The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic jolted the business world and upended lives across the globe. It triggered a wave of tectonic shifts in the business landscape from overnight remote working models and a dearth of tech talent to supply chain disruptions and sweeping digital transformation.
Two years into the pandemic and after subsequent lockdowns, business leaders have learned to embrace uncertainty, navigate disruptions and evolve. With technology and innovation at their forefront, business leaders worldwide have scaled operations, improved organizational performance and reshaped business models. But as the pandemic begins to subside, a new set of challenges abounds.
From technological transformation and the rise of AI to clean energy transition and the ‘great resignation’- business leaders will continue to face many more complex challenges. In the face of such volatility and trials, there are most pressing priorities that CEOs should make a part of their agenda for 2022.
Building resilient and sustainable supply chains
The upheaval of the pandemic disrupted supply chains caused labour shortages and surged consumer demands across the globe. As a result, several businesses had to suffer losses and suspend business operations. In response to supply chain bottlenecks and preparing against future crises, CEOs should focus on building resilient and sustainable supply chains. From diversifying and decentralizing supply chains to shifting operations closer to consumers and adopting digital strategies, leaders can improve the risk tolerance of their supply chains. CEOs should also take stock of climate risks and rebuild supply chains that can withstand future environmental threats and crises.
Embracing technology holistically
While the outbreak of the pandemic pushed many businesses to pivot to digital technologies overnight to support remote work arrangements, several businesses are still hesitant in adopting technology holistically. But this is not the time to resist change; instead, business leaders should spearhead their organizations’ digital and technological transformation. Investing in new technologies can help CEOs optimize their business processes, innovate existing offerings, improve organizational performance and spur business growth. Holistic and organization-wide technological adoption should be on the top of every CEO’s agenda.
Investing in human capital
Amidst the war for talent, the great resignation and hiring surges, business leaders must double their efforts to retain and attract talent. By investing in the right hiring technologies, partnering with EdTech and HRTech platforms and assessing the needs of the existing workforce, CEOs can scale their HR efforts, improve hiring velocity and optimize their hiring process. Business leaders must devote time to building strong relationships with their workforce, creating succession pipelines and empowering their employees. Higher compensation, more flexibility, better benefits and reskilling and upskilling can help them retain their best talent. Collaborating with the recruitment platforms, building a strong employer brand and improving internal processes can help attract the right talent.
Contributing to sustainability, energy goals
The extreme temperatures, rising floods and severe storms of the last few years have stirred leaders across the globe into action. Mitigating and adapting to climate change has moved from a surface item on the CEO’s agenda to a strategic concern. As more and more countries pledge net-zero carbon emissions, organizations must adapt their business processes and practices to facilitate the low-carbon transition. CEOs should adopt greener practices, better business models, sustainable supply chains and the right technologies to reduce their carbon footprint. Leaders should not flinch from change or challenges but should rethink their existing practices to carve a viable path that ensures business success and sustainability.
Scaling innovation, digital efforts
While the pandemic has evolved business practices and models, consumer behaviour and expectations have changed in response to the pandemic as well. As a result, customers prefer omnichannel experience, innovative offerings and solutions. This is the time for business leaders to make bold decisions and foster a culture of innovation in their organizations. Full-scale digitalization can elevate and enhance customer experience and also help businesses to scale operations rapidly. The Covid-19 crisis has presented business leaders with an opportunity to build a resilient and futuristic organization.
Agility and resilience have become the lynchpin of every business leader trying to forge a path amidst the crisis and challenges of the world. Leaders who do not flinch in the face of adversity and take on challenges can propel their organizations to new heights. Right technological investments, building resilient supply chains, investing in human capital and mitigating climate change can help CEOs ensure a sustainable future for their organization. By successfully navigating the business risks and uncertainty and creating risk-proof strategies, business leaders can insulate their organization against any future challenges.
(Yogita Tulsiani, MD & Co-founder, iXceed Solutions (Global Tech-Recruiter Provider. Views are personal)
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