To say that the past few months have been surreal would be an understatement. While the impact of the pandemic varies from industry to industry, it has firmly brought the importance of resilience into focus for everyone.
Innovation and scale are central to the success of an enterprise and neither of those is achievable without being resilient. I see resilience as the ability to respond effectively to any situation while ensuring that productivity is never affected even during a crisis. As a business leader, my focus has been on integrating resilience into every aspect of our business, ensuring that our customers, employees, and partners have every advantage they can get. These are challenging times, and every moment needs our best intent.
It is one thing to talk about resilience and a whole other ballgame to tackle the need head-on, systematically creating the processes and culture conducive to extreme durability. In my view, the resilient enterprise is connected, insights-driven, and purposeful in how it operates - the ability to thrive lies at the confluence of these three attributes. Let's look at how organizations can build their vision for fortitude and bring it to life.
I see resilience as a function of four pillars, each dealing with a different aspect of enterprise operations, each equally important. These are enterprise agility, customer wellbeing, employee connectedness, and technology adoption.
- Enterprise Agility - In these times, an agile enterprise is one that isn't just able to sustain productivity, but able to enhance it as it directly impacts business performance. Once productivity needs are addressed, managing costs is the next port of call. While it is evident that companies will take a revenue hit, leaders need to find ways to protect the existing streams in the short term and find newer revenue opportunities in the short to midterm. These strategies must be data-driven and insight-led to have any chance of success. With the situation changing every week, companies with real time data will be an advantage here.
- Customer Wellbeing - Although it's natural for companies to focus on their operations during times like these, it is essential to realize that the same crisis has hit their customers. How do you protect them? Solution partners must find ways to ensure that their client businesses are uninterrupted by supporting them in all relevant areas of engagement.
- Employee Connectedness - The pandemic's impact on human capital has been staggering. Forced to adapt to an entirely new working style, employees have their own set of challenges, and companies must ensure that they are safe and motivated. Carrying out an exercise of this magnitude cannot be limited just to HR or line managers, so it is vital to create champions or leaders within teams who can uplift morale and assure employees. Furthermore, regular communication from the leadership team will help employees feel at ease. Our own experience of running employee chats and instituting a rewards and recognition program saw the effectiveness of prioritizing employee wellbeing. Employees have also lost access to the collaboration and social interaction that comes with an office, so it's crucial to provide them with the communication tools required to engage with each other.
- Embracing Technology - World is waking up to the fact that we may need to live alongside this pandemic at least in the short-term and consequently, the pressure on CEOs to deliver results is ramping up. AI and automation can help enterprises allocate resources smartly, scale their output, and offer a crucial competitive advantage. In the last few months, our clients have leveraged AI and Automation for numerous use cases ranging from enhancing business continuity with digital workers, loan processing, invoice and claims management, contract analysis to identifying risks, and resolving IT issues to support remote work. We will see more and more organizations adopt AI, Automation and Cloud based technologies to optimize resources and ensure growth.
The verdict is clear. Adapt or perish. We are fortunate to live in a world where technology can, not just help us overcome but even harness unexpected challenges to further our evolution. The pandemic has brought into the spotlight the importance of the essential, and at this point, resilience is the most critical attribute for enterprise success. It is here that adopting a resilience-building strategy that is backed by smart planning, rapid transformation cycles, and a view towards the future will demarcate the leaders of the tomorrow from the also-rans.