By Rich Wagner, Prevedere CEO and Forbes Councils Member; Previously posted on Forbes.com.
As a result of the unprecedented market this past year, there has been increased visibility and scrutiny on the CEOs’ ability to develop foundational processes and an internal culture that allows for their company to have the agility to react to fast-changing market conditions. Leading with this mindset is proving to be an indicator of success during the last year. For many companies, the key factor in adapting to this model depends on their decision to turn their data into intelligent forecasts that can identify new revenue opportunities as they are forming.
While the end of the pandemic is in our sights, the economic environment that began in 2020 will continue to be volatile through 2021. As a result, there should be an expectation that companies will continue to be impacted by changing market conditions in every industry. Yet too many leaders are struggling with implementing this structure into their organizations to succeed in this environment. Fortunately, the processes for utilizing intelligent forecasts quickly within an organization has been defined.
Turning Crisis Into Opportunity
For many companies, the Covid-19 pandemic has created just as many opportunities as crises. Yet too many executives have chosen to “get through” this situation. Every industry has displayed pockets of growth that have been created due to changing market conditions. Leaders should aim to lead their organizations toward these revenue opportunities.
It Starts With Having The Right Data
But changing the mindset is not enough to succeed in this continued uncertain market. While it’s crucial to be bold and act quickly, the key is to have the right data that is timely and informative and that enables leaders to have the most accurate information when making business decisions. This data should include both internal and external indicators and center on unique drivers correlated with business growth in the past. At that point, the data can be leveraged within intelligent forecasting models that provide insights for new growth opportunities.
Quick And Decisive Decisions
Once all the necessary information is gathered, strategic decisions need to be made in order to invest the resources required to capitalize on these growth opportunities. This is not always simple. But, in times of crisis, success relies on making firm and often tough decisions with little or no time for hesitation. Business leaders should commit to moving quickly and decisively based on the intelligence they are provided.
Trust The Data And Don’t Hesitate To Make Bold Decisions
One significant hurdle that is frequently presented in times of crisis is that business leaders often will assume that the safest practice is a conservative one. They tend to focus their time and energy on survival and the preservation of resources. While it is essential to continually review internal and external data, too many leaders suffer from analysis paralysis, which prolongs this process. Often, they take too long to get up to speed, missing out on precious growth opportunities amid the chaos. In taking a bold approach and shortening that cycle, companies can adapt quicker and grow their businesses sooner.
Implementing A Timely And Iterative Process
It is important to note that this is not simply a “one and done” exercise. When markets shift quickly, so do opportunities.
Organizations should be structured to regularly gather as much data as necessary to provide the right information for their businesses. Fortunately, technology has progressed to a place where data is now updated in real-time. By establishing the right structure and processes within an organization to manage this information, data can be distributed at a near moment’s notice. Make sure to take advantage of these monthly, or even weekly, updates because they can put an organization in the best position to grow.
Commitment To Agility
When the data provides new insights, it means that strategies must evolve as well. Being agile and willing to change is key during times of volatility. A strong organization needs to identify market changes and economic indicators in real-time and adjust quickly and accordingly.
This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. CEOs and leadership teams must encourage their employees to rally behind the new process because this brings a sense of belonging to an extremely sudden change. Likewise, companies should also be equipped to change their product offerings or services at a moment’s notice to adapt to new market trends. A company’s speed often drives success in these instances of pivoting to meet new or growing customer needs.
Making The Right Decisions
While it’s important for CEOs to be decisive when making decisions, nothing is more important than making the right decision. No matter the approach or situation, the key to successful decision-making is having the right data that can provide the best possible insights at the moment a decision needs to be made.