2021 ushered an era of transitioning and business innovation engendered by the pandemic. The post-covid recovery created an imperative for companies to redesign their operations—and an opportunity to transform them. Although most businesses that outlived the covid-induced recession primarily focused on recovery in 2021, and 2022 will witness significant demand for growth initiatives and drive for profitability.
Barring any unexpected event in 2022, most business leaders worldwide have predicted labour shortage, fierce competition, disruptions, tech “cold-war,” personalised experiences – spurred by new digital habits and other socio-political shifts as some of the key trends to expect in 2022, among others. However, with seemingly more times of uncertainty, there are essential traits that every business must demonstrate to succeed in their marketplace in 2022 and shape their futures.
This article discusses six key traits to help your business win in 2022.
The world is undergoing a wave of radical, dynamic, and radical technological advancement not seen in decades, as was the case even before the COVID-19 outbreak. This seismic change has impacted the business environment causing disruptions and fierce competition at unprecedented levels. Yet, while some companies suspend operations indefinitely or shut down, others advance and even thrive. The distinguishing factor is resilience.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr
In definition, resilience is the capacity to adapt, react, recover, and thrive in crises (whether internal or external) or changing circumstances.
Across industries and sectors, resilience has become a desirable trait — for individuals and businesses. As a result, organisations are reviewing and upgrading their business continuity and crisis management plans, establishing sound operational and agile processes, and promoting a culture of resilience among employees.
Building resilience comes down to approaching crises as opportunities for innovation, effectively managing change, and finding solutions to new challenges presented by the dynamic world around us. Additionally, a resilient organisation depends on its employees, who play a vital role in helping the business to adapt. Hence, practical training and development ensure preparedness for changing times.
Now, more than ever, it is critical for businesses to innovate, adapt, build agile teams, and design or continuously review processes that help respond to challenging situations and create opportunities for optimisation, growth, and success.
With emerging technologies and globalisation on the rise – coupled with a volatile economy, adaptability has become a competitive advantage.
Based on a recent Harvard Business Review report, companies falling out of the top three rankings in their industry increased from 2% to 14% between 1960 and 2008. Similarly, the probability that the market share leader is also the profitability leader declined from 34% in 1950 to just 7% in 2007. These uncertainties impact strategy formulation because strategy formulation — often seen as the response to change and uncertainty—assumes a stable and predictable world.
Adaptability requires the ability to identify, read, and act on signals. For a business to adapt, a fluid structure, an agile team, and the decentralisation of decision making are crucial levers for a swift response to change – staying ahead and profitable. A culture of adaptability can help businesses weather unforeseen changes while fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment. However, it is essential to mention that in responding to signals, organisations must meticulously distinguish between “false unknowns” and actual signals before committing time and resources.
Do you have a reputation for delivering a successful project on time, on budget, and in scope? Are you known for providing results?
Starting and not completing assignments or not doing so on time pose an insidious threat to the sustainability of any business and may cause reputational damage, especially for those with a penchant for overrunning deadlines, incomplete projects, or worst-case project failures.
As a completer-finisher, your primary focus is to explore ways to improve the success rate of your assignments (tasks or projects) according to schedule. Being known for completing on time and consistently delivering results is one of the fundamental ways to gain credibility and build an exceptional professional reputation. Not only does it open you up to opportunities, but it also helps you build a formidable brand.
The three key contributors to the success of completer-finishers are mindset, process, and people. Ask yourself questions like, what steps can I take today or what attitude does my team require to improve the success rate of our projects? (Mindset), What are the pending tasks, and how should they be executed expeditiously to specification? (Process) How can I influence people to ensure timely job completion? (People). A positive mindset relates to your effectiveness; a clearly defined and designed process drives efficiency, and your assignment’s overall success lies in your ability to influence others to act.
Furthermore, while you look to strengthen the above critical success factors, you also need to identify potential risks present or ahead that may impact the successful delivery of your assignments and seek ways to avoid or mitigate them. Finally, in 2022, do not make excuses. Be resolved to be fully responsible for the success or failure of your projects.
4. Speed, Agility, and Precision
“Agile teams” and “agile organisations” have become staples in the business lexicon for a good reason. Business agility combines fluidity, speed, and precision.
As the economy changes and customer needs evolve, agile companies are flexible in responding to this change (fluidity), delivering solutions quickly (speed) and effectively (precision).
Agility starts with a mindset, followed by a culture shift reinforced by the organisation’s design. So, to embed an agile culture, every employee must be aligned to the organisation’s vision, mission, and values. Agile organisations and teams embrace a mindset of constant change and continuous improvement characterised by end-to-end cross-functional collaboration.
A good case study of business agility at work, for example, is Gokada – The largest last-mile delivery service in Nigeria. In 2019, in the face of the government shutdown of all ride-hailing businesses in Lagos, Nigeria, Gokada quickly pivoted into logistics and delivery, taking advantage of the unexploited logistics market during that period. Today, the company boasts of being one of Nigeria’s leading e-commerce and food delivery businesses.
Global and local businesses are becoming highly competitive due to discovering new knowledge and gaining more expansive access to novel technologies. Therefore, every company must constantly innovate to thrive, whether big or small.
Innovation in your business can mean improving or replacing existing models or processes, extending the range or quality of products or services, or developing entirely new or improving existing products and services to meet the rapidly changing customer or consumer needs.
“Innovation is the linchpin of sustained growth, competitiveness, and profitability.”
Astute leaders understand the essence of innovation and recognise that employees are a vital asset in generating innovative ideas; hence, there is a need to continuously promote a culture of innovation and creative thinking across the organisation. Doing this results in better productivity performance and driving business sustainability. In contrast, businesses that fail to do so risk losing market share to competitors, decreasing productivity level and efficiency, declining margins and profit, and worst-case scenario – shut down.
When we examine successful brands worldwide, you will realise that one key trait is predominant to them – Consistency.
Every forward-thinking organisation reckons that consistency is key to achieving business success and sustainability. Without it, your business can fail.
A consistent brand helps you build trust and good relationships with customers (internal and external), establish a solid reputation that differentiates you from the competition, and enhance your business growth. By focusing on consistency in your business, you help your customers understand who you are, what your product/service offerings are, and increase the perceived value of your offerings. Over time, the customers become advocates of the brand.
The first step to showing consistency is maintaining a stable brand aligned to your mission and vision: a consistent brand projects trust, professionalism, reliability. Ensure you resist the urge to “rebrand” frequently. Do it only when necessary. The next step is to develop a plan or strategy around displaying consistency and establish systems and processes to drive it. Certain circumstances may cause a rethink of certain aspects of the program, but the objective should remain consistent. Lastly, you must put mechanisms to monitor and track compliance. Consistently hold yourself and your team accountable for their performance and reward them for achieving the desired result.
Are you are an employee seeking to grow your career? Are you a business striving for growth and profitability or individual venturing into the world of entrepreneurship? Institutionalising these traits and intentionally building a culture around them, there is an assurance of both short-term wins and long-term success in 2022.
Thinking about how to embed and sustain the right execution culture in your organisation? Connect with one of our consultants now to uncover your needs firstname.lastname@example.org
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