By Krista Glantschnig, VP, GTM, SAP Litmos
As we embark on this final quarter of 2020, there are countless lessons to be learned from one of the most tumultuous, trying, and troubled years of our lives – by anyone’s standards. There’s good reason to hope for a slow and steady recovery (economic, public health, global morale) through 2021, but in the meantime, gleaning some wisdom from the previous three quarters seems a worthy exercise.
2020 proved that business environments can change unexpectedly and are less in our control than we might like to think. 2020 rewrote the rules of the game, forcing all players to reinvent aspects of themselves and giving competitive advantages to those who adapted fastest. It also opened opportunities for brand new players who saw emerging market gaps and jumped in to fill them.
Even at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, companies started scrapping their 2020 plans and creating new ones to address the many challenges at hand – transitioning to all-remote workforces, preparing for disrupted supply and demand chains, adjusting to budget constraints, and training for new skillsets and processes, including health and safety protocols.
The business changes we experienced this year feel somewhat different to previous disruptions throughout the years – like digitalization. This time, each and every one of us feel the adjustments not just professionally but in our personal lives as well. Plus, the changes have affected most industries and the public sector – travel, retail, hospitality, education, healthcare – in ways that are all tangible, all palpable, and all at once.
The Art and Discipline of Adaptivity
Organizations are as strong and successful as the adaptivity of their people and ecosystems. Companies that can’t change quickly won’t make it. To stay competitive, organizations need adaptable people engaged with flexible, agile systems in order to deliver new experiences to the market in new ways.
A critical element of an adaptive organization is a continuous learning culture designed to make quick pivots at any time. This mode of training is woven into the ways people work and delivered seamlessly between devices and systems. Investments into learning programs and technology are paying back now, as new business models are introduced to employees and partners by those who had the ability to deliver training fast.
As an example, when faced with the challenges of COVID-19, Tauranga City Council was able to transform its learning culture from a traditional, classroom-based model to digital in just two weeks with learning technology from SAP Litmos. This enabled the agency to continue delivering critical information and services without interruption.
The takeaway is that while organizations may want to cut costs and exercise extreme caution in investments not directly related to revenue creation, this is not the time to disinvest in training due to budget restrictions. Investments into training programs with flexible and ready-to-run technologies are crucial to creating adaptive organizations. And if we’ve learned anything this year it’s that adaptable, well-trained people are a driving force behind the businesses that will win in the long run.