As businesses look beyond the COVID-19 crisis and reflect on its impact, they need to act now to reshape for the future.
There isn’t an easy way to sum up 2020. The impact of the pandemic is so profound, but also so varied, with consequences that will last through 2021 and beyond.
We could sum up 2020 by saying that we were in the same storm, but not the same boat. Some companies started the year well-equipped to sail through turbulent seas or operated in markets that offered them safer harbour. Others went into the storm in weaker vessels or faced the worst of the headwinds.
But, while companies haven’t shared a universal experience, many share the need to reshape their business to meet fundamental changes in society, in the economy, and in government policy that we saw accelerate or emerge for the first time in 2020. Global changes played out at a national and regional level, as borders closed, and UK companies faced localised disruption to supply and demand.
We start 2021 with hopes of a return to ‘normal’, but this won’t be the same as the ‘normal’ we left behind at the start of 2020. Our world has been reshaped by COVID-19 and its interaction with prevailing forces that were already propelling companies towards re-imagining their businesses.
This process is ongoing, but we have picked the five most compelling forces that we think companies need to respond to today. Forces that companies cannot afford to ignore if they want their business to thrive in 2021 and beyond.