To lead in the postcrisis tomorrow, put leadership and capabilities in place today

Amid the crisis, companies have learned to work faster and manage better. Strategies that continually refresh those lessons through people will define winners in the post-COVID-19 era.

 
One silver lining of the COVID-19 crisis has been to show businesses how to manage better and achieve greater speed, quality, and cost control. A wartime mindset—defined by decisive crisis management, scenario planning, and a human reflex attuned to the economic and health shocks affecting employees—has been the hallmark of leaders in the crisis so far. Now, as the world feels its way toward recovery and the new opportunities of the next normal, another risk looms. It is that inertia will set in, along with a longing for a return to the operating style of the days before COVID-19.

How can leaders avoid the impulse to abandon the progress they have made in shaping a more productive and competitive company profile? We believe the answer is a renewed focus on people and their capabilities. Only by advancing new cadres of adaptive, resilient leaders, as well as a middle bench fluent in technology that cuts across silos, will companies be able to work with the speed and impact necessary to further the broader transformation that has begun. The message to CEOs, boards, and leaders is clear: the return on this people investment has never been higher, and without it companies will not be able to fully take advantage of the postcrisis era to come.

Why do we believe this? Because over the past five months, we have seen the performance edge gained by organizations and leaders with adaptable management and strong capabilities. Many of the companies that have battled successfully in the crisis have done so from a wartime footing—what former US secretary of defense General James Mattis refers to as operating “at the speed of relevance.”

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Πηγή: mckinsey

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