What will ‘normal’ look like after COVID-19
Professor and writer, Yuval Noah Harari, makes the point in this Financial Times article that “many short-term emergency measures [implemented to mitigate COVID-19 crisis] will become a fixture of life”. Harari discusses two theories in the article: the first is whether the biometric surveillance seen in China during the height of their outbreak will become the global norm; and the second surrounds the impact which the outbreak of the virus may have on international collaboration on other key issues such as the environment, pharmaceuticals, economics and humanitarian aid. While much of the article relates seemingly to topics outside of the remit of this “quick-read”, one important takeaway is that we have been gifted an unprecedented opportunity to effect dramatic positive change, not just to our healthcare systems, politics and economics, but also to our culture and working life.
Enterprises operating in today’s crisis
COVID-19 is a global phenomenon, and companies around the globe from Asia to Europe to the Americas are at different stages of how they are reacting to the crisis. This McKinsey article explains how the crisis will likely play out broadly across three waves:
- Wave 1: ensuring stability and business continuity while containing the crisis
- Wave 2: institutionalizing new ways of working
- Wave 3: using learning from the crisis to prioritize technology transformation for resilience to thrive
Our “quick-read” last week addressed waves 1 and 2 and focused on what enterprise leaders could expect in the immediate onset of COVID-19 and to business activities in the event of unexpected global crises. Discussions since then with executives across the City have progressed from the initial reactive survival response, to assessing what digital strategies should be deployed to thrive in this rapidly changing environment.
Embracing tomorrow’s workplace
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the UK is set to follow in the footsteps of its European counterparts on its path to prevent the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases. All employees, where it is possible to do so, are instructed to work from home until further notice. If the spread of Coronavirus continues on a similar trajectory to other countries, based on a like-for-like comparison with how the virus progressed in China, we can expect to be working from home for at least 5 weeks.
This poses a huge challenge to enterprises which have traditionally relied on face-to-face meetings to provide updates on company strategy and the necessary support and structure which front-office employees require in order to operate at their best. Moreover, all enterprises face a continued obligation to adhere to all regulatory parameters, despite these difficult times. With a de-centralised model it becomes much more difficult for employees to know what to do and to adhere to their compliance guidelines. Remote working has not only increased the demand for this guidance and support, it has also made it harder to achieve. However, one thing is clear: without having a full understanding of what your team is doing, it is very difficult for a leader or manager to provide the support, guidance or strategic direction which is required to improve and refine effectiveness. FeedStock is founded on the belief that automated AI data-capture and analytics of human-to-human interactions can deliver revenue generating insights and drive improved enterprise performance.
Make use of enterprise data
Under today’s unprecedented circumstances, it is more important than ever that CIOs, CDOs and senior executives look to drive a shift in the way data is used to maximise productivity. As this McKinsey article states: “Many of the changes reshaping how we work and live—from employees working remotely to consumers shifting their shopping online—rely on technology. And because technology ties so much of every company together, CIOs have a unique view into what’s really going on and how to manage it.”
In order to thrive and capitalise on the current environment, it is vital to stay on track in an enterprise’s efforts to drive a culture of data-literacy across its workforce. Deploying AI data-capture technology not only delivers an accurate, impartial and complete 360-degree view into enterprise activities, it also equips revenue-generators with the tools they need to perform at their best, despite this challenging sales environment.
*McKinsey, The CIO’s moment: Leadership through the first wave of the coronavirus crisis, March 2020