Grandma’s Recipe – Strategising in 2022 (Part 2)
It is safe to say that the COVID-19 period was and still is a very intense time for business strategy professionals. More knowledge than ever was needed to ensure that a company could at least get through 2020 and 2021 with a reasonable performance. It is no coincidence that companies have turned more than ever to their internal strategists, but mostly to external experts, to develop a new business direction. Many are asking what is needed to build a strategy now, in 2022, that will not only provide a way out, but also a potentially more productive future for a company. Is it a time for calm, a time to seek security? Or is now the time to take risks, perhaps more than ever? What really makes a good business strategist? The answers to these questions are today a “hot topic” in every business segment worldwide!
Economist, psychologist, or something else?
What is certain is that in this situation, a more complex professional background is needed for anyone to build a proper business strategy. We can see that we have arrived in an unknown environment, and if we are a little bit clever, we know exactly that we are heading into an even more unknown world. And I am not talking about the often alarmist “who knows how many viruses are lurking around” threats, which may indeed be worth taking seriously. Economically speaking, it is safe to say that anyone claiming to know what lies ahead is at the very least egotistical, because, as an economist, no one can know exactly! You have to get inside people’s heads and understand their mental situation, and from that, you have to be able to deduce how they will make decisions in the period ahead. And this is true for every unit and every level of business! Why does an important employee stay with us? How can we attract a particularly good professional to the company? How can we motivate colleagues to achieve better results? Or how can we get them to focus on the company as well as their personal challenges? Even if we know the answers to these questions in general, a template solution will certainly not work. Many say that a more honest, outspoken world is emerging in business, and they are probably right. But what does this mean in a concrete product concept? In building a brand, be it a company or an individual brand value? What communication solutions will work, and which ones will blow a fuse, even though they have worked perfectly for decades? The answers to these strategic-level questions are in the minds of colleagues, employees, managers, target groups, consumers, etc., often hidden very deeply from the outside world. Smart companies, of course, feel all this! They know exactly that now is the time to really get to know their people and to get a crystal clear view of themselves. And the strategic directions in which a company should move forward are now crucially influenced by what the decision-makers want as individuals! The role of human ideas and human expectations has been greatly enhanced. Obviously, the purpose of an owner has always determined the operation of the company to some extent, but many top decision-makers have “morphed” into business people and left the “private person” at home, and the company has moved forward along a template direction set out in the business books. What goals exist now? I want to spend more time with my family. I simply want to work less. I have the money; I want to get rid of my company. I would like to thank my colleagues in the organisation for making me rich. And we could go on and on with the goals that were not worth talking about in the past. And let’s not think that only as a business owner or a chief manager can one have such goals! Let’s not think that a factory worker, an assistant, an HR manager and so on don’t think like that! In fact! Because it’s not their company, they may have even clearer and more unambiguous goals. And that’s right!
Successful strategies for the future must clearly start with people, plan with people, and take people’s decisions into account. These modules will completely override traditional market analysis, inference, and, well, old recipes. Of course, everyone loved grandma’s fantastic pie recipe, which she used to make using real fat, but nowadays it is eating people’s stomachs, it is not healthy, and it does not really fit into the lifestyle of the new generations. But it’s good to remember it, maybe even have a taste for nostalgia, but we won’t be eating it regularly these days.