In these weeks, many companies are busy preparing for the next year. Strategies are being rethought, plans are being made, budgets are being calculated.
Some companies are also putting their own business model to the test. The profound changes brought about by digitalisation and automation have left their mark, as has the pandemic. Many have already learned to embrace new things, have tried out a few things and have been successful.
This also applies to the new course set by the pandemic. For these, the question now is whether to keep the new or go back to the previous model. Here I would like to invite you to pause. Because times are changing and sometimes business models born out of necessity are actually the better solution in order to be well positioned for the future.
Revival of a Village
Let’s take a look at the small village of Remmesweiler in Saarland, which did not have a single grocery shop even before the pandemic. The resourceful inhabitants have made a virtue out of necessity: without further ado, they have developed a platform where you can order food from the region. The highlight: the pick-up point is the community centre, where breakfast is offered parallel to the order pick-up times. The result: more exchange between the villagers and a new sense of unity in the village.
Relevance for Companies
Can something like this be transferred to companies? Probably yes. After all, it is becoming apparent that many professionals will continue to spend part of their working hours in their home offices in the future. At the same time, with this hybrid work, it is important that there is regular personal exchange with colleagues in order to maintain the innovative power of companies. At the same time, it is more important than ever for managers to keep an eye on the well-being of employees when productivity is increased through virtual working (for example, more customer appointments).
And there are other examples of change: Many companies have reorganised their supply chains because not all connections could be maintained during the pandemic. And there is a new supply chain law that makes contracting companies more accountable. So how about including local or regional suppliers in supply chains to contribute to sustainability, local rebuilding and climate protection? That could give your own company a whole new look.
Connecting different business models is another trend. Many are familiar with food delivery services like Picnic in North Rhine-Westphalia or food rescuers like Too-good-to-go. Flink is a delivery service that scores with fast delivery (10 minutes) by environmentally friendly bicycle couriers and that gives anything left over to the food bank (I see it personally because Flink is in my neighbourhood).
A restaurant in Pirna found that by not having guests and only home-delivering, there was suddenly a lot more time for the trainees. A trainee menu is certainly well received even after the lockdown. In Zurich there is even a restaurant where only the apprentices cook. How can this be preserved for the future? Because better trained employees who take on responsibility are always good. Other companies have used the short-time work to provide their employees with further training in the form of online training. This is a good investment and could also be maintained without any problems.
So it makes sense for companies to continuously review everything to see if there are more innovative solutions that will bring business benefits in the future.
We all hope that 2022 will be a normal year again. There will be a lot of talk about resilience: Get up, knock off, carry on – as before. I think we should be more pro-silient: get up, knock off and start again: with the tried and tested as well as the newly learned.
If you would like support in these reflections: Just call!