In an economically paralyzed world, something we have never seen before and whose final consequences are still unpredictable, there is a word that sounds more and more and that is RESILIENCE. In other words, the ability to recover from difficulties. Within this context, there are three classes of resilience that are very important to the future of our businesses or jobs:
1 – Personal resilience
2 – Operational resilience
3 – Strategic resilience
Personnel refers to the individual ability of employees or employers to resist difficult circumstances for long periods Operational refers to the ability to keep the main business activities operational, both at the level of provision of products and services and at the financial level The strategic refers to the business’s ability to monitor and respond to changes within the current context and remain relevant to customers.
This question is the most difficult to answer. How to stay relevant to our Customers?
As an example, we can put a simple case. Let’s imagine a restaurant that, in addition to offering good food, is used to receiving many celebrities, jet-setters and many well-known people. A place where it is difficult to get a reservation. A place to see and be seen, where many people go more for the social experience than for the food itself. In almost every city in the world there are some restaurants with these characteristics.
Faced with the current need of having to close the restaurant, the owner and her employees may at one end fall into a justified depression and think that there it ended for always the business. At the other extreme, they may think the opposite, accepting that this the situation is just a big challenge and there are opportunities to keep the business afloat anyway. That attitude of wanting to move on despite everything is personal resilience.
One way to keep the business going is to start offering your product and delivering it to home. In this way the kitchen remains active, also the supply chain, the waiters begin to deliver to customers’ homes instead of to tables and thus the restaurant manages to maintain a minimum turnover and manages to cover its costs maintaining your staff. That is operational resilience.
But after a small period in that same restaurant, it loses relevance because it will be increasingly difficult to compete, in the minds of customers, against pizzerias and the like in the area where their customers have been asking for delivery for a long time. . In addition, the restaurant stood out more for its social experience than for the food and that is obviously not replicated with the shipping of the food. That is the biggest challenge that the restaurant has, how to maintain the experience of your service? For a few weeks it can remain operational, but not in the medium and long term. How to do then? With creativity and thinking “outside the box” there are many possible alternatives. Solving that dilemma is strategic resilience and as I raised the hardest part of all.
Some possible ideas would be for the restaurant to also organize virtual coffee talks with small groups with its regular or new customers (by invitation only to maintain exclusivity), to also organize interactions with its resident chefs or guest chefs to explain how their dishes are made most iconic dishes, and the like.
Another example would be, for a clothing brand store, if customers do not go to the store then the store goes to the customer, in addition to traditional online sales. What would it be like to have personalized online fashion assistants to recommend some options to clients, perhaps even with the help of online models? How about sending customers the notice that a new collection of dresses has arrived, for example, and offering to send them some colors and sizes so that they can try them on without obligation and that they return the ones they did not like or did not fit well. ? The possible ideas are many and depend on each business. But always trying to stay relevant in front of customers.
Many are speculating that this situation is only temporary and that then everything will be normal again. However, many others, and more and more, are speculating that there will be a new normal, where most things will be different.
What if this lasts three years instead of three months? What if shopping malls, stadiums, and cinemas don’t reopen? Or are they reopened with conditions that make those businesses unprofitable? What if the majority of people continue to work in the telecommuting modality and that causes the demand for clothing, means of transport and office space to drop permanently? The number of possible examples is almost infinite and each of you while reading this article comes up with one more.
So if you have personal and operational resilience, what are your plans B, C and D for run your strategic resilience? Are you really and seriously rethinking your business “out of the box” for the new normal that may come? Or do you really think that this situation is merely temporary and that in a short time everything will return to the old normality? Whatever your answer, the key question remains more relevant than ever. How are you going to stay significantly relevant to your customers?