Please Proceed to the Highlighted Route: If Only It Were That Easy
By Kim Huggins |
April 24, 2020
April 24, 2020
“You are here.”

It would be nice to have one of those giant maps that pinpoints your current location—you know, the kind that helps you navigate shopping malls and amusement parks—to illustrate exactly where we stand amidst the coronavirus chaos. To show us the best direction to head in, the right action to take. To reveal what we’ll encounter around the next corner.

The truth is, none of us knows what the future holds. But by asking incisive questions, you can identify your most critical business issues and begin to map out a path forward.

At Navigate, that’s exactly what we’ve been focused on: helping clients adjust goals, accelerate key projects, and in some cases, pivot entirely to whole new ways of working. We’ve assembled specialized teams of subject matter experts to develop solutions that meet the needs of the moment without losing sight of the future. And we’ve been talking regularly—and candidly—with our client partners to better understand what tasks they consider mission-critical these days.

The last six weeks have involved a whole lot of listening, and our lines of communication will remain open for the foreseeable future. We may not know what the next 60 or 90 days will bring, but we do know that it’s crucial to stay connected in the face of uncertainty.

If you’re looking for ideas, inspiration or you’re simply curious about how we’re coping, these are the pressing issues we’re helping clients get ahead of right now.

Adapting to New Ways of Working

The COVID-19 outbreak came in like a wrecking ball, landing smack in the middle of Q1 and obliterating the notion of “business as usual.” Plans, even the best-laid ones, went awry as the pandemic consumed entire industries and supply chains. In order to keep pace with this rapidly changing environment, we’ve been helping clients stay nimble and adapt their ways of working.

One of Navigate’s clients, a national leader in higher education, has historically relied on an in-person working culture, and the move to remote work has been a major adjustment. We’re working directly with key teams on their transition strategy, providing guidelines and practical tips for how to implement plans effectively—and of course, swiftly. We’re even investing extra time to assist with additional projects that fall outside of our typical engagement parameters, because now more than ever, we’re committed to doing what’s best for our clients.

Balancing Short-Term Urgency with Long-Term Planning

When you enter crisis mode, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to properly prioritize. What you were working on yesterday may no longer seem relevant, but you can’t just abandon current or future initiatives altogether. It’s helpful to take a step back and assess which projects can take a backseat and which need to be put on the fast track.

One of our clients, for example, had plans in the works to transition from one telecommunications platform to another. The initiative wasn’t slated to commence until later in the year, but with the coronavirus came a sudden and urgent need for teams to work remotely. Navigate is supporting the organization as they recalculate their short-term approach and radically expedite the launch of their new internal communications application without losing momentum on longer-term projects.

To help this organization and others get their priorities straight, we’ve broken our approach down into phases:

  • Triage/Assess: This is the learning phase where you ask questions and dig deep for answers, and at this point in the pandemic, we’re nearing the end of the information-gathering period.
  • Plan/Deploy: Now, it’s time to act. Initiate engagement strategies while keeping your finger on the pulse of your customer’s shifting needs and pain points.
  • Anticipate: Look to the future to forecast how your customer’s needs might change today, tomorrow and three months from now, and prepare to adapt accordingly.

COVID-19 won’t be the last disruptive event we grapple with, so it’s important to adopt prioritization methods now in order to create plans, protocols and strategies for managing future disruptions.

Deploying Resources in New Ways

The coronavirus has not impacted all industries equally, with some business verticals remaining relatively unscathed while others experience immense strain. To address these discrepancies, employees are being asked to kiss their comfort zones goodbye, learn new skills and take on unfamiliar responsibilities. And although redistributing work can do wonders for productivity, it’s a complex effort requiring a great deal of coordination and collaboration to pull off.

Take one of our life sciences clients, for instance: Due to the nature of their industry, several of their business units were hit particularly hard by COVID-related disruption. To help them deploy existing resources in new ways, we’re partnering with their change management leaders to help them switch gears, provide additional support to their supply chain division and figure out where to reallocate other resources to achieve optimal outcomes.

The idea of reallocating time, energy and resources is particularly important as social distancing restrictions loosen and businesses begin to reopen their doors. For most companies, returning to “business as usual” simply won’t be an option. Nearly every industry, from biotech and pharma to higher education and manufacturing, can expect to operate in different ways moving forward, and now’s the time to start thinking about what life will look like in a post-quarantine world.

At Navigate, we’re already having these conversations so we can start to chart a course forward—for us and for our clients who will soon be re-entering the market and re-imagining the future. We don’t know exactly what tomorrow looks like yet, but wherever you land on the map, we’ll help you get where you want to go.