The cornerstone of success in the uncertainties



As we keep exploring new ways to sustain business growth against the backdrop of the uncertain outlook caused by the coronavirus pandemic, enterprises are implementing different strategies to not only survive, but thrive, during the crisis and beyond.


Enterprises have choices between defensive or aggressive strategies to protect their market share and keep profits stable. A recent research conducted by Hong Kong Brand Development Council revealed that defensive measures like cutting costs and expenses (71.8%), staying connected to customers (60%) and adjusting working hours and operational arrangements (57.3%) rank the top three strategies enterprises resorted to in the face of the pandemic.


Meanwhile, over half of the respondents also adopted strategies laden with higher risks such as developing business online (57.3%) and exploring new products or services to meet the market needs (50.9%).


While enterprises are figuring out which approach is better to attain sustainable growth in performance, what is the enabler of the success of all these strategies? It’s the flexibility in your organization and people. Imagine how can you solve a Rubik’s Cube smoothly if the shaft does not allow you to rotate the layers flexibly? The solving process will be rough and slow.



Flexibility in the workplace and people is the enabler of any strategies

Flexibility in an organization can be a fair predictor of its success. The pandemic has forced companies to make changes in their operations and ways of doing business. The more a company embraces flexibility, the more likely it can handle the uncertainties and make timely changes to adapt to the new normal.


The constraints that COVID-19 has caused drive new ways of working. Enterprises that can respond to the rapidly changing landscape incorporate a high level of flexibility to the workplace with the support of technology. To keep the business operating as usual under the variable changes, companies should take advantages of technologies, such as the cloud, virtual communication platforms, analytics solutions and automation tools, to create more flexibility in terms of more options and speedy transformations in how, where and when the workforce continue to perform at their best.


The effectiveness of change initiatives however depends hugely on the people involved in the transitions. Aside from reengineering the mindset of the workforce, enterprises need to broaden employees’ skillsets to close the skill gaps caused by technological disruptions. Companies should identify the new skill set required for the new business model or the recovery plan, and upskill the workforce skill pools accordingly so employees will not be bounded by a specific role as it may evolve. Fundamentally, to make any transitions timely and smooth, leadership needs to act as a facilitator to create a culture with high flexibility and adaptiveness, so people feel comfortable and supported.



Make sure you flexibility muscle is strong enough

Regardless of which approach an enterprise take, the cornerstone that allows companies to put any of these strategies into action and make them a success is the level of flexibility in an organization and its people. Leadership plays a critical role in driving both flexibility in the workspace as well as the workforce – start building a flexible working environment with essential tools, and equip your people to be able to respond to ongoing changing demands in the market.


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