Resilience as Your Rudder: Navigating Your Business Through Uncertain Times

A good ship’s captain is resilient. Responsible for safely leading a ship from port to port, a captain’s job is never easy. In unpredictable waters and turbulent weather at sea, this duty is often daunting and requires quick thinking and a responsive attitude to stay afloat.

In that sense, being a sea captain is no different from navigating through today’s volatile business world. Businesses have had to go through unplanned and almost overnight rehauls. Firms have had to be prepared and innovate new business models on the go or fold due to a lack of smart resources. Moreover, if recent events have taught us anything, it is that disasters are inevitable and take a variety of forms. From pandemics to protests and from natural disasters to rapid market fluctuations, things haven’t been easy. For businesses, these trying times can be potentially lethal, requiring constant vigilance, courageous leadership, boldness, and a responsive business culture.

What’s more, transforming the way you do business is more than addressing a particular crisis. It is about responding to the way the world is evolving. We should be looking at present world crises as opportunities to “drift the curve”— something that should have already been in place. For instance, if a digital transformation of your business was already scheduled, consider putting it into action now.  Knowing where the changes come from is also an aspect of what it means to be a resilient business.

In this sense, business resilience can be seen as more important than operational efficiency, irrespective of the industry you operate in. As the management of data, people and processes evolve to meet demands, it’s also necessary to look at the bigger picture of your operation vis-a-vis evolving market conditions to conceptualize and implement holistic solutions instead of looking at specific arms of your businesses in a vacuum.

What helps here are the number of solutions already available to support the seamless transition of your business. The key is to understand which elements of this readily accessible mix are right for you and how you customize these solutions to fit in with your operational culture.

Here are some thinking points to help support your firm’s evolution and help you mitigate potential crises:

    Not having your team physically present at their office workstations shouldn’t be an issue. Today’s dynamic environment demands that we have digital workplaces set up and ready, enabling employees to remotely access resources regardless of where they sit down to work on a given day. Cloud-based productivity tools and other collaboration solutions combine to create this essential digital workspace that is accessible whenever and wherever needed. It’s not just a matter of revisiting the tools; employees themselves must rapidly change to what was a governed “in-time” based environment to a more fluid work environment. This, however, is easier said, than done!

    A crisis can limit face-to-face customer engagements, but it should not mean that encounters are impossible. Something as simple as a video call can continue to offer personal engagements with customers. Creating opportunities for remote, digital engagements help to keep customers engaged with your brand and your products and services. Take a consumer bank for instance. Setting up an account or transferring funds should be just a click away for a banking customer, whether it’s a day of enforced confinement at home or just another day at the office.

    While part of your operation might already be digitized, you might not have visibility into the performance of all parts of the business. Tough times like these, however, demand that you have ready access and visibility of your data, which enables quick and informed decision making. For a restaurant business expanding into a delivery model, data is a gold mine. Being able to predict orders based on purchase patterns could help your kitchen to be prepared and ready to go at the right time. Predictive analytics and a live dashboard are all you need in place.

    For businesses unable to access the right manpower, several automated processes and AI solutions are available to ensure business continuity. For instance, back-office administration, customer correspondence, and real-time customer experiences are all processes you could consider automating to keep your business operations running smoothly at any time, while also reducing the burden of repetitive and mundane tasks on your staff.

The processes that may need to change within your business could be many, but the same can be said of the available solutions. It is in finding the right mix of solutions that can be daunting to achieve on your own. Expert business consultants can offer digital advisory and help guide you through your decision-making process, looking at your operation from a macro perspective and offering you a combination of elements that work harmoniously throughout your business value chain. It’s about letting your inherent resilience navigate the company through troubled waters by changing the way you do business. Resilience is about being able to think on your feet and be able to use the right combination of intelligent solutions to help you do just that.