The Next Business Shift News

It’s April 2021. Where does your business go from here?

Friday, April 23, 2021

Leadership, conflict resolution, alignment, innovation


It’s been more than one year since the COVID lockdown. We’re in the third wave, and this pandemic will likely be around for a while longer. Your business has taken some hard hits over the past year, but it’s still standing, if a little battered and bruised. But it’s still standing, and you need to be proud of that.

Let’s take stock of some of the economic trends that were accelerated because of COVID. More Canadians are working from home, demonstrating that businesses can run with a remote workforce. There’s growing interest in local food, speciality foods, and organic foods. There’s growing interest in social enterprises, the social economy, and the green business sector. The energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables is accelerating. Underlying all of these trends is a growing interest in quality and local (defined as being produced 100km from your location to being produced in Canada).

The pandemic has demonstrated the weakness of global supply chains. Many items from dentistry, pharmaceutics, and equipment are on extended backorders. The disruptions in supply chains have caused headaches for some and generated opportunities for others, reinforcing the interest in locally made goods.

The COVID pandemic has caused many people to hit the pause button. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians are rethinking their lives, their work, and their business. There’s a significant migration in the country as people move away from expensive areas to smaller towns. Why? Lower costs of living, higher living standards, and more leisure time (saved from not commuting). If you can bring your job anywhere, why not live in a place that inspires you? 

The migration is not just physical. There’s a change in perception of work. Employees are demonstrating that a work from home model is feasible. Sure, there are social benefits to going to work. And yes, some jobs require that you be there in person. The shift to telecommuting is also amplifying the shift for meaningful work. Employees seek work that inspires draws on a person’s talents, not just the skills listed on a resumé. People want to work for a company that has a higher purpose than churning a profit. Employees want to know their work benefits the community and the environment.

More and more people are questioning how businesses operate. They question why so many workplaces are dysfunctional. Dysfunction can mean the presence of destructive conflicts such as bullying. Dysfunction can also mean suboptimal processes, workflows and processes that grind that joy out of a person. Too many workplaces have high levels of stress, constant lack of resources, and lack of leadership. All of these factors combine to generate circumstances of burnout. Most employees have no contingency to address bullying, burnout, and process and systems issues.

Countless employees have brilliant ideas and want to take the initiative but can’t because of weak corporate culture, lack of support, and the constant drumming of being told no. Such work environments suck the innovation and drive out of employees, the business, and ultimately the economy.

Here’s our pitch to you. Let’s use the COVID economic pause to do some deep thinking about business and the economy. Let’s use this moment of uncertainty to find a better way to do business. Vibrant workplaces with thriving employees aren’t anathema to profits. In fact, employees crave workplaces where work isn’t a chore, and they’re respected and have opportunities to use all of their skills and abilities.

Here’s the question for businesses: how to navigate these changes while remaining profitable. The ground continues to shift under many business’ feet, and now is the time to take a step back and think about your company’s direction. Here are some questions to guide you:

  • Is your current market base sufficient to ensure growth in the medium and long term?
  • Are there other markets that are underdeveloped that you could better serve while earning more money?
  • Do you know how to find and develop other markets?
  • Do you have the leadership capabilities within your company to pivot to more lucrative markets?
  • Are you fully utilising your employees’ skills and abilities to develop new projects, access new markets, and innovate?
  • Are your employees engaged and motivated in their work to help you reach your business goals?

We propose a program to help your business thrive.  We take the approach that a thriving organisation has robust leadership, a healthy culture, and a robust ecosystem. A healthy culture must ensure meaningful work, ensure employees thrive, and unhealthy conflict is addressed. A robust business ecosystem generates opportunities, new markets, new resources, and partnerships. It’s the adage: you become whom you associate with, and it’s essential that businesses associate with like-minded businesses.

We help your business thrive through a process of custom series of workshops, coaching, and consulting. The process works with an initial needs assessment, developing a tailored process involving coaching, mentoring, training, and workshops. We understand that change takes time, and we’re here to support your business along its journey.

We are looking for a test company in the Eastern Ontario region with 25-35 employees. You have been in business for several years and sense that it’s time to rethink how you’re doing business. You understand the need to transform to remain viable but aren’t sure which direction to take. Your current client base is shrinking. Your company took a hit during COVID (like all companies), but your company isn’t bouncing back as much as you had hoped. You sense your employees need more from their work, but you don’t know what. You’ve tried addressing the conflict in your workplace, but it keeps coming back. You have the same conversations repeatedly, but there’s no forward movement on conflict, business strategy, product or service development.

 If this sounds like you, reach out to see if you qualify for our COVID-assistance package. We recognise many businesses are struggling and want to give back to the business community.

Will you join us? 

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