You can innovate better and be more flexible when your different business functions work well together. What have you learned about your processes for sharing information and supporting each other? The pandemic has probably revealed a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
What technology worked well for meetings and conversations and information sharing? Some companies started using Zoom right away, then some security problems occurred; some switched to other platforms while others waited until Zoom fixed their problems. Meanwhile, new platforms quickly emerged. What worked? What features were important and which features didn’t matter? You’re going to want to choose a platform and stick with it, and you want it to be the one that helps you the best. Get your employees’ inputs on various technologies to see which ones you should keep.
Next, what new relationships and networks emerged that were useful? Who did your employees start working with whom they had not worked with before? A lot of companies used project teams to address specific issues related to the pandemic – can those relationships continue to be useful, and how can you maintain them? Your employees may have met others throughout the company as they learned to work virtually, so use that to improve performance.
Finally, did you automate or streamline any processes that you should continue doing this way? Any digitalization that proved useful? The Singapore government pushed their e-Invoice program to replace paper invoices; they pushed it so much that they paid companies $200 to sign up. How about you? Have you automated some things that should remain automated? Did you do away with anything? Are some weekly reports now monthly, or even quarterly, reports? Consider how work changed, and see if you should keep the changes.
When lockdowns began, people talked of returning to normal. In some cases, “normal” might not be the same as “best.” The COVID-19 pandemic forced people to work in different ways, and some of those ways should continue. Look closely at your internal processes, and see what you should keep doing to do your best work.