2020 was the year when how we lived and interacted with each other significantly changed. What will be the “new normal” after this? The road ahead is still quite foggy, but you might already need to think strategically different.
We are all wondering what the world will look like after the pandemic, and how it will affect our work and the sector we are working in. What we already can establish is that human kind is more adaptable than many of us thought. We might not like change, yet we are fully capable of doing so.
When it comes to your business – whether that is product related or service related – these questions need to be considered together:
- Has the way our stakeholders interact with our company changed during the pandemic? In what ways?
- How have we changed the way we interact with them?
- Who are our most important stakeholders?
- How likely is it, that they will return to how it was before?
The last question can be as tricky as predicting people´s behavior. Dev Patnaik, Michelle Loret de Mola and Brady Bates have collaborated with a range of industries and have developed a useful way to predict just that. In their own words: “At the end of the crisis, some things will return to the way they were, some things will look very different, and some things will simply not come back. The trick is to figure out which is which”.
They have identified three categories of stakeholder behavior you should evaluate:
Sustained behavior: Likely to return to how it were before
Transformed behavior: Likely to return, but with fundamental changes
Collapsed behavior: Likely to cease altogehter or be replaced
Do your stakeholders interact with you as part of a routine or one-off event, and what are the motivations and pressures? These factors play into how these behaviors might change, and for each factor, the three different types of behavior needs to be carefully evaluated.
In planning for the future, you can go for a conventional business strategy or new thinking. According to Dev Patnaik, Michelle Loret de Mola and Brady Bates, a combination of both is the safest. In that way, you combine traditional, tested elements with the latest from both social science and innovation theory.
Read their suggested “road map” with a full overview of which questions to ask here