Digital innovation is a process requiring constant attention and checking to see that you’ve got it right. That was especially true of innovation during COVID-19. Fortunately, there are upsides to a hybrid workforce, not least of which is the ability to use this chaotic era to evolve your business. Here are five ways to pivot your business (securely) through digital innovation during tumultuous times.
Make use of your remote team
It’s not a secret that 2020 was an exhausting year for decision-makers. Fortunately, you don’t have to pivot your business alone. You have many great resources at your disposal, not least of which is a workforce that has had to come to rapid terms with different ways of functioning. And it’s odds-on they will have strong opinions about the plusses and minuses of their situation, including which remote-working tools are life-savers and which are productivity-destroyers.
Where possible, introduce new third-party tools and systems in pilot groups rather than across larger teams. Give people time to get used to their idiosyncrasies, ask for detailed feedback, then decide whether a given service is right for your business needs.
Interrogate your core systems
Every organisation has specific ways of doing business, and sometimes these methods are backed by implicit assumptions that could do with some re-examination. You don’t want to completely up-end your workflows and introduce entire new suites of tools in one hit, but it’s worth looking at your core systems with fresh eyes. Where can you make improvements and changes? How can you evolve the company to be better placed to take advantage of opportunities when they arise? Which in-the-office habits are unnecessary in this brave new world? How are your competitors solving the same problems you’re facing?
It’s also important to note where you’re working well. Get feedback from your people on where their roadblocks and frustrations are, as well as how your organisation does things better than other workplaces they’ve been in. Either way, the answers will be revealing and you’ll be able to pinpoint key development areas.
Develop a robust cyber security regime
“Organisations need to have a comprehensive risk management program,” explains Jason Wilk, managing director of BlueZoo and advisor to the Australian Institute of Company Directors. “Cyber is a really important way in which organisations have their value destroyed but, it’s really important to think about how can cyber create value in an organsation as well.”
As a worker, it can be deeply frustrating to deal with over-the-top security systems. Nobody wants to have to log in every 10 minutes or jump through hoops that feel out of proportion to the security importance what they’re working on.
Finding that balance between safety and functionality can be tricky, and it pays to take the time to get things right.
As Jason says, “There is only one thing that organisations have to do to keep themselves secure; and that’s finding the balance between organisation performance and conformance.”
Exploit the benefits of the “new normal”
Here’s an obvious question to ask: why do you need a central office? It’s a legacy expense that often boils down to a case of personal preference based on “how we’ve always done things”. What can you gain by keeping things as they are now? Certainly, it’s easier to recruit the best and brightest from around the world if they don’t have to live in your town, for starters. And they’ll probably BYO laptop and desk.
Use this as a launching point to examine the upsides of this global change. What inefficiencies did it reveal? How are things better now compared to a year ago, and what can you do to maintain these conditions? Where can you push things even further, and what does it mean to see your previous assumptions about work challenged by pandemic-driven changes to the way we live and work?
Take advantage of data analytics
It isn’t just you and your employees that have changed this year – the same is true of your customers (and potential customers). If you aren’t doing so already, delve into some data analytics to see what’s happening on your website, social media, EDMs and other channels. Have patterns changed? Are you getting noticed by new sectors in the community? Are your current customers looking for something different than the usual?
The main answers you’re looking for here are ways to better serve your people today. Every community has been affected by the events of 2020, and there are endless opportunities for you to pivot your offerings to help everyone make sense of today and thrive into the future. This also has the obvious benefit of keeping your business relevant.
The first step is working out what people need, and that’s where this information gathering and analysis will put you ahead of the competition.