Updated: Aug 9, 2021
The season where people make resolutions and new promises to themselves and others is
upon us. It is also a season where many Small and Medium Businesses make plans for a new year of performance. 2020, though, has taught us a critical lesson about planning. Plans are as good as the paper they are written on and as efficient as the mind that created them. Many plans went up in smoke in the first quarter of 2020, but only few managed to bounce back and take a new traction in the context of COVID19. Why? Because the plans were not cast in stone and because their initiators had the presence of mind to adjust to the new environment.
Yes, the bakery front may have closed but the skill didn't evaporate. Some adjusted to home
deliveries from private kitchens. Yes, salons were closed but a door-to-door/ home service was the solution for some hairdressers. 2021 is going to be a year of planning with adjustable sails and we have curated several areas that we believe will have significant adjustments.
Here is our list of 5 adjustment predictions for 2021
Shift to project based assignments/ work
The unpredictability of the business and working landscape in 2020 is giving rise to project
based assignments as more employers seek to manage their payroll and other staff costs. In
this space, the deliverables and associated skillsets will be more valuable than the ability to
clock in long hours and be physically present in offices. Long term strategic activities will be
broken down to shorter terms. Project Manager skills will be in high demand as business owners and management teams seek to tie in the different projects and present the individual successes as one whole.
Trust is the new currency
In a society where physical distance is the norm of the day, trust becomes the new trading
currency. You trust that the supplier will package the product or service as advertised. You trust that the team member will deliver expected output within the set timelines. You trust that the government will process your paper work accordingly. Behind he trust element however, is the bedrock of personal values and accepted social norms. The gestation period for developing trust from zero to 75% or more is significantly reduced as people expect service delivery in a short span of time.
Shorter Contract Periods
Many long contracts suffered major blows in 2020. Advertising and marketing agencies had to review contracts with some of their clients who were adversely affected by the global lockdowns. Landlords and office space letting agencies are now faced with the stark reality that as businesses shift to the online space significantly, their real estate products are in jeopardy. The result of all these is shorter contract periods - monthly, quarterly or half yearly contracts will be more norm than the exception.
There is increasing awareness on the importance of eating healthy and reducing on junk intake. Eating healthy and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits such as working out, drinking water, resting the body, and stress management among others will be a new frontier for many. This is because many people are coming into the reality that part of the effective process of avoiding or fighting illnesses and ailments is body and mental wellness. For the employer, this should translate to an improvement in the bottom line and staff efficiency due to lower medical bills and sick leaves.
Adoption of evergreen learning content
Many business and leadership courses offered by institutions could easily lose relevance and
value if their curators do not think up something new. It is important to learn from the cyber
security industry which evolves daily with new fundamentals being conked daily. One may have been in the cyber security industry for the past 6 years but that is not a guarantee of their ability to resolve a new threat.
The Corona Virus pandemic has thrown out many trusted business management models and
theories. Theories that have been taught in the classroom context year in, year out.
Course curators now need to go back to the drawing board to understand the current and
project the future business landscape with the aid of business futurists.
While everyone may be afraid of planning for 2021, you should not. The strength of good plans is in their ability to transform and fit into the reality during implementation. Such plans are founded on conviction, discipline and focus. Planning to succeed in chaos and a fluid
environment allows you to create your path when all else fails.