Businesses that cannot adapt are destined to fail. This was true in ‘normal’ times, but it now applies more than ever. There are very few companies, large or small, that have been unaffected by the pandemic.
Understanding the potential of social impact and economic growth
So how can businesses make social impact and economic growth work together successfully in the longterm, and what sort of help might they need? The first essential step is a willingness to make it happen and to embrace that change.
Proactively managing risk and innovation are key to success. Rather than treating social, environmental and economic factors as separate and unrelated entities, we must develop an integrated approach – embedding them into the governance model. This will serve as a powerful driver for meaningful impact, resilience and innovation.
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that innovation is absolutely critical to our survival. Just look at how businesses have adapted to enable them to continue to trade, safely. These are the companies that ‘get’ that things are not as they were before, that things should not be as they were before and that life will never be the same again. They know they have to innovate now, in order to survive.
Innovation Requires Honesty
We must also accept the changes that are with us now. Even if there’s a vaccine around the corner, there remains a real fragility of the ‘systems’ in society and in ourselves. For generations that have known very little uncertainty, we all now understand our fragility. While some may put even greater trust in government to protect them, those on the front lines, those responsible for businesses and employees, will be forced to change.
We are all now being forced to question what we value, what is really important to us as a society and as individuals. What are we prepared to tolerate? Pure capitalism, where profit is the only important value, has been shown to be badly flawed. And as we all now share in this crisis, the things that we were shielded from before, or that we were just not willing to ‘see’, are in sharp focus. New business models are emerging as viable, and the time is ripe for change.
This crisis has highlighted further challenges for companies who need skilled, resilient workforces to contribute to their future success. Innovation and technology can play a role in reimagining business and work – with a human-centred approach.
Five Steps to Growth
So we can use this crisis as an opportunity to revaluate our ‘business as usual’ scenario. In order to do this, we must:
- Accept that we are in a time of great change and uncertainty
- Question what we value
- Develop our innovation mind-set / culture
- Increase collaboration
- Invest in human capital
Vzir is at the forefront of helping businesses of all types and sizes to change their model, and integrate social and economic drivers into their business, with maximum success for all. Making this work in a time of crisis, and in the longterm, takes collaboration, commitment and a willingness to innovate. We would be happy to talk to any businesses who need some advice.