In the wake of one of the most turbulent and disruptive years in recent history, many businesses were left scrambling to cope with unprecedented challenges, such as social distancing, restrictions, and staff furlough. But now that we’re all starting to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, many more CXOs are asking: ‘What can we do to pandemic-proof our business and prevent a repeat of 2020?’
…And who better to learn from than one of the “Big Four”?
Enter, Deloitte’s 2021 annual readiness report.
For this report, Deloitte Global surveyed 2,260 private and public-sector CXOs in over 20 countries and spoke to C-suite executives across multiple industries to discover how leaders and their organisations are coping with the “new normal”.
The report ended up being a study of resilience, with the results uncovering 5 key leaderships traits that can help companies face the unexpected and thrive under extreme conditions.
By deliberately emulating these characteristics, Deloitte’s Punit Renjen argues that employers can build greater resilience into their own organisations.
So, here they are.
The top five traits to start practicing in your own business, tried and tested courtesy of ye olde Pandemic, to help future-disaster-proof your company:
It probably goes without saying that it’s important to prepare for the worst. According to Deloitte’s report, more than 85% of CXOs whose organisations were able to address both their short and long-term business strategy felt that they were able to successfully adapt to the events of 2020. On the other hand, fewer than half of organisations without a fully-formed strategy felt the same.
While we’re on the subject, adaptability also emerged as an important factor. Like, really important. In fact, the ability to be flexible/adaptable was the one workforce trait that the surveyed CXOs highlighted as the most critical to securing their organisation’s future.
Many of the CXOs also highlighted the importance of collaboration within their business, noting that it sped up decision-making, mitigated risk, and led to increased innovation. Even before the pandemic took hold, removing silos and increasing collaboration within their organisations was one of the top strategic actions forward-thinking CXOs took which helped their organisations adapt to the seismic changes of 2020.
More than a third of responding CXOs felt that their organisation struggled with developing trust between leaders and employees. Those who are succeeding are focusing on improving communication and transparency with key stakeholders, as well as leading with empathy.
Finally, most CXOs acknowledged the responsibility they hold to influence change. Overall, about 60% of survey respondents said their companies have done well at honouring their commitments to helping society and the environment. Organisations that are doubling down on their philanthropic efforts exhibit strong resilience indicators, while those who are focusing on authenticity and supporting their workers are continuing to grow in a period of uncertainty.