I sat down with David Rice from the HR Exchange Network to share some ideas on the future of work. An excerpt from the interview is below, and the entire transcript can be accessed at the end of the excerpt.
HREN: The way we work has changed so much in the last year, showcasing how quickly our organizations can adapt when pushed. What is the lesson there for the future in terms of the way we look at how ready we need to be to adapt and how technology will support us in doing so?
Brian Heger: While there are many lessons to be learned from the current pandemic, one of them is the importance of scenario planning (SP). SP is a tactic that enables an organization to depict possible futures (scenarios), consider their impact, and plan for these futures.
And while it would have been difficult for organizations to envision the specific scenario of a coronavirus pandemic and its duration and impact, there are extensions of that scenario that can be envisioned such as: a drop of 30% in sales, 50% of our workforce being required to work from home for an extended period of time, or an increase of product demand of 75%, etc.
Firms can create scenarios based on a set of assumptions related to how certain factors (that impact business conditions) might play out, such as technological advances, new competitors, changing regulations, and successful product launches-to name a few.
If the scenario unfolds, a good SP process will have already outlined how an organization will respond. In essence, this preparation enables an organization to critically determine and evaluate responses (such as how they will adapt or leverage technology) before the scenario occurs, allowing it to implement responses with speed and at scale–all of which provide an advantage and can be what enables a firm’s survival. As a result, organizations are more likely to prioritize SP in a post-pandemic world.