Here are my top 3 learnings about business agility during the past 10 weeks (4 min read)
You, your clients, colleagues, service providers and other members of your network (including our gyms, regular coffee shops and other hangouts) have been, and still are, going through a rapid transformation.
A transition, involving the much elaborated #WFH concept (with its “sell from home”, “lead from home” and more “…from home” variations), the speedy adaption of new platform- and cloud powered technologies, rethinking workflows to comply with health & hygiene measures and quickly adjusting business operations to protect employees, assets and cashflow whilst serving customers.
By sharing my personal learnings and experiences from this process with you, I intent to ignite future-readiness thinking for you and your teams from a business development and sales angle.
Upon returning from my last trips to Lagos and Dublin on 12th March, lockdown measures accelerated and I assessed the core assets of my business to focus on businesses continuity, adapting to the sudden new market circumstances. Upon careful evaluation, I narrowed those down to:
- professional network and client relationships
- broad, current expertise on anything sales, business & transformation
- a certain cashflow providing for business essentials such as license fees & lease, subscriptions- & communication charges and salaries
With the clarity on these elements, the first rule of business became to protect and expand those, leveraging their convergence through the following 3 approaches:
Our professional network has developed over time, determined by existing clients and service providers, markettrends and opportunities, location, personal preferences and friendships. The dynamics of that ecosystem are currently changing. Some members of the network will have changed their strategy, organizational structure or even the entire business model. Part of their evolution to stay agile and adopt to new market requirements. Therefore, accelerate your role as connector by accessing new ecosystems for yourself, establishing new relationships that will eventually lead to increased value creation for both, your existing and new network participants. Almost, like adding new nodes to a network and you are the creator of those.  A more broadened ecosystem of partners can add complementary skills to the network, allow for asset sharing or new value co-creation. Connect with sectors and hub-regions that have rapid growth prospects with economies getting in motion again.
Inspiring your clients with insights, generated through research, readings, and mental sharpness connecting the (new) dots. Build on that, by being the connector, who enables clients to exchange perspectives across sectors and geographies. Thereby, become source of insight and access to new ecosystems for your clients and partners. We hosted a series of webinars wherein we introduced clients and partners from 15 countries and 7 sectors, connecting Commercial Experts in Dubai, Riyadh, Lagos, London and wider EMEA. The short-term impact for everyone were new insights on trends, opportunities and risks whilst new relationships were established that can be nurtured in the long-run.
The commercial impact of providing scaled value through a broadened and inclusive ecosystem will take effect in the long term. Depending on your business model, you may require immediate revenue generation for the “here & now”. To do that, hyper relevance is essential during a time when discretionary spending both B2B and B2C is put on hold and everyone’s priority is cash flow protection and resource (cash) allocation on business essentials only. How can you and your business enable business contingency for your clients? Creating such hyper relevance requires 3 steps:
- Being “one” with your customers and audience to understand their priorities right now
- Review your current product-, service- and solution portfolio and rethink its application to be relevant
- Redefine the value proposition both in terms of content and concept given the virtual work environment