Mediocrity is no longer an option in the post-COVID business world

Virtually every business has faced more challenges in the past 12 months than they did in the preceding 12 years — likely even longer. Almost out of nowhere, a pandemic of unprecedented size and scope emerged and changed the way companies do business, likely forever.
With great expectation and an abundance of hope with new vaccines, the world economy can now see the light at the end of the tunnel (and hopefully, it’s not another train heading towards us). Businesses have learned incredible lessons during this tragic and tumultuous year. For those that survived, it will never be the same. The obstacles that were overcome are indelibly etched in our memories, never to be forgotten.
In hindsight, companies’ and organizations’ efforts, creativity, and determination during the virus’s dark months are and were no less than inspiring. In a project dubbed Warp Speed, health care, science, pharmaceutical entities and the government collaborated to deliver a promising cure and treatments that will end this grim chapter in our history. Instead of requiring the previous norm of years to develop a vaccine, this monumental undertaking was initially completed in a mere 12 months. Plus, by mid-year, if all goes well, the inoculation process should be fully underway.
For companies dealing with this scourge, it indeed was a matter of survival of the fittest. Those that were agile and able to find ways to avoid possible or likely failure are now poised for renewed hope and growth.
Organizations should use this newfound optimism as a catalyst to create the ultimate superspreader event: success. Nothing breeds success like more success. It can disperse the previously omnipresent cloud of acquiescence to perennial problems that plague every company — shortcomings that were accepted because they were what they were: the cost of doing business. Now that industry has proven what it can do, it’s time to embrace a mindset of doing it once, doing it right.
Creating a perpetual spreader event of positivity in your company, embodying the heroic can-do or even must-do accomplishments during the pandemic, can perpetuate your momentum.
There is great value for the entire organization in reflecting on all your company did to make it through to the other side. These included cutting costs, becoming significantly more efficient, and adopting the attitude that all hands must carry their weight and contribute. That approach involved taking temporary pay cuts and other reduced benefits, when necessary, to preserve capital to fight another day. All these many accomplishments and sacrifices, both big and small, underscore that a good company and its people can and will rise to the occasion when faced with significant challenges.

The lessons we learn should be savored and celebrated. They provide roadmaps for what everyone hopes will be a new normal of renewed good health, creativity, and the ability to adapt and overcome the inevitable new obstacles we will have to deal with in the future. The best companies will no longer tolerate mediocrity; success will be contagious and the expected norm of doing business.

Visit Michael Feuer’s website to learn more about his columns, watch videos and purchase his books, “The Benevolent Dictator” and “Tips From The Top.”