘area of ecosystem’ or for that matter open up a radical opportunity. How do you buffer for this threat and plan a new initiatives and subsequently mirror the environment? Let’s create teams that act as start-ups within our Organisation and push new ideas on the table.

Only time will tell how and when we are completely out of this, but we definitely know this is the time to get ready for the new next. A lot can be done and no better time than now.

Good Luck and Stay Safe!

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