Defining Organizational Purpose in the Post Pandemic World

The pandemic induced by the Corona Virus has fundamentally changed the way organizations operate. However, the counter measures taken then were simply firefighting, knee jerk reactions by organizations to a curveball thrown their way due to the disruption of normal working conditions. But will those changes and efforts measure up in the post pandemic world? What are organizations looking at in terms of large picture once the normal returns with brand new definition?

The pandemic turned out to be a massive humanitarian and health crisis. The business could and still cannot afford to be a part of societal and economic dynamics from the old equation of supply, demand, and the logistics in between. The businesses did not stand aloof but participated in taking the brunt of this crisis like everybody else. However, the resources businesses have had traditionally to counter large scale crises renders them also responsible in mitigating the impact of tragedy for others.

Many organizations rose to the occasion and displayed exemplary leadership in handling the humanitarian crisis by resisting lay-offs and redeploying employees and thus saving jobs and lives. However, the heroic efforts like these tend to lose the wind in their sails after a while which is not just natural but inevitable especially in the case of the businesses number crunching and balance sheet figures determine the survival from one quarter to another. Therefore it becomes pertinent that the organizations redefine, reevaluate, and reposition themselves in the new world to keep delivering value.

However, it is easier said than done. It involves not just aspects like, process changes and how internal and external stakeholders are managed, supply chain is organized, and logistical demands are met. It will begin with reimagining the position of the organization in the industry vis a vis competitor and imagine possible scenarios to expand or contract with the changed needs. And this is where the need to clearly define organizational purpose arises. Unless, a road map is created it will be difficult to steer the ship because now the routes and destinations both have changed.

The next step will be to identify the means that will help realize the redefined organizational purpose. Product and process innovation, human capital reorganization and retraining, decision making processes, hierarchical structure, team constructs, stakeholder relationships realignment are the things that will come into play.

Apart from the internal management, the laws and regulations are also constantly being updated in the aftermath of the pandemic. Adding that to the scope of repositioning the organization will also play a crucial rule in survival and success.

Along with purpose and process, the next huge thing to address will be the organizational culture. The people need to be realigned to changed ways of working while identifying, comprehending, and interpreting the changed purpose in their collective and individual capacities. The product and process innovation will depend on how smoothly and swiftly the culture is addressed and new organizational purpose embraced by the people of the organization.

Another important factor to consider is the strategic resource planning and allocation. Projects need to be chosen such that do not tax same set of resources in a continuous stretch. Conversely, too many new initiatives may spread resources thin. A carefully thought strategic business decisions can ensure that the organization takes firm steps towards recovery while optimizing its available resources.

Organizations have learnt the lesson that they are a part of the bigger social ecosystem and moving forward this core philosophy of more human centric approach to conducting business will become rather crucial. Both in terms of value delivery to customer and also as a choice of employer for the next generation of the workforce. The entire repurposing, realignment and reorganizing will have to be approached from a futuristic perspective and only then a solid pathway of recovery can be charted.

Agility in the manner organizations function will also remain a key factor in sustaining the recovery and enter the thriving mode. Speed in decision making, new collaborations with existing partner and roping in new partners, hybrid work modes, empowered teams, leaner structures are other little details which will be crucial in bringing about the repurposing of the goals.

Who we are? What values do we stand for? And how can we deliver those values better; are some of the key thinking points to consider when business leaders want to start brainstorming the purpose of their organizations.

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