20/04/2020 - 19:52

Responding to Covid-19: business transformation & the role of leadership

20/04/2020 - 19:52

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For a few years now we have heard many organisations talk about transformation – digital, customer, operating model.  The term ‘VUCA’ – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity being increasingly used by business leaders to describe the changing environment in which we live.  Right now, wit

For a few years now we have heard many organisations talk about transformation – digital, customer, operating model.  The term ‘VUCA’ – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity being increasingly used by business leaders to describe the changing environment in which we live.  Right now, with the dramatic spread of COVID-19 that is disrupting lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide, I’m not sure we could have imagined the disruptive impact to all aspects of society that is unfolding day by day. 

Business resilience in the short term will be critical for organisations in navigating the immediate and volatile impact on engagement with customers and employees, as well as the disruption to their traditional supply chains.  Whilst business continuity plans have been put into action, the global scale of the problem means that service delivery is being impacted across geographies, and organisations, new and mature (or large and small), have been overwhelmed by the speed and scale of change and having to adapt and innovate to respond to the disruption like never before.

At KPMG we are seeing many examples where organisations are looking to make rapid and significant transformational changes to their business and operating models in response to COVID-19.  Product lines are being redeveloped to cater for current demand, supply chains are being re-modelled to cope with changing global distributions and employees are working remotely more than ever before, learning different technologies to remain connected and productive.

In order for organisations to respond to this crisis, leadership is critical during these uncertain weeks and months ahead.  Leaders play a key role in charting courses for the future of their organisation.  But many leaders too are looking for guidance on where to focus with so much complexity, and how to maintain the productivity, motivation and resilience of their staff, in the face of new virtual working arrangements and uncertainty.

To be effective, leaders need capabilities to execute strategy and motivate their teams to continue to deliver organisational outcomes in ambiguity in order to survive, thrive and be stronger, and undoubtedly changed, on the other side.  Focusing on business continuity to secure a sustainable future, people and their well-being, performance and productivity, the constant change and need to adapt business and operating models at pace, and personal resilience will be key.

One thing is certain though, the concept, need and speed of transformation will unlikely be considered by most organisations in the same way again.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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