Five ways to future proof your business - Peter Boolkah

As business leaders we should be asking ourselves this question: Have we taken our eye off the ball? 

 

We have been focusing on surviving a pandemic but the business world keeps on turning below us. Maulik Parekh is the author of the bestselling book, “Future-proof Your Career and Company”. He joined me on my YouTube channel The Transition Guy. He says that artificial intelligence, the digital natives and the gig economy have been gathering momentum over the last 15 months while CEO’s have been focusing on just getting through and not on the longer term issues and goals. The business landscape is changing and we must prepare our businesses for a different kind of future. As business leaders Covid -19 has needed our urgent attention but when the pandemic is over, we must have a business which works in line with current trends and survives and prospers in a digital age. 

How can you look at the long term issues within your business and prepare for them?

 

Pay attention to digital transformation. Keep up to date and find out how you can implement digital ways of working into your business. 

 

An example of a company who has digitally transformed over the years is Dominos Pizza. They did significantly better in 2020 amidst the pandemic than in 2019. Their revenues were up over 15% and their margins also went up. Pizza Hut, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. Their parent company filed for bankruptcy. Two companies in the same industry. Why did one succeed while the other failed? The answer is simple, Domino’s Pizza has been digitally transforming itself for the last 12 years. They didn’t wait for the pandemic to hit them and then started changing. Pizza Hut on the other hand, kept the model the same and they paid the price. 

 

Don’t spend your energy fighting change

 

It’s important we don’t see new technology and digital change as a fad. We must embrace change. Don’t forget that many people thought the internet was a fad and that it wouldn’t last. Now the internet runs the world. Digital transformation is less about technology and more about your end goal. Find your three end goals and ask yourself how can I utilise technology to improve the customer experience, improve my employee experience and completely revamp my business model? Netflix is a great example of a business who took those three end goals into consideration as they transitioned. They started out as a mail order DVD service in 1997. Fast forward 10 years and they transformed their business model by streaming movies. They embraced digital transformation by keeping the customer and the employee at the centre of what they were doing digitally. Blockbuster on the other hand didn’t change their business model and DVD’s became obsolete due to new technology. Blockbuster failed as a business model.

 

Don’t fight the changing work landscape.

 

The work from home model is here to stay. How can you implement it successfully into your business? Businesses who don’t address a professional blended working economy and don’t have a cohesive plan will fail. You need to create the right environment for your employees to thrive working remotely. This comes down to technology.

 

How can you digitally transform your business?

 

Focus on improving your customer experience and your employee experience. Look at your business model and see if it makes sense to continue with that business model or whether you need to revamp it completely. Create a very strong purpose that employees can get excited about. Think about the younger people coming into your workforce. They have different priorities and may want to see what your company offers beyond profit and loss. For example, what are you doing to help the environment or put back into society? Create a culture of innovation. 

 

Inspire constant learning. It is important that companies embrace constant lifelong learning within their employees. 

 

Create a culture of fun and innovation. The next 10 years are going to be a challenge as the global economy recovers. It is up to you as a leader to show your employees you can create a fun working environment which is constantly evolving and not stagnating. Don’t give them a reason to go elsewhere. Getting support as a leader is paramount. If you have help dealing with the pressures and strains of the business at the top then it won’t cascade down and affect your staff. A good example is Southwest Airlines. The travel industry has seen huge disruption over the last 17 months because their brand promise has remained clear and strong. When you travel with them you become a part of their fun family. It’s like hanging out with old friends. One traveller complained that the employees were having too much fun. The CEO replied with one line, “You will be missed”. CEO Herbert Keller hasn’t let the stresses and strains affect his employees. He’s created a loyal and strong workforce who deliver a fun and inclusive experience.

 

If anything you’ve read resonates with you, and you want more information, head over to boolkah.com and get in contact. And remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.

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