If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that circumstances can swiftly change in unexpected ways. However, as Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity”.
Businesses must be prepared to confront these sudden changes head-on and seize the opportunities that these shifts bring through innovation. A recent report by McKinsey found that the majority (90%) of executives expect COVID-19 to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years. Additionally, 3 in 4 executives expect to see business growth from the changes the pandemic has brought about. However, diving deeper into the report, fewer than 30% of these same executives feel they are prepared to address the changes they see coming.
Companies must understand the importance of innovating in business to adapt and stay relevant. If organisations can leverage innovation and create products or services that will empower their customers to take on future uncertainty, then they are already winning.
Inspiring innovation in employees
Innovation starts with a business’ most powerful and important asset – its people. By adopting a company culture positioned to drive innovation, organisations will see employees naturally looking to improves processes and create solutions for both the company and its clients.
At Logicalis, we understand that placing innovation at the heart of our business strategy will not only benefit our 6,500 employees but our 10,000 global customers as well. We recently launched our Global Innovation Challenge to provide employees the opportunity to develop innovative solutions that address societal or environmental issues. A two-fold initiative, it allows our employees to have a platform to be part of something positive, addressing issues close to their hearts, whilst demonstrating the capabilities of Logicalis as an MSP and the impact of our global reach.
All the teams involved came up with brilliant ideas showcasing just how creative our employees can be, with regional winners having to fight off strong competition. We have seen ways to improve access to healthcare, solutions to help refugees access the job market, technology to support law enforcement and ways to track and trace people in the workplace.
Additionally, Logicalis’ innovation expertise was recognised by our strategic partner Cisco at the recent 2020 Cisco Partner Summit Digital. During the Summit, Cisco announces the winners of its Partner Innovation Challenge. Out of numerous entries from more than 60,000 partners across the globe, Logicalis placed 2nd in the annual Innovation Challenge. Incredible work from our Architects of Change!
Establish new methods of communication
Employees are the driving force behind innovative businesses; however, the spirit of transformation and innovation has suffered significantly since organisations moved to a remote working model. Indeed, research by Microsoft found that last year 56% of executives considered their companies to be innovative while this year the figure fell to just 40%.
This drop can be attributed to the challenge’s businesses have faced when bringing dispersed workforces together. Back in the office, people would join in with inter-departmental conversations, engage in regular brainstorms, or stop for a quick chat by the coffee machine and casually exchange ideas. With many employees still working from home, businesses need to find new ways to ensure their teams feel connected, encourage collaboration, empower their employees to take risks and speak up when they have a new idea.
Innovation is the key to post-COVID-19 success
Now is the time for companies to evolve beyond traditional office-based methods of innovating and support their highly dispersed workforces. The same research by Microsoft discovered that the companies who have empowered employees to embrace creative methods to promote cohesive relationships and proactivity, are the ones who have continued to see successful innovation in this new hybrid working world.
Innovation helps establish agile and adaptable organisations – a business quality more urgent than ever to stay pertinent in this ever-evolving environment. By embracing innovative approaches and enhancing business capabilities, organisations can demonstrate to their customers that they are able to assist in preparing for any future uncertainty. We must ensure that we are giving our employees and our clients the best tools to innovate or we risk falling behind the competition, which at this moment in time could have detrimental and long-lasting consequences.