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The Post-pandemic Organization: Does COVID-19 Level the Playing Field?

In the post 9-11 world, we saw organizations focus on Business Continuity. In the post-pandemic world, organizations will supplement Business Continuity with an emphasis on Business Resilience. This distinction may seem subtle, but it’s actually substantial.

After 9-11, organizations recognized the threat of unforeseen disasters and engaged in BC/DR efforts. BC seeks to answer the question: in the event of a disruption, how do we continue operations?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that BC alone is not enough. Organizations need to become “Resilient.” Business Resilience seeks to also answer the more strategic question: in the event of a disruption, how do we continue to generate revenue?

This change in question changes the fundamental nature of the issue from an operational to a strategic one. As a strategic issue, we must expand our scope beyond traditional continuity considerations. To be resilient, we need to evaluate the resiliency of our Business ModelValue PropositionCompetitive Advantage, etc.

For example, non-essential businesses have been shut down retail operations. Does their Business Model account for this change? Is their Value Proposition still attractive to customers? Does their Competitive Advantage still exist? Etc.

A Resilient Organization seeks to ensure continuity of both strategy and operations.

Flevy has numerous best practice resources for Business Continuity and Business Resilience:

Business Resilience

Business Continuity

We have also reached out to many of authors to ask them to develop materials related to these areas, so you can expect more materials in the coming months available on the Flevy Marketplace.

Digital Transformation

We’ll notice, as organizations seek to develop Resiliency amidst the COVID-19 crisis, most will accelerate their Digital Transformation initiatives.

Credit: marketoonist.com

This is true for several reasons.

First, all organizations will be focused on Cost Management efforts. One of the quickest and most impactful ways to reduce costs and increase efficiencies is via technology. Digital Transformation offers numerous solutions that drive these outcomes, most notably Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Secondly, right now the best available solution for containing COVID-19 is social distancing. This has resulted in a minimization of in-person activities. To survive, organizations must go digital! This includes offering digital solutions for both employees (e.g. Remote Work, Virtual Teams, Enterprise Cloud, etc.) and customers (e.g. E-commerce, Social Media, Mobile Apps, etc.).

Third, with every disruption, there exists opportunity. This pandemic will cause obvious and non-obvious changes to society. Agile organizations need to anticipate and shape these changes through digital solutions. We already are seeing a surge in certain digital technologies and verticals (e.g. video conferencing, telehealth, robotics, etc.). We should also expect new digital-enabled business models and verticals to emerge in the coming months.

So, what should your organization be doing? If you have a Digital Transformation Program, it should be at the forefront of the corporate agenda and accelerated. If you haven’t yet formulated a Digital Transformation Strategy, take a look at these frameworks to get started:

As you are probably well aware, we have a plethora of other Digital Transformation resources, which run the gamut from AI to Blockchain to Analytics. Our most holistic offering on Digital Transformation is a bundle of 55 best practice frameworks, our Digital Transformation Stream.

As a final remark on COVID-19, we are living in uncertain, unstable, and unprecedented times. In such times, it is important to obtain accurate information to make informed decisions. I hope you’ve found this article helpful. What other information would be most helpful right now? What questions do you have? What tools do you need? We want to provide information and resources that are the most important to you.

If you have any questions or things you want to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will try to publish more content related to managing through this crisis. If you missed it, earlier this month I published an article on the 3 Cs of managing through the COVID-19 crisis. Flevy also published a complimentary presentation on the business impact of COVID-19.

For even more best practice topics on dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak, check out this page: https://flevy.com/coronavirus/resources.

If any of your friends or colleagues may find this article useful, please share this with them.

As always, thank you for reading. Wishing everyone and their loved ones health, safety, and comfort through this crisis!

About David Tang

David Tang is an entrepreneur and management consultant. His current focus is Flevy, the marketplace for premium business documents (e.g. business frameworks, presentation templates, financial models). Prior to Flevy, David worked as a management consultant for 8 years. His consulting experience spans corporate strategy, marketing, operations, change management, and IT; both domestic and international (EMEA + APAC). Industries served include Media & Entertainment, Telecommunications, Consumer Products/Retail, High-Tech, Life Sciences, and Business Services. You can connect with David here on LinkedIn.

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