Following on from my article from the end of March last year, it begs the question – what have we learned?
Were we really ready for ‘major disruption’ when the world stopped? Could we have forecasted the level of change and innovation (forced or otherwise) that was required of our businesses?
There were certainly larger coffers ‘for a rainy day’, legislation which regulated the ‘bailout’ of industry sectors and policy measures implemented by the Federal Reserve introduced after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008-09, which saw over 8 million jobs lost, house prices decline by an average of 40% and adjustable mortgage rates climb to nearly 30% (Investopedia 2020). But did this help us prepare for the onslaught of COVID-19? Likely not.
Crises do not necessarily wear the same clothes as their predecessors, but there are still questions we can continue to ask ourselves as we develop our business strategies and plans:
- What would happen if we could no longer serve our customers as we do now?
- What if our suppliers could no longer deliver as they do now?
- Do we have a diversified product / service offering that, if one failed, the others could thrive?
- Can these new products and services not only stand alone, but be associated with us and our existing offering in the eyes of our clients?
- Are these ideas too many / too few?
- Is there a need and is this an area of demand for the future?
- Are our existing teams able to support this or do we need to upskill / recruit? What do we want to do versus outsource?
- Does this strengthen our market position and make our consumers’ life better or easier than if they did not have us?
These questions whilst seeming simple, are sometimes a little ‘cart before the horse’, and often used to confirm our decisions / position, rather than at stage-one of the process.
In turn becoming reactive and stumbling to find a fast solution to respond; where we may not be as experienced or qualified to deliver. I am sure many people have faced this as they adapted to survive this pandemic.
What I am pleased to say, is that it has taught us that we are an adaptable species, and we can indeed ‘find a way’. What I have personally learned is that relationships are extremely important in surmounting calamity. The relationships you forge with your consumers, your suppliers, colleagues, and your personal relationships too. Learning, leaning, and helping together and wherever possible.
It has been tough, but I am also excited. Disruption has seen Outsourced Events evolve during this time. Thanks to our ongoing relationships and learnings we are starting a new division of our business in Q1 of this year.
So, as we enter a new year of jabs, resurgence, advancements, and where masks and sanitiser are perfectly normal; these are the questions I will continue asking of those relationships.
Equally, recalling the sentiments from my original article, those early learnings should re-emphasise the need to:
- reinforce your leadership position and ability to respond
- be a stabilising influence, focusing on who you are and what you represent
- stay curious to the new; adapt and innovate
- offer premium service and be kind – if you can do it, so can someone else
- avoid fear and greed during those tough times, it will only work against you, and
- be prepared to learn from others who may be more experienced than you!
If you would like to discuss anything mentioned in the article or need assistance with an event, please do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of our team today on firstname.lastname@example.org