Years ago, we were told about the possibility of global disruption but we never expected it in the manner in which this ‘disruption’ showed up. In 2020, things changed rapidly, the COVID-19 pandemic swept through countries and nations went into lockdown. More importantly, billions of people around the world lost opportunities and others gained more.
Companies that paid so much began to slash salaries and those that made a lot of money started losing so much that they couldn’t sustain the business. The fact that people had to sit at home for months and not be able to do business wasn’t anything anyone had ever imagined. During that period, there was a rise in armed robbery cases and so many people began to live in fear. In some parts of Lagos, it was the fear of one million boys.
That phase seems to be over but many are yet to recover from its impact. While still grappling with that, many other countries have gone into a second or even a third lockdown. In Nigeria, we could go into a second lockdown if the citizens refuse to be socially responsible and practice social distancing. That’s not minding the fact that the seemingly indifferent attitude of the citizens stems from a distrust of anything that’s connected to or promoted by the government.
There’s one truth we need to deal with: this disruption is here to stay for many organizations and nothing will change from the way we work right now. Tech giants in Silicon Valley are asking their staff to work from home throughout the year 2021 and still deliver results. So if you have a business model that requires meeting people in person all the time, you need to rework the model.
Generally, it is time for most of us to reinvent and equip ourselves. The reason we need to reinvent is that many had skills that are no longer needed because a lot of organizations are now operating from home. Many also had services that have become redundant as a result of remote working. While some people are hoping that the lockdown will be completely lifted when the pandemic is over, there is another challenge: while you’re waiting for the pandemic to be over and return to business as usual, business owners, corporations, and government agencies across the globe are beginning to see several services they can now do without. They had come to terms with several products they were buying only because they were in the office, if they continue to work remotely, they wouldn’t need those products again. This means that the pandemic may come to an end, but some businesses and services will not bounce back.
What we now need to do is to look at what works in a time when working remotely is the way to go. If you’re building a business right now, you need to build a model that makes the business relevant while people are working remotely. If you’re creating services, you have to look for services that you can render without being stranded during a possible lockdown or pandemic.
If you’re into sales, this is the time to develop your sales pitch to become compelling and presentable via video calls. This is the time to leverage digital marketing and automate your sales funnels. For virtually everyone, this is also the time to build or polish your public speaking skills. If you’re going to be involved in so many webinars, you need to sound interesting and convincing. If not, people can just join your webinars, turn off videos, and mute microphones while they’re going about their private businesses at home.
Reinvention is about looking at what you have and looking at how relevant you will continue to be to those you serve. If you seem to have been relegated, then you need to quickly look for a way to come back with what’s relevant.
Times are not changing – they have already changed. For that alone, it is time for you to change. Build what you do around online services and businesses because working from home has come to stay for many. Get new skills if you were asked to go from your previous office because they said your services are no longer needed.
Look around you. Look within you. Ask yourself a simple question: what else can I do? And for those who haven’t lost jobs or businesses yet, you also need to ask yourself if you will remain relevant if things continue this way. If it is not certain that you will remain relevant, then it is time to reinvent and equip yourself with a new skill.
I wish you all the best on your journey to reinvention.