Today’s CEOs are faced with overwhelming, competing challenges and uncharted waters as they continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of necessity, CEOs have prioritized the Now supporting their people, customers and suppliers, addressing supply chain disruption, stabilizing revenues, aligning their businesses with evolving demand and identifying new growth pathways.
Leaders are rapidly turning their attention to the Next, a period of unpredictable and possibly muted economic recovery with new competitive threats and opportunities, and quite possibly a decade of the Never Normal, a new era defined by fast changing shifts in cultural norms, societal values and behaviors, such as increased demand for responsible business practices and renewed brand purpose.
Against this backdrop, leaders face the urgency and complexity of reopening their businesses. To outmaneuver uncertainty, reopening also requires a program of reinvention. This presents an opportunity—and a need—for many companies to build the competences they wish they’d invested in before: to be more digital, data-driven, and in the cloud; to have more variable cost structures, agile operations and automation; to create stronger capabilities in e-commerce and security. Leaders should consider the steps they take to reopen as the first in the journey to wider transformation.