Post-COVID business: don’t go chasing butterflies!

The coronavirus pandemic crisis disrupted many business and industries, caught unprepared by the consequences of a biological virus. Many business owners and leaders reacted with a sharp switch to new activities, like providing disposable face masks, disinfectant gel or more sophisticated things like respirators. Many surfed this wave for the greater general good, others more in a me-too manner, or sensing opportunities.

In the post-COVID business world it is important not to get lost chasing butterflies

Once in the recovery phase, past the lockdown, returning to business as (old) usual will not (always) be possible. Tough times are still to come. It is highly probable that unemployment and bankruptcies will soar. The sanitary crisis may be followed by a prolonged economic crisis. Many customers may or will have to reconsider their priorities. Many will probably primarily focus on the bare essentials, reducing their expenses, paying greater attention to ethics or environmental-friendly products and services. Good news for the suppliers and providers already aligned to those goals, lesser good news for the others.

When many of the basic conditions for business have dramatically changed and other changes still to be expected, past the crisis the future might look puzzling especially to many small and mid-sized business owners.

It is important however not to get lost chasing butterflies for lack of clear goal. Because many of the ways to an initial goal are no options anymore, this initial goal itself is not necessarily invalidated. The pre-pandemic strategic intent, vision, mission and goal may well still be valid, only the way to achieve them must change.

So before stating that the business is doomed, it is important to check if in the fog of war, the initial goal, the purpose of the organization survived. If so, the changes in the current reality must be taken into account and the roadmap to achieving the goal must be updated.

It is probably more hazardous to “pivot” to any new activities for lack of clear vision than to take time to reflect on how the previous core business can be reinvigorated despite new, unforeseeable difficulties.

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About the author, Chris HOHMANN

About the author, Chris HOHMANN

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