By Eduardo Suárez Battán - Partner
July 2020

Pandemic and Agility

Until recently we said that the speed with which technology is evolving was causing great changes in our lives, both personally and at work. We also predicted that technology was causing major changes in companies in their businesses, in their operations, in the way they reached their customers, and in the development of their products and services. We said that companies had new competitors that they had not imagined and also customers (both in the BtoB business world and in the BtoC consumer world) were increasingly demanding, changing their loyalty easily, and trying to buy omnichannel ( through various channels and online), they already appreciated the speed and evaluations in digital networks.
What were considered predictions have come true. The global pandemic has accelerated this incredibly in just a few months. E-commerce multiplied by more than 20 times, thousands of clients entered the portals for the first time, virtual education or training was promoted, remote work is a reality in more than 80% of companies, collaborative work is key with technological tools such as Mural or Slack or Trello and virtual meetings by Zoom were multiplied by unexpected factors.
If this is present, why did we mention it in an article aimed at professionals and managers in the human resources area? The answer is because in these moments of crisis and uncertain conjuncture, those who are leading human capital are at the center of the scene and reacting as they can to navigate this storm, but they will also have to think about the day after.
The "Digital Transformation" is "something" present, which sometimes is not well known what it is, but which will impact all companies and the human resources area must be prepared. The reality is that today technology is breaking paradigms and making everything more uncertain. The pandemic only added uncertainty, ambiguity, volatility and complexity to the situation (VICA). The speed of change has increased and we must be more agile in our actions, both in personal life and in work, because we can become "obsolete" and out of the market or we will make many companies disappear. The way we work, communicate, educate ourselves, lead others, interact and collaborate will change rapidly.
The new generations are more demanding customers in the services and products, they want to receive them in an agile way (fast and effective) and they have more capacity to give their "verdict" in their satisfaction immediately and with the capacity to reach many people.
Companies must also be more sustainable in their performance and this is also evaluated by consumers. The internal climate of companies must be such that it allows working with greater flexibility and allowing room for error. Leaders must be more coachers and facilitators of their team to put aside the "old bosses" who gave orders, demanded discipline and exercised a lot of control.
That's why HR executives have a great challenge ahead of them. On the one hand, they must work on all of the above, but also on further professionalizing their area by introducing technologies such as People Analytics, Big Data, AI, IoT in their processes. However, they themselves must be more agile, have a
greater self-knowledge, have an open mind, be open to change, quick to seek results, have good communication skills and be modern in their leadership.
But not only they must be agile and have these new skills, but also the management team. Technological changes will impact the way of operating and providing services and products to its customers. Therefore, if a company wants to last, it will depend on the agility of its management team as a whole. Without a top down commitment, companies will not be able to ride the wave of digital transformation that starts with the conviction and ability of their managers to ensure that the organization can face a cultural transformation that is broader and includes digital transformation.
Only then will companies have the determination to face this digital disruption that is unstoppable and will determine the continuity or not of the company in this new volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous post-pandemic environment.

Eduardo Suárez Battán


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