I was assisting a company recently with the annual revision of their business plan and as we begun to assess the changes in the business bought on by the pandemic over the last year, one of the directors voiced that
“It would be good to get back to normal business as it was before the pandemic”.
I asked the director if the expectation was for things to be very close to the way the company had operated previously or did they expect any amount of change. The director mentioned that it was simply their expectation that normality would return, yet the director had some difficulty in defining what normality might look like.
We discussed parts of the business that had been difficult to operate during the pandemic and how the difficulties had been reduced through implementing a few changes in the operation such as, how the company needed to revisit its supply chain as certain raw materials had become more difficult to obtain, and how the staff were managing with the various restrictions that had been regulated into their work.
We discussed the change in revenue and how the company had needed to streamline its operation to meet the changes in revenue. It was also interesting to acknowledge that some of the product range was booming whilst other product that was previously quite popular had experienced reduced sales.
Once the discussion had started, it was evident that there were a range of other influences that had impacted on the company during the pandemic that caused a selection of operational changes. I asked the director if they felt that any of the changes to the company’s operations were more beneficial than previous practices, and would any of the changes be worth continuing with once some amount of ‘normality’ was regained.
The director mentioned a few good changes that would definitely be retained as normal practice. I revisited the question I asked the director earlier as to what returning to normal meant and would it be the old normal as the company was, or a new re-shaped normal, which the director responded with “tomorrow’s normal.”