NORMAL… What’s That?

Monday Message from Jerry Houston, President and CEO of HPISolutions

Normal, according to Oxford is “conforming to a standard, usual, typical or expected.”  As we look back at 2021, and forward to 2022, what is “Normal” for business? Is it “back to normal,” or  “the new normal,” or some other kind of normal we don’t understand yet?

According to the experts at Korn Ferry, 2022 might be when the idea of “normal” finally goes out the window for good!  So, what key factors should we be focused on as we head into 2022?  There are seven ideas I’d like you to think about, based on some reading I have been doing in Briefings, a writing from the Korn Ferry Institute:

Reinvention – this is the other side of disruption.  Think of the innovations you and your organization have created in order to deal with the uncertainty of Covid, Post-Covid and what’s next.  We all need to think out of the box and reexamine what we think our customers want and need in the coming year.

Scarcity – yes, shortages abound everywhere, including in talent available.  We don’t get to blame everything on Covid.  Are we managing in a way that attracts the best talent to our organizations?  Are the skills we need out there, or do we have to train the best and brightest with the skills that we need?  Will we have the materials and products to support our client needs, or do we need to think out of the box about how we will bring things to the market that solve these shortfall issues?

Accountability – a word that has been around for a long time.  Forget about trying to track the number of keystrokes of your remote employees and other technology tricks.  Hire people who are self-starting, self-managed and personally accountable for what they do.  Is there a way to know if people are above average in these factors… you bet!  Ask us how.  And, leadership needs to be accountable to the team.  Are we walking the talk?

Sustainability – Making it in business is tough.  50% of new businesses fail in the first five years.  If you think the remaining 50% are strong, guess again.  The majority of these remaining sustainable businesses are strong with cash flow, profitability and a clear plan for how they will meet their stated objectives.

Vitality – A healthy organization needs to be organic.  Life Balance, Healthcare, Stress Management, and a need for mutual benefit, respect and trust among management and staff is essential to be a vital organization.  Focus on a stronger and better integration of work and personal freedom.  Employees and Leaders are emotionally exhausted.  It’s hard to be productive and creative when you are exhausted.

Inclusivity – being diverse is imperative in today’s world.  Not only is it an important corporate value, but it is also essential if you want to be truly sustainable for the long haul.  Diverse teams tend to generate 40% more revenue from innovation than those who have not diversified their workforce.  Remember that diversity is being invited to the dance, but inclusion is actually dancing!

Flexibility – the only certainty is change and it is happening at a record pace in this post-pandemic world.  Look at every facet of your business, where people work, how the environment must change, what changes are happening in the supply chain, what skills need to be upgraded and so on, in order to experience healthy growth and remain a strong competitor for talent and market share.

Take these things to heart and talk with your team members.  The time for reflection and action is now.