We may never get back the moments lost, but as life returns to near normal, businesses too are bouncing back. How do companies navigate through unprecedented times like the pandemic? What is the fundamental difference between companies that cut their losses and those still reeling?
This report, commissioned by Adobe, a global leader in digital media and digital marketing solutions and the London School of Economics (LSE) – one of the world’s most prestigious business schools, attempts to understand the ethos of companies that proved themselves to be the fittest in the race and study the traits of their leadership teams.
For brands on the leaderboard, the report notes a defining factor as the ability to react to the changes around us in a way that defines them. The report documents progressive leaders at some of the world’s biggest brands, as they reveal their approach to dealing with the wealth of challenges and opportunities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It classifies leaders, who set the tone for the organisations, into three distinct categories: Survivors (35 per cent), Hiders (40 per cent), and Thrivers (25 per cent). Survivors get by on the bare minimum. They make the most dramatic and ‘reactionary’ spending cuts across their enterprises. Hiders selectively refine investment in areas believed to offer the greatest benefits. These Hider brands reduced technology spend during the pandemic, with managers pinpointing a lack of IT skills as the main barrier to addressing the impact of COVID-19. A quarter of brands are Thrivers. These organisations addressed the external shock of COVID-19 by equipping themselves through enhanced digital transformation, automation, cost reduction, innovation, and investment. Thrivers also astutely re-channelled cost savings into technology innovation to create an informed and connected workforce, and ultimately, happy and engaged customers.
There is much to learn from Thrivers. The report outlines traits that these teams depict; embracing digital transformation is a notable one. But the fight is far from over. A better understanding of technology-driven change, digital transformation, and the role leadership can play in enabling change at scale will prepare organisations going forward, as the competition heats up. The new era is defined by speed, agility, and personalisation, an era dictated by ever-shifting customer behaviour and expectations. Remote working too can be a rollercoaster. When the pandemic first hit and governments declared lockdowns, companies moved to remote working without knowing much about the future repercussions of this decision. Here, employees, much like their customers sought more connection, managers sought more visibility, and some employees became restless as the day-in, day-out nature of the pandemic took hold. That’s where progressive leadership steps in, communicating more often and redefining company culture to revolve around empathy and empowerment, while also refining process and best practice.
By adapting and evolving to the new requirements of both the employee and customer, brands have the potential to evolve and thrive in this transformed world.
The report The New Era in Experience explores the secret sauce that companies who thrived during the pandemic followed.
Download the Full Report Below