Build Back Better: 6 tips on building a recovery plan online

Posted on July 23, 2020 by Cambium Insights

Considering building a recovery plan? Here are 6 tips to help you Build Back Better online.

Four months ago, on the 23rd March 2020, the UK government announced the Lockdown.  This decision has had the biggest, most sudden impact on business that most of us can recall in our working lives.  For many of us this may seems like a lifetime ago.  For businesses that have survived the first four months after lockdown, it would not be surprising if you felt that you and your colleagues in the business deserve a pat on the back for making it this far.  However, as the Lockdown environment is now being eased, the toughest times may lie ahead.   It is an appropriate time to consider your strategy and plan to continue your recovery.

Today we are all beginning to form a view about what the “new Normal” looks like.  We are also considering the potential options for the shape of any economic recovery.  It is also becoming more obvious that there are emerging new market trends and opportunities that are appearing.  The key question for business leaders is how to refine & adapt their plans for the business, as the economy recovers.

Necessity is the mother of invention

Our collective Covid-19 experience has shown once again the validity of this saying.  The Lockdown has been strange and uncertain for everyone.  We have all had learn to navigate a path through the crisis so far.  This has involved new ways of working and collaborating to meet our needs. The lessons we have all learned will also serve us well as we plan for the recovery of our businesses in the “new Normal”.

This recovery strategy will build on the lessons learned by the business during the crisis.  Ideally this learning will take input from the key players in the business, who were part of the successful survival to date.  Learning lessons from others will also be important.  .All of these sources of good ideas can help to develop a response that will enable the business to pivot into the new opportunities set for growth as we build back better in a sustainable recovery.

Big themes affecting businesses that may help in building a recovery plan

Earlier this week mobile phone operator Vodafone revealed the findings of their survey of 800 businesses across UK, Germany, Spain and Italy

This report[1] acknowledged 5 key trends in the businesses include:

  • The need to rebuild and reinforce their resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • A requirement to adapt quickly to changing social attitudes and customer behaviours
  • Sustainability is now becoming standard
  • Data and the digital economy are fast creating new business challenges and opportunities
  • A requirement to change the way they recruit and nurture talent

These trends may also be affecting your business.  However, it is unlikely to be an exhaustive list.  There may be others relating to changing ambitions and needs of key business stakeholders.  These may include colleagues, of key investors or of new Government policies that have changed since the start of the Lockdown.

3 questions for business leaders to consider in developing a strategy and building a recovery plan

For many businesses this is a big and important challenge.  Traditional markets may have dwindled or even disappeared with the onset of the pandemic.  The magnitude of the changes catalysed by Covid-19 mean that just maintaining the status quo is unlikely to be a viable option.  The need to modify your businesses strategy may be clear.  It may also be easy to summarise an initial outline of how the business could begin to put these thoughts into action.  However, uncertainty regarding the future impact of the pandemic begs some important questions that any recovery plan should consider.  These include;

  • Can your business identify, with confidence, new opportunities that your business can take advantage of in the COVID-19 recovery?
  • How will you and your team make an informed choice for the best strategic opportunities emerging both now and beyond the COVID-19 crisis?
  • Is there an opportunity for your business be a proactive partner in the new resilient supply chains now being formed in the wake of the COVID-19 experience?

Creating time and place to reflect and plan

Even before the Pandemic, leaders of businesses found it challenging to take time away from day to day pressures.  It is hard to create a time and place to review how the business is performing and to discuss and plan actions for improvement.  Today bringing your core team together quickly to discuss your business’s COVID-19 recovery plan is even more difficult. This is due to the need to maintain social distancing restrictions.

So, how can businesses find the time to accelerate the development of a vision and re-start plan for the business.  One of the lessons we have all learned is to work increasingly on-line.  Whilst this is not the same as a face to face discussion with the right preparation and support, development of a meaningful recovery plan can be created.

6 tips for building a recovery plan for your business online

As a business that has run many on-line sessions for our clients, we have analysed what has worked well and offer the following suggestions:

  1. A clear description of desired and measurable outputs (success criteria)
  2. Invest time upfront to design the steps to meet your objectives and secure buy in. Consider the balance of how the business should be investing its time, e.g. ‘understanding the problem’ versus ‘driving for solutions, analysing opportunities versus moving to action
  3. Design a planning process that comprises a number of short duration on-line sessions to ensure participants remain engaged and productive.  These can be spread over a time that makes sense for your business.
  4. Think about including an objective external perspective on the key trends that will impact your business in the recovery to prompt fresh thinking and ideas.
  5. Make best use of the on-line tools – these have developed rapidly, even in the last 4 months.
  6. Use an independent and experienced on-line facilitator to fully involve of all members of the team and to focus on outputs for action.

A way forward

Support to help enable your business to accelerate development of a resilient, recovery strategy and plan is now available.

Built upon a decade of experience in enabling business innovation, Cambium offer an online support package for use by business leaders & their teams safely and at speed.  This “service” enables a business to:

  • Reflect on its COVID-19 experience, learning lessons and developing a shared view of both challenges and potential opportunities.
  • Gain access to our research insight into the key trends set to affect all businesses in their recovery
  • Use of a post Covid-19 planning framework that enables thorough consideration of the strategic options available to a business.
  • Leverage online access to customised support delivered at a time and pace that meets the needs of the business .

To learn more about how this service could work for your business, visit our website here.  Alternatively, we offer exploratory  Zoom / Teams / Skype / Miro chat, to see if this approach is right for your business.

We look forward to meeting you online at a time of your convenience soon.

[1] https://vodafone.lookbookhq.com/futurereadyreport2020

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