We are currently navigating our way out of one of the most significant periods of uncertainty experienced in recent memory. According to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Uncertainty Index, the combination of Brexit, China-US trade tensions, then the global Coronavirus pandemic, caused a peak in uncertainty dwarfing even the financial crash of 2008 or the European sovereign debt crisis of 2012.
Businesses have been wracked by this uncertainty, and as we’ve seen by the companies that have succeeded even through speculation, government (in)action, supply shocks and other factors that affect uncertainty, rapid action is key. Here’s why.
To stay competitive
By acting fast and adjusting your business activities to rapidly meet changing conditions, you can keep up with, or at best, outmanoeuvre, the competition. In doing so, you will unlock new growth opportunities and shake off the economic malaise almost certainly affecting the majority during times of uncertainty.
To boost future growth
Alongside keeping competitive, you’ll also safeguard your business for the future. Keeping your business competitive typically involves investing in new technologies, systems, and products, and in doing so you will put your company on a firm footing for explosive growth once the tide rises once again. Working with expert consultants can be a great way to ensure this growth happens – with their help, you can be certain the decisions you make will drive real returns.
To meet the wants and needs of customers
During periods of uncertainty and instability, customer needs change to meet new realities. While some behaviours might revert back to their previous state once stability resumes (think consumer spending after the financial crisis), others are unlikely to (such as the increased appetite for online food or goods ordering, or working from home). As such, your quick thinking and ability to adapt may well end up positioning you to meet longer-term customer needs too.
To keep staff sharp
Adapting to change is all about problem solving. By instructing your staff to work through challenges to produce optimal outcomes, you’ll not only hone their existing skills, but upskill them with the abilities they will need to help your business grow in the future.
To change your company culture
If there are aspects of your business that you wish to change, such as processes, organisation or even the wider culture, then times of adaptation can be the perfect times to instigate and instil said change. Be sure to assess whether the things you wish to change will have a beneficial impact, what challenges they should solve, and how they will likely land, so you can devise the best approach to implementation.
Do you own a business? How have you adapted to uncertainty? Let us know in the comments section.