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Beyond Leadership

119 EpisodesProduced by Mark KalinWebsite

Beyond Leadership is a podcast that connects the business world with academia and provides a platform for entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, students, and everyone willing to learn and share their best practices and life stories about leadership. Going Beyond.Founder and owner: Mark Kalin

4:14

Tip of the Week 05 - Adapt your Business to the New Reality

It will be quite some time before we understand the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the history of such shocks tells us two things. First, even in severe economic downturns and recessions, some companies are able to gain advantage. Second, crises produce not just a plethora of temporary changes (mainly short-term shifts in demand) but also some lasting ones.

Any analysis of growth opportunities must go well beyond a simple categorization of what you already know. You need to challenge your ideas about what’s happening in your traditional business domains by taking a fresh, careful look at the data. This requires that you actively seek out anomalies and surprises.

Dive deep into data: Anomalies usually emerge from data that is both granular (revealing patterns hidden by topline averages) and high-frequency (allowing emerging patterns to be identified rapidly).

Take multiple perspectives: In the military, a technique for discovering what you don’t know is to use the “eyes of the enemy.” Military leaders ask themselves, What is the enemy paying attention to? and then shift their own attention accordingly to illuminate potential blind spots and alternative perspectives.

To figure out what business model the new normal requires, you need to ask basic questions about how you create and deliver value, who you’ll partner with, and who your customers will be. As an example, let’s look at how retail shopping businesses should be adjusting to the demand shift to digital.

Can you take your value online? The value that many retailers provide to customers traditionally has come from the quality of their in-store service.

Which platforms should you work with? The pandemic induced shift to digital shopping has made customers and firms more dependent on big digital platforms, including Google, Amazon, and Apple in the West and Alibaba and Tencent in Asia.

Can you expand your customer niche? Digitization provides scope for niche businesses to expand their markets, perhaps across borders or into adjacencies not currently well served.

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted global consumption, forcing (and permitting) people to unlearn old habits and adopt new ones. A study on habit formation suggests that the average time for a new habit to form is 66 days, with a minimum of 21 days.

Which changes are you still expecting to face in the near future? Which trends uncovered by the current pandemic surprised you the most?

Jacobides, M. G. & Reeves, M. (2020). Adapt Your Business to the New Reality. Harvard Business Review, 98(5), 74-81.


*Slovenian Research Agency, Program P5-0364 – The Impact of Corporate Governance, Organizational Learning, University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business, Slovenia.

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