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  • Writer's picturePaul Naude

10 building blocks to consider in your strategic decision making in 2020 and beyond.

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

The Covid-19 rethink

The dark Covid cloud has impacted on businesses at different levels. Often there has been considerably greater impact in close social contact sectors, especially where physical contact or close proximity is core to the business. In other areas, business either continued as before or with relatively limited changes e.g. certain areas of local transportation such as trucking. Other sectors may have experienced some increase in product lines; medical with respect to PPE.

The following factors or attributes form a good basis for strategising new approaches in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Flexibility

Covid 19 has hit certain industries especially hard. With some it may be difficult to re-engineer, but that capability is the key to business survival. All avenues should be explored to ensure greater flexibility on the go forward. In simple terms a big ship is going to have great difficulty in turning around. Linked to this is that streamlining becomes more important than ever before; cutting costs, downsizing personnel should all be considered,

2. Restructuring

Consideration is needed regarding what is easily obtainable to ensure company survival. Restructuring options should be considered against a backdrop of what is easily attainable in the short to medium term while balancing that against long term goals.

Where restructuring is an option, it should be looked at aggressively to ensure survival in 2020 and the creation of a foundation for growth within the next five years.

3. Technologically Innovative

Covid-19 provides an opportunity to revisit the use of technology in the business. Working from home has become the norm rather than the exception. Technology present a mechanism for improved efficiencies and effectiveness for capable employees.

4. Adaptability

With flexibility, a company needs to be adaptable for future changes. Covid-19 has presented a new threat that businesses world-wide have had to endure. Future threats are most likely to again come from an unexpected angle. Businessmen are often not equipped to deal with external forces outside their realm of expertise. To prepare for future catastrophic events, business should explore strategies and risk management approaches that consider the unknown and the unlikely.

5. Dealing with government induced bureaucracy

Government approaches world-wide have both been slow in reaction time and lacking innovation in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, while government's role is expected to be one of assistance and protection, this is not always the case. The threat is that with hidden agendas government assistance may be diminished through inefficiencies and corruption. Businesses need to consider where government bodies will assist and what the level of reliability is likely to be.

6. Being Pandemic and crisis aware and ready

Businesses should take the learning points from the Covid-19 pandemic and consider future approaches to crisis events. The realisation should be that in today's mobile world and continued global population growth future pandemics are highly probable. Environmental and other external impacts on businesses are likely to increase in the future.

7. Rethink and redesign

2020 presents the opportunity to relook at everyone's existing business and to consider the options of streamlining and redesigning the business especially within a framework of technological tools that both mitigate risks and enhance business effectiveness and efficiencies.

8. Balancing risk and compliance against focused objectives.

The changed environment requires both greater compliance to ensure that the impact of the pandemic is contained and also ensuring that business continues on the path as planned. For every business, a reassessment of current state and scenario planning for future events should be a critical process within the business strategy approach.

9. Remembering social responsibility and environmental concerns

These factors should not be forgotten in 2020. They are now more important than ever before. Businesses should consider there role against these areas in 2020 and beyond.

10. Business focus

In the strategic process, the executive team should revisit the business objectives and consider where the business focus will be in 2020 and the future. Where different priorities need to be set or direction changes are required, consideration of these factors should form an integral part of the planning process.

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