The global pandemic has proven to be challenging and with currently 500,000+ people receiving the pandemic unemployment benefits in Ireland alone (Miley 2020) and a further number of organisations availing of the COVID-19 temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, these are unprecedented times. It may be challenging for any manager to justify the case for new hires when many companies initially focus on cost savings to adjust to the temporary closure of businesses brought about by the pandemic.
With many governments now easing restrictions and companies slowly returning to business, signs are beginning to emerge that this virus may potentially have come with the side-effect of an unpredicted economic upheaval.
This is the first global economic crisis we are facing since the 2008 financial crisis. History, however, has taught us that the economy operates in cycles and over time the economy will reach a new equilibrium (Canto 2018). Every industry is different and follows a different cycle with the pharmaceutical and health care industries currently in higher demand. Procyclical industries, however, can be severely challenged in times of economic hardship (Tan 2015).
Organisations have started the race to adjust to the new economic realities, with organisations launching new initiatives and embracing technology to move to a cashless society all over the world. This race to adjust will set the leaders apart from laggards. For leaders, the challenges posed by the current circumstances will act as catalyst or accelerator of change and innovation. A mere focus on cost reduction, therefore, will not set a company apart from its competition and will not help it win or even stay in the race.
To survive, businesses will need to balance and invest wisely and sustainably in initiatives to maintain and build current and new capabilities to remain competitive.
This paper is a call for change and discusses the organisation of change. To access this white paper: RESPOND TO CHANGE WHITE PAPER