For good reason, companies are focused on ensuring their employees are safely working remotely and adapting business practices to a new abnormal environment.

Everyone wants to know when the pandemic will come to an end and business can start up again, heading to a normal state of operation. But many experts are questioning what that new normal will actually look like. A McKinsey report from 11 years ago was recently cited for outlining 5 key steps that businesses need to take to get back on a performance path, and we think it’s actually very relevant to today’s challenges.

All of this chatter about a post-COVID-19 business world has created conversations and questions among our clients. Regardless of what actions you might take across these five stages noted in the article, we think now is the perfect time to start an alternative planning process and communicate with your teams to get everyone ready for what is coming next.

Mobilize in three consecutive steps:

STEP #1 – Revisit your current business plan for 2020

You likely rolled out your business plan in December 2019 or early 2020 to all employees. While you don’t need to necessarily throw this plan out, it is time now to revisit the goals and key actions for the year, and determine which areas are still valid and which areas need to shift because of the current crisis.

Key Actions: Don’t just adjust sales figures. Burrow down into the strategies for gaining new business and growing revenue from existing customers. The reality may be that you need to look for new avenues of growth. Another consideration might be, how strong is your supply chain? Will they fully recover, or will you need to find new or additional suppliers to meet future demand?

STEP #2 – Implement alternative business outcome planning

The future may be unclear at this moment for businesses, but those companies that can create several paths of possibility now, are more likely to succeed when the crisis starts to subside. Corporate Path Leadership has helped many organizations implement generative thinking. This planning helps companies to be nimble and recognize when business outcomes — and opportunities — are shifting, and how having action plans for each can help course-correct quickly where needed.

Key Actions: Plan not just one possible path for future growth, but several.

STEP #3 – Getting your teams aligned on the new business plan

It is not time to take action on plans now, with such ambiguity still in the larger business environment. However, employees are hungry to know what the future business focus is going to look like, and how they will be a part of that plan. Once you have your Step #2 alternative plans in place and feel the timing is right, virtually gather the team to share that your business/department has specific and flexible plans for emerging from the COVID-19 crisis — including how they are going to be part of each plan.

Key Actions: Start with an all employee, high-level meeting to go over the possible plans from Step 2. Follow up within one week with specific team meetings that help each employee understand what would be expected from them, and how they individually will help with the new business trajectory for each possible plan.

While none of us can predict when businesses will start taking off, stock markets will recover, and employment will return to normal, we can utilize this time now to make sure that we are ready and can mobilize our teams to be ready for what comes next. First mover advantage will be available for those companies that are ready to capitalize on it — so we suggest that you start your planning processes now.

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