Charlotta Falk on the findings of the «Leading Transformation Report 2020»
We sat down to speak with Charlotta Falk, one of our Senior Creative Consultants and co-author of the fresh off the press «Leading Transformation Report 2020».
What is this report all about?
We all know that Covid-19 has affected every business and industry in Switzerland and the world. Not always in the same way, but the pandemic has undoubtably left its mark on us all. Based on this, we know that businesses are now facing challenges they were not confronted with just a few months ago. Hence, we paired up with three partner companies and decided to take a closer look at the new normal, to find out how Swiss business leaders handled this new setting and how this pandemic has affected business relations, organizations and future strategies.
So, the report takes a closer look at different companies?
Not exactly. The report is built on the perception of more than 400 C-level leaders in Switzerland and documents their perspective on the changing circumstances that have come their way. Their insights paint a picture of the current business landscape in Switzerland, taking momentary challenges and past learnings into account. We drew conclusions based on the consolidated input that we received.
What are the main take-aways from the report?
First of all, Swiss leaders rank their management in the acute phases of the crisis very positively. We also read that they maintain a optimistic view of the future.
Since our field of expertise is customer-centricity, we were particularly interested in finding out how businesses managed their external relations throughout the crisis and which changes in their customers’ behavior they had observed. Interestingly enough, almost every second business leader noticed a distinct alteration in their customers’ habits. Nonetheless, only one in five adapted their current offerings to meet these changing needs. There are a lot of reasons for this of course. First and foremost, leaders needed to work on stabilizing operations, setting up remote work and more. But the point is, one in five companies did manage to react and adapt their offering, and the others didn’t.
What was the most surprising finding, for you?
Ah, there are a few to choose from. But what really stuck with me, was the fact that about one in three leaders claim that they intend to use tools that support scenario-based decision-making in the future. I think this is something that this crisis has truly sped up. When working with scenarios, we tend to think more creatively and can identify a higher amount and variety of ways forward. I firmly believe this is a constructive way to handle these uncertain times.
What do companies need to consider in the future, based on the learnings from this report?
We believe it is key for a business to fully understand its customers and their motivations. At this point in time we have experienced – and are still experiencing – a shift in how we lead our lives, how we do business, what we want and what we need. We think that companies should get re-acquainted with their customers to make sure that the offering is still relevant for them. If it does still speak to the customers, it is time to move forward - with conviction. If not, now is the time to adapt.
In the end, we believe if businesses can stay relevant to customers over time, they will become increasingly resilient, and this is naturally something to strive for in times of transformation and in times of crisis.