Which post-pandemic path will your business take? … Will you return or reinvent, reduce or rescale?

April 7, 2021

As the world nudges towards reopening after the chaotic disruption and economic stagnation of lockdown, now is the time to explore your path forwards.

Some companies have thrived as markets pivoted to digital, behaviours were transformed, and new priorities came to the fore. However not everybody has seen the incredible growth trajectories of Amazon and Tesla, Pinduoduo and Ping An, Vestas and Visa. Others have struggled to survive – their outdated or fragile business models exposed – or in sectors that just could not continue amidst socially-distanced restrictions.

Gartner’s post-pandemic planning framework (below) is designed to be a stimulus for scenario planning – in simple terms, to explore what has changed, how new approaches might continue and scale, or old approaches might return but in a different format.

So as we shift to reopening, which path will your business take?

For some, this will mean a return to business as usual, although maybe strengthened with new capabilities and efficiencies (eg restaurants reopening, but also offering online deliveries, chef blogs and instore delis). For others it might be to reduce (eg gyms are unlikely to be packed full of sweating bodies again, not least because Strava and Peloton now offer more convenient and sociable alternatives).

Many companies will need to reimagine their futures. Some have already learnt how to reinvent their entire ways of working (eg the shift to digital healthcare with remote diagnostics and video consultations) and others are ready to rescale, accelerating their new models as the new norm (eg digital conferencing and events). And some might conclude that it is time to retire.

What is certain, is that we are in a time of significant change. Every market is being shaken up right now, and new orders are being established. CB Insights, a great source of analysis on start-ups, reports the arrival of more than 55 new $1bn+ valued “unicorns” already in 2021. They include names like Bumble, the female-empowering dating service, and Clubhouse, the audio-chat platform.

© Peter Fisk 2021.