CEOs and corporate boards should invest in the technologies that support new
ways of working, strengthening the crisis-induced transformation to future-proof their business operations.
CEOs need to capitalize on remote working to embed transformational DNA into their companies for the future. CEOs of mature companies plan smartly for a post-COVID environment, with well-planned technology investments.
For over a decade now, most businesses have not been willing to carve out sufficient technology budget to drive meaningful transformation. But, the investments have got unnecessarily delayed.
For the CEOs and their boards, the pandemic has highlighted the fact that they are not yet well prepared to operate a company in the modern era, where technology allows people to do their jobs effectively, even remotely.
Post this crisis, CEOs will need to identify a budget that is tied up in physical assets and leases to deploy it elsewhere into technology. Clearly, the pandemic is boosting up the real demand for CEOs to fund a new five-year investment plan, as this new remote working world isn’t going away anywhere soon.
Shareholder activism can be a huge challenge even for the most courageous leaders. It breaks down businesses into pieces as winners or losers, and demands CEOs to sell the losers. In a conglomerate, there might be a division in healthcare, which is booming due to the pandemic, and another in media, which is now shut down.
CEOs need to understand that corporate thinking is short term, and such short-term planning has hurt longer-term infrastructure investment for these companies. So, they lie flat-footed and are under risk now – to shine out and recover loses they need to think futuristically.
Due to the COVID, enterprises need social distancing, for which practically they will need to quadruple their office space to allow everyone to come back simultaneously, and this is not possible for most. Every CEO is probing their finance team to analyze facilities cost to lower to support the novel ways of working.
Firms are focusing on rolling up their leases to save costs and perform more profitably to invest in new customer engagement technologies that will help them to thrive in this new world.
These legacy executives will fail to compete with CEOs who accept the new reality. CEOs who accept the new reality will find new ways to create a corporate culture of commitment and passion in a remote workforce. They will learn how to ensure motivation and team engagement remotely; they will require varied skill sets in their leaders.
Companies’ recruitment, retention, and onboard talent
Due to the increasing job insecurity, employees are actually working harder than ever to improve retention post-COVID, because they can interact with the teams all the time.
Since the pandemic, the whole notion that an executive committee needs to work out of the same location has faded away. Going forward, teams need to come together for planned, purposeful management meetings, and through the interactions that build the trust and relationship to allow team members to live anywhere.
Company’s ability to drive transformation
Companies are planning end-to-end business transformations, but those plans often get sidelined due to distractions and resistance to change. This crisis has necessitated changes much faster , so whether the CEO’s intentional or not, the transformation has automatically become a part of the DNA of every company.
The businesses have now been forced and dragged into the future – proving that transformation is easy and is just about the mindset change. Now, it’s time for enterprises to embed the forced transformation into the culture going forward, to ensure business continuity and future success.