The world is shifting at the speed of light whether you believe in conspiracy theories or not.
Let me give you context. We have seen new normal before. During 9/11 in 2001, a general need to connect directly with others, led to the existence of social networks such as Facebook.
It changed our norms on friendship, privacy and trade and eventually created a new world. The Sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2007 led us to reassess ownership and possession.
Mass acceptance of so-called joint consumption became a norm. The result was the dominance of enterprises such as shared accommodation like Uber and Airbnb. These changes brought us a new world.
Covid-19 will have a thousand times greater impact – the new normal is a consumer who changed habits overnight and a business sector that may not be adapting fast enough through innovation, technology and a changed workforce mindset.
Businesses may also be in denial that change has happened. But it is real, and it has the potential to threaten their existence. If you are an enterprise that has not yet adapted, you are in trouble.
Now is the time for corporates to check their aptitude for change.
What will next-level leadership look like in a post-pandemic Republic? Are you ready to lead differently to meet the demands of a post-pandemic future?
Companies need to invest in workforce change strategies, learning from past pandemics and, how to focus on opportunities and not get stuck in fear, and to give the consumer what they want: products and services geared for a low-touch economy.
Critical behaviours of next level leaders should be re-assessed and they should be coached on how to drive innovation of products and services during change.
Another aspect is how to motivate employees to be stand-outs within the new way of work, remote leadership up-skilling and ultimately how to build safety nets for their (often fragile) teams while leading by example.
It seems like every day we are faced with new challenges as we move into this new world.
This also means that human resources had to start implementing new performance management strategies and a revision of key performance indicators months ago.
If you have failed to do so by the time you read this article, it means that you have communicated to your employees that business goes on as usual and that there was no need for change or to step up and be rewarded for innovation.
If you are a South African company getting ready for the new-normal you should be stress testing your ability to respond to second and third pandemic waves. It will also inspire business leaders to draw scenarios about what might happen, and how it could distress business which will naturally foster innovation.
In order for South African companies to get ready for the new normal our business leaders need to strengthen their attitude of resilience.
HR executives globally are implementing real time performance management via easy accessible mobile apps to track everyday performance with a great emphasis on innovation.
Henry Bantjez holds a masters degree in psychology and has a history of consulting major multinationals in various countries on change management and talent development.
* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL’s
#Coronavirus trend page.
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