It was March 2020 when the World Health Organization first declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Remote work suddenly become a reality, and this ‘forced digitization’ brought with it a myriad of opportunities and challenges for organizations.
- • Zoom was suddenly your best work buddy.
- • CEOs became the daily TV anchors of their firms.
- • CHROs turned frontline employees for their organizations.
A survey we conducted in April saw nearly 70% of global firms shifting more than 81% of
their operations online—with the Financial Services industry in the lead,
followed by Professional Services and Technology.
The business environment was renamed as the “new normal”
and organizations were faced with three stages that resulted in redefining their
Vision 2020 strategies.
These were Response, Recovery, and Reimagination.
The here and now has consumed our worlds—
while we still have businesses to run!Ann Fandozzi, CEO Ritchie Bros
Every human resource leader is front and center
dealing with the crisis today.Bala Sathyanarayanan, CHRO Greif Inc.
It has been a many-lifetimes experience these last 200 days.Dr. Santrupt Misra, CEO, carbon black business & director, group human resources, Aditya Birla Group
Our report will outline the challenges and learnings from each of these stages. As a global executive search firm with a presence in five continents, our every step over the past 200 days has been taken keeping our intimate network of clients, partners, employees, and families in mind. All insights have been gathered based on conversations with clients across the world, our global surveys, and our well-received Galaxy of Leaders virtual roundtable and panel discussions.
“As a global firm within the financial sector, we were able to plan in advance on how to manage the crisis in Latin America by learning from what took place in Asia in early February. We recognized five main areas where we needed to be prepared—well-being, safety, leadership capabilities, compensation, and managing priorities.” – Álvaro Márquez
The ‘recovery’ phase brought with it an acceptance of the pandemic and the new work environments. Vision 2025 plans were replaced by new strategies to adopt in 2020 and 2021; organizations slowly realized the flexibility and efficiency involved in remote work; crisis management plans were reshaped; new leadership skills were recognized; and
“In this day and age, none of our leaders have an excuse not to step up, understand, learn, and leverage technology. Overnight each of these leaders is being asked to become a TV anchor. This crisis empowers us to reflect and redefine how we use technology to live our core values and enhance culture.”