As featured on MaltaCeos.mt here

Ever since COVID hit, companies have moved mountains to retain operations and revenues. The world is a touch different to what it was pre-COVID – with some changes resulting towards the better.

As Malta reaches herd immunity and businesses reopen, companies have counted their losses and are looking positively towards a better future. We have reached a new modus operandi, and have flexibly adapted to the shifts that may occur in such unstable times. Yet now as the dust settles and we find ourselves adapting to a new ‘normal’, our companies are not quite the same as what they used to be. Is it time to take stock and recalibrate our identity, our values, and even our purpose in the market?

Society at large is more conscious

Social and environmental justice have taken centre stage in policy debates and consume many of our headlines, not to mention newsfeeds.

Laws and regulations have shifted to support a more socially aware society which favours more equality and justice, with the environment taking top priority.

Communities now demand that products are socially sustainable and environmentally friendly, with companies expected to work harder at reducing their carbon footprint.

Customer needs have shifted

Customers lives and daily activities have altered, and this naturally brings on a change in their behaviour and needs. The way they have gained access to services over the past two years has changed substantially, with even the most tech-shy individuals resorting to online shopping. It is time to ask: is our operation geared toward this? Have we calibrated our readiness, or more specifically responsiveness, to these needs?

Asking these questions could lead the way to product improvement, a review of pricing and possibly save your company losing market share.

Shareholder aspirations have altered

Whilst stakeholders grappled with the undulations of companies’ performances, they too now look towards brighter days – both in terms of financial return yet also in avenues that concern sustainability, and the reputation the company holds. It may also redefine the possibility of achieving future success; in practical terms it may also affect when applying for additional investment or funding.

Employees daily habits have also changed

COVID-19 left us with no choice but to acknowledge that working from home, or remotely away from the office, can truly be effective.

Many CEOS believe having employees working side by side improves collaboration, supports the development of younger employees, and nurtures the company culture. So, many companies have now committed to a time and strategy for bringing employees back. Yet many recognise that certain tasks can also be done more effectively when done remotely.

Whilst some leaders struggle with not having their teams within constant reach, others have understood that enabling hybrid working models could reduce overhead costs, increase productivity, and possibly retain best talent.

When faced with this reality, a system and proper guidelines need to be set in place to ensure that productivity is respected but staff motivation and job satisfaction is retained.

Value creation vs. value migration

Often, we may think that redefining ourselves is creating new value, yet, if we truly believe in the values we have stood for in the past – can these be polished or refreshed for the current realities? Can we adjust them to make ourselves more relevant to the market and more attractive for new business?

Coming to our renewed purpose

Having laid out all the reasons why, I encourage companies to retreat from the hustle and bustle of this new normalcy and reconsider their values and purpose. This may take time, and there may be many pauses along the way as other priorities take over. Yet we must not leave this too late, as we risk missing the boat of opportunity. The world is in a phase of redefinition, and it has never been a better time to reconsider our identity.

Some questions you may consider when redefining your purpose:

  1. What is the purpose of the company?
  2. What values do we stand for?
  3. What are the requirements of our stakeholders?
  4. Where would we like to gain business success and if so, are we effective, or better, geared sufficiently to occupy such a space in the market?