If your honest with yourself this crisis has made you think about life and family a hell of a lot more, and I bet you now value things in a completely different way.

For me it's altered my perspective, priorities, and values. And no matter how much we crave a return to 'normality' we all know the world changed forever in January 2020.

As businesses now look to work out their own version of returning to operational status, and millions of those people casualties are looking for work because companies and industries that had previously been around are no more, we are seeing new business start-ups at an unprecedented rate. 

People who have been abandoned by those companies they thought 'had their back' are taking the initiative, unlocking, and 'leveraging' all those skills previous employers managed to suppress in order to 'build' not only a new career path, but also the next 'Apple' or 'Facebook'.

Before the rest of the world (apart from China) had heard about Covid-19 in January 2020, the BRC noted there was a “seismic shift” in the workforce, with retailers needing to understand what skills they already have in their teams and what additional roles and skills they now require.

Hugely successful retail businesses that were born in the 20th Century and led by innovative leaders and entrepreneurs from the same Century have now payed the price for incremental change by falling into the trap that simply investing in more tech to reduce cost will save the future - sadly, and as we now know the real cost is with all those employees left high and dry to fend for themselves.

Now I genuinely don't know of anyone who saw this crisis coming down the line (other than that Bill Gates Video that is) but the warning signs for all kinds of businesses are still all around us.

Change in behaviour is a constant thing and as a business transformation consultant the first place I start when asked to review a company and its opportunities is to get the leadership team to answer the following 2 questions;

  1. Why do you think people previously shopped with you?
  2. Why do you think less people are shopping with you now?

What seem like innocuous questions regularly create division and confusion amongst leadership teams. 

"We invested in a website and people"

"We invested in a ERP system"

"We invested in an EPOS system"

I tend to follow up the first 2 questions with 'what was your last investment in the customer and why'?

In my experience by tracking early signs in changing behaviour with your consumers will give you insights into future disruption in your business.

We're now spending more time on all manner of social platforms, as such we now see the people and companies who took time out to better understand and invest in themselves by learning how to leverage social media for something other doing the day job to promote and advertise the corporate message.

We're seeing some amazing social media superstars surfacing that pre-crisis had been held back by the brand police. 

Today they are telling authentic stories that people can relate to, they're building new networks that might help them start their own business, or find that next elusive job.

They have suddenly become more relatable to future employers, and they are seen as the 'go to' person for potential clients and customers wanting to better understand more about the company they work for.

This is based on the fact that our behaviour has changed from where it was a few short years ago. 

Today social media affords us the chance to check out your company, it's employees, and yes, the leaders in those companies long before any direct contact is made.

And do you know who is still absent on these platforms - yes, your boss!