A worldwide health crisis like COVID hasn’t just created a ripple in the business world – it’s created a full scale tsunami which has affected businesses across the globe. From your micro business selling homemade chutney at Sunday markets to multinational giants selling technological solutions to keep people connected – no one has escaped the knock on consequence of living through a pandemic.
Some businesses didn’t manage to weather the storm. Sadly, some have failed and are unlikely to resurface even once we go back to ‘normal’ – however that looks. However, others have thrived – either because their businesses already addressed rapidly emerging consumer demands (e.g. Zoom, Uber Eats, Virgin Media and the supermarket giants who all brought our world indoors to us) or because they were agile enough to quickly change and diversify to suit a new type of market.
For some, this agility not only resulted in them remaining viable, but actually improved their offering. For example, an events company, faced with complete loss of revenue, moved to an online offering and actually increased their performance – online will now form an ongoing part of their business model.
So, how did the tsunami of change impact on our world of health and safety? After all, it’s not an area known for its dynamism. We know from experience during the early days of launching SiteSentinel – our online safety induction platform – that suggesting, or even hinting, at technological change can be met with a euphemistic brick wall.
The rail industry told us it couldn’t work – workers didn’t have email addresses, didn’t like online information, didn’t need to move away from paper, etc. In one meeting, a safety director even walked out on us, issuing the decree “we’ll be having none of that internet stuff in here…!”
Yet here we are now, almost 30 worksites later – all using SiteSentinel to safely induct new workers and visitors online – with plenty more in the pipeline. So, what makes some companies open their eyes to what technology can offer? Why do some organisations embrace change? Why are they ‘agile,’ to use a modern adjective?
As with most organisational successes or failures, the direction of travel is set by senior management. If senior, board level, management are asking questions about technology adoption, change management, digital enhancement, then it’s likely that the rest of the organisation will follow.
So, how agile is your organisation? How willing are they to adopt new technology or simply embrace change? Or perhaps the question actually is – how agile are YOU?