Ringing in 2021 through Business Innovation
2020 has truly been an intense year of changes and adaptation to tragedy, and while we cannot prevent all tragedies from occurring, the one thing entrepreneurs and businesses can control is how they respond and react post-stimuli. Business models have drastically changed from 2019 to 2020, introducing new challenges and opportunities that forced organizations to pivot quickly in order to remain competitive and viable. Now, the question is what lays ahead for businesses in 2021? Thanks to the resiliency of humanity and grand interdependent efforts made by numerous industries, prospects are slowly starting to appear more positive, especially with a COVID-19 vaccine currently in global delivery.
However, proactive organizations do not just hope for the return of positive business cycles; successful management teams plan mitigation efforts ahead and strategize for scalable, long term successes despite economic expansion or recession. January brings about great beginnings, Change Connect is here to help get your organization off to a strong start in the 2021. By implementing these 5 best practices below for business innovation, you can feel sure that you are preparing your staff and company for a smooth transition in the new year.
Ensure employees feel safe & productive in their working environment
Are you able to social distance and wear masks in your workplace? Or have you found alternative ways for employees to stay productive and safe, like working remotely? The most important aspect of your working arrangement presently is that all employees feel safe and comfortable with wherever they are so that productivity levels stay up. However, that does not mean everyone wants to work from home; many surveys have indicated that, “millennials aged 20-40, who are ready to get back to their offices for the camaraderie and desire to meet with clients in person,” (Brown, 2020).
Strengthen customer interactions
We are all customers to various brands, however when you think of your favourites, what have those brands done for you that makes them stand out? Shaping the interactions held with consumers whether in person, over a call or through online social media is key to fostering a valuable long term relationship. Are your customer interactions engaging or could they be improved? Consider putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and experiencing your brand from their point of view by personally going through the touchpoints of your organization. Are some areas too long, unengaging or confusing? Target these areas of weak performance to improve your pipeline’s efficiency.
Secure & protect data with cloud solutions
The global economy has brought along a global need for high information accessibility and security, offered by numerous high quality cloud storage systems already used by major organizations today. Google and Microsoft are heavily dominating in the field, offering Workspace and Teams, respectively. Cloud services allow organizations to access shared and personal files securely with internet access, in addition to downloading the files for offline work. Email, calendar and meeting services have also been introduced to further integrate and simplify your workflow.
Adapt your business model to embrace innovation
Creativity and innovation are vital for business longevity in the face of conflict, as shown by the successes and unfortunate failures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that have been able to shift their business model to welcome remote and digital revenue sources have largely been able to keep business prospects hopeful. Automating processes that do not require human touch has allowed companies to shift human assets elsewhere, allowing them to specialize in and focus on activities that generate greater value for the organization.
Incorporate social responsibility into your goals
The present day consumer is more conscious about social issues and injustices more than ever. Customers actively seek out companies who take meaningful stances on current issues and promote socially responsible practices from within. Corporate social responsibility comes in many forms depending on your internal and external environment. For some companies it means setting key performance indicators relevant to a reduction of pollution, supporting charitable causes, investing back into their communities, or potentially combatting discriminatory workplace practices.
2020 by no means was an easy year for entrepreneurs, however the lessons that can be learned will provide extremely useful information for future generations. Brands that have been able to digitally shift and innovate their day to day operations to be flexible have done a fantastic job of adapting to this, still, uncertain environment. Innovation requires change, meaning an unfreezing of the status quo must occur, followed by implementation of the change and a refreezing to solidify this new innovative measure. While that may seem scary, simple innovative measures like the 5 listed above are great starting points to ensure your organization is ready for the future!