How to Prepare for the Next Societal Disruption
June 4, 2020
How are you and your clients navigating the current conditions imposed on us by the coronavirus? Is there an end in sight? What can this event teach us? As of this writing, we’re in the middle (I hope) of the COVID-19 quarantines, public gathering bans, and self isolation. It is of course far too early to even imagine the long-term effects of this unprecedented disruption to our personal and professional lives. But even now, there are already lessons to be learned on what some businesses can do to be prepared for tumultuous events as these. While not having predicted or deliberately prepped for this current event, Mosaic Media found itself inadvertently well-structured to adapt to a quickly changing situation. Here are some insights that we’ve discovered that may be of use to you and your clients as we await the restoration of normal business conditions.
Benefits of a Digital Business
The very nature of the media industry granted us an immediate advantage in adjusting to these unforeseen conditions. Virtually all of our “product” is electronic, crafted and shared digitally. This means it isn’t subject to delay from a cancelled flight or a closed border. Inundated with stories of the millions of laid-off workers in the hospitality and public event industries, it is humbling to recognize how lucky we are to be able to continue working from our home office or even from the couch.
Out of Office, But Still at Work
What did we do to get here? One factor that proved helpful has been putting a priority on training. All our leadership and mid-level personnel regularly travel away from the office for training and conferences related to their specialties. This time away from the office turned out to be good training in itself for communicating with and contributing to office productivity from a remote location. How is this useful for the future? Both now and going forward, find ways to be productive when outside your physical office, whether you’re at home or on another continent. All the video-conferencing and online-collaboration tools now being employed around the world show how telecommuting is going to be a larger part of our lives in the future.
Going Deeper Online
How can we adapt to an increasingly digital world? As you look for these ways to keep your individual work processes flexible enough to be performed remotely, you should begin exploring how to take your overall company processes online. Every day under quarantine shows us that this is where society at large is headed, so your business should follow suit. This trend was already well underway of course, but this pandemic reaction has dramatically sped up the process. Your kids will eventually return to attending a physical schoolroom, but regular communication and coordination delivered online will remain a part of their curriculum. Many shoppers were already having their groceries delivered or at least ordered ahead online for pickup… millions more have tried these services for the first time in the past few weeks. A large percentage of them will not be going back to pushing a cart down store aisles, even when we are once again cleared to do so. If your business can not be utilized by your customers in a largely (or completely) online way, it will be left behind.
Are we resigned to living behind screens from now on? How can businesses work together like this? At first blush, it may seem isolating to pull more of your business back behind a website and exist as more of a virtual entity. But going further online seems to be generating more interdependence between different businesses. Soon, the practice of restaurants employing their own delivery drivers may seem archaic, now that 3rd-party delivery services are multiplying and thriving. Accounting and legal departments need not take up space in every office floor plan as specialized firms take on these duties remotely, as separate but mutually-beneficial entities. Advertising agencies often partner with media agencies to handle all the negotiation, strategy, and placement of their creative content onto print, broadcast, and digital channels. Contracting out these ancillary services to 3rd-party partners allow you to focus more directly on your core competencies. That will increase the volume of service you can provide, and ultimately serve your customers and clients more nimbly and efficiently than before.
What will the world look like at the end of the year? How will our professional and personal lives be forever changed? We can only speculate as to the lasting impacts that quarantines and travel bans will have on the media industry, or certainly other industries like health care and education. But keeping your day-to-day tasks and communication digital, enabling your team to perform their work remotely and flexibly, and outsourcing subsidiary tasks to new partners will make you more efficient in the short-term as well as well-equipped to thrive during unforeseen disruptions in the future.
Mosaic Media is available for any questions you have about adapting to the changing business environment.