Little did we know a year ago what the year 2020 would bring, but all too soon we learned…
Never before in modern times has our way of life, our freedoms and our expectations have been so collectively and adversely affected. For far too many it was suddenly sink or swim. All areas of business have been affected, including our own.
Having said that, I am enormously proud of what we in Friisberg have accomplished. In this harsh reality in which we have all been forced to operate, we have not only survived, but through hard and focused work we have strengthened our position and continued our strategic expansion.
Events throughout 2020 forced our clients to rethink, restructure and change. Many things we all took for granted before the pandemic have altered and will continue to shift in the months ahead.
Companies with global footprints and those who do international business have been forced to change their traveling habits and we have all adapted to virtual meetings. Perhaps traditional face-to-face meetings will now only be used for when you are establishing new relations, or for ceremonial reasons from time to time such as opening a new site?
Business have already started to rethink and change the way they “go to market” and actively embracing emerging technologies will undoubtedly speed up the digitalisation of sales. That development is inevitable.
We have all adapted and learned quickly because we were forced to. Looking forward, I am convinced that the changes we already have seen will remain – I don’t think we will ever go back to how it was “before” - we have all learned by doing not from some seminar that was forced upon us.
All this “new” means businesses need the right people and processes to be able to perform and develop:
Some businesses will adapt quickly, but for some it will take a little longer. Some businesses already have the right key people in place whereas it is becoming ever clearer that some do not.
So, although the future is here, 2021 will just be the start in terms of how we consolidate the changes.
I am delighted to confirm that Friisberg is now better placed and more ready than ever to continue our growth strategy, and to support our clients locally and globally.
Based on recent client consultations on Organizational Development, conducted by our team of experts, including Zoltan Kadar Friisberg Hungary’s Senior Consultant, and our special advisers at BondWeaver, the following clear trends were observed as changes within organizational networks due to Covid-19:
This has been on the rise within organizations due to the onset of the pandemic, as well as the ensuing economic recession/crisis. It can be seen through the change in communication patterns – in particular there is a higher level of “noise” within the networks as people try to gather information about the company and their tasks from multiple sources. On the one hand this information drought perpetuates the uncertainty of employees, and on the other the effort invested in gathering necessary information results in less energy remaining for work-related tasks.
New ‘key’ people
These are appearing within an organization. This is noticeable throughout unstable situations or as working remotely becomes the norm long-term when new skills and competences are required as well as a greater degree of flexibility. This enables some people to become key players, while others can lose such roles. In such new situations it is important for organizations to identify the key players who managers and colleagues can rely on (such as experts, information brokers, opinion leaders, etc.).
Relationships become more diluted
In the absence of regular physical contact, even those groups with established strong, trusting networks are diluted. Those with weaker links get fragmented / break up, typically cliques of 2-3 people emerge and/or some people break off from the group losing their relationship with the community altogether. This tendency has a clear negative impact on the efficiency of work (numerous studies show that the foundation of efficient work is mutual trust between parties), so leaders have to pay particular attention to strengthening the network of trust and maintaining the personal wellbeing of their subordinates.