Post-COVID Change is Coming, Are You Ready?
As a change management speaker, expert and trainer, I know that this spring could signal some of the most major changes in organizations in decades. Post-COVID 19 changes will come fast, and if you are not careful, the competition will get out of the gate before you have a chance to respond.
Plan Now for Post-COVID 19 Change
Recently, I read an excellent piece on change management in the Post-COVID 19 economy by Bill George, a Harvard Business school professor. Professor George observed:
“For the past year, most businesses have been playing defense. While the pandemic has endured a long time, the outlook has changed—much for the better. Leaders who adapted to the pandemic in a matter of days or weeks in March 2020 should once again prepare to adapt quickly to what’s ahead.”
In my speaking work on the topic of change management, I have been tracking the many positive influences that have appeared in just the past sixty days. The influences include vaccine development (anticipate four or more by May); a high degree of business adaptability; stimulus funds; legislative changes; and – do not discount this – a high degree of optimism.
Whether we will all return to the office or a hybrid model will ensue is guesswork at this time but what isn’t guesswork is that with each passing day; airline and travel bookings are up; workplaces have become increasingly flexible; and restaurants, healthcare facilities and even entertainment venues are understanding how they can quickly profit.
If, as experts project, that by April 1, 2021 about 300 million Americans will have one or more injections of a vaccine, expect the change management issues of 2020 to rapidly become an opposite set of change management challenges in 2021.
Sitting There is Not an Issue
If change occurs as quickly in the next few months as projected, it should be an immediate call to action for your firm. To not plan could be catastrophic. It is important to visualize and plan for change in a Post-COVID world.
Virtually or in-person, begin team planning by understanding your market advantages, your ability to be flexible and “nimble” in action, and to find ways to offer an exceptionally high level of customer service.
If budgeting for this rapid change becomes apparent, do so now. Whether the budgeting requires new systems, machinery, hiring technical expertise, strategy, a new location or a combination of those factors, change management demands working smarter and more efficiently than your competition.
Plan your change management reactions. To manage change means to meticulously plan for that change. While there may be slight bumps and detours, go into your change management planning with many scenarios. And yes, it does come down to: “If this, then that.”
As much as you can, leave nothing to chance. If you want to make an impact on your industry, have the mindset and vision for anticipating every post-COVID change that comes your way.
There is a Silent “I” in Team
In the coming months of rapid change, it is imperative to bring teams together as one. Everyone must be empowered to offer valid, respected opinions, and to think as one and go forward as one. Change management takes ownership where every owner has the mentality of helping to make the organization greater and where everyone has an attitude of “I want my team to win.” With buy-in and empowerment, the coming year could very well be the best in your organization’s history.
To book Mike Hourigan, Post-COVID change management speaker, for a virtual or in-person presentation to your organization, contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.