30.03.2021

What happens after the system crash? How companies manage the reboot

In a year of crisis, many companies demonstrated surprisingly agile innovation capabilities. Now, however, these initially improvised concepts must be translated into long-term digitization strategies. We reveal what is important for a system-relevant reboot and give you two exciting book recommendations.

There is still continuing uncertainty in many companies. The optimistic outlook that the German economy could return to pre-Corona levels in the new year has now been dropped by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in its latest report. In view of the shutdown damage caused in the second wave of corona, the DIW lowered its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2021 by almost two percentage points – from 5.2 percent to just 3.5 percent.

The Corona pandemic will have changed large areas of the economic system forever. But this is precisely where many companies should now see the opportunity for a long overdue system change. Because if the pandemic has shown us one thing, it is that it is up to each individual company to take its (digital) future into its own hands.

New Work is more than just home office

The fact is, even as soon as the green light is given for the economy again, we have long since found ourselves in the New Normal. Outdated structures are obsolete, business as usual must be modified. The rapid switch to the home office has shown how crucial management style is to the success of this abrupt change. Those who understood “new work” to mean only “home office” have not made the leap.

In the home office, the physical or geographic distance between the team alone should stand. Open communication must continue to be as seamless as before. Regular updates should be just as natural as in presence form. Commitment, transparency, mindfulness, and empathy are top priorities to maintain the team’s performance and intrinsic motivation. “New Work” in the sense of individualization and flexibilization of corporate culture has gained a tremendous boost from the pandemic. This requires a terminological reorientation: navigating coaching instead of directing leadership.

Sustainable business is gaining priority

The Corona Lockdown acted as a catalyst for a more sustainable rethink in the economy. Companies are being forced into a massive reorientation for trade and logistics, and the trendy topic of sustainability has inevitably moved to center stage. Many are realizing that environmental protection is also profitable at this time. It may cost more in the short term, but sustainable management pays off in the long term.

In contrast to the economic crisis of 2008/2009, climate protection is not relegated to the background, but is even placed in front as a guiding principle in recovery plans for rebuilding society after the pandemic. ESG ratings, deglobalization and regionalization in value creation are more important to top management than ever before.

Our book recommendations on the topic

Exciting insights and forward-looking forecasts on these exciting developments in the economic system, are also picked up in our top book recommendations.

Man reading book on the table

Source: iStock / ridvan_celik

Recommendation #1: Reboot. The Code for a Resilient Economy, Politics and Society by Robert Jacobi.

Digitalization expert Robert Jacobi proposes a radical reboot of our economy and democracy, which he presents in the form of a crisis-proof resilience code. He sees the pandemic as a historic opportunity to shape a more resilient and livable economy and society. In doing so, he never sees digitization as a pure end in itself, but only as a means to an end for innovation, dynamism and creativity.

“When are we resilient? When we’re able to recognize danger, but then also shut down the resulting stress through a balancing response.”

In over 230 pages, Jacobi’s “Reboot” convinces with foresight, empathy and integrative thinking. His vision of sustainability, which he also realizes in his consulting firm The Nunatak Group, affects all areas of life equally and goes beyond mere economic reconstruction after the pandemic. Click here to read the book.

Recommendation #2: DON’T TRUST CRISIS!: 28 rebellious ideas for leadership, self-management and the future of work by Anja Förster & Peter Kreuz

Anja Förster and Peter Kreuz also see the pandemic as an accelerator for the restructuring of the working world and therefore give their book the provocative title “Vergeude keine Krise! With 28 rebellious ideas, they invite readers to settle accounts with outdated corporate traditions. The spirit of optimism thus created encourages lateral thinking that is open to experimentation, self-power instead of group pull, and critical questioning instead of obedience. Her rebellious approach to modernizing corporate culture is infectious. Click here to read the book.

Source coverimage: iStock / MIND_AND_I