Businesses all across the world have been tested in ways we’d never even considered even just six months ago. Overnight, we’ve had to switch from an offensive mindset to a defensive one – simply wondering how we can best weather the storm. Of course, lockdowns all over the world have caused revenue for some businesses to halt entirely. For others, the business has increased either due to the pandemic or because of changes they made fast.
It’s likely many businesses will never go back to how they operated in 2019, and not simply because COVID-19 has brought about their end. Business leaders will be looking for guidance and advice for how to move forward in a new world with – at least initially – additional restrictions. So, what trends and topics are we likely to see a rise in this space?
1. Topic: Becoming and Staying Agile
The benefits of an agile business are well known, but it’s never been clearer than during the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue serving customers, many businesses have had to pivot fast to offer different products, services, or methods of delivery. Being agile no longer simply applies to changing market demand, but in our business’s inner workings.
Businesses of all sizes have had to go from working in-office to remotely overnight, and so thought leaders will continue to give advice on how to stay agile as restrictions change in response to the virus, which is likely to ebb and flow in communities for many months or even years to come.
2. Trend: Agile in Content
How many thought leaders batch-produce content for three months, six, or even a year at a time? If you follow thought leaders on a visual or audible medium, you’ll often be able to tell that they created the content months in advance. Batching content is a practical approach, but thought leaders will have to stay agile and tailor even evergreen topics to the current circumstances, else it becomes obsolete.
3. Topic: Resilience Without Playing it Safe
Many businesses are going to be reeling after the sudden punch that has been COVID-19, and being a resilient business that can survive almost anything is going to be a much-discussed topic. Resilience will likely, understandably, become a prized quality, but there’s also a danger of playing it too safe to see substantial growth. Business leaders will be looking for advice on how to find balance.
4. Topic: To Work Remotely or Not to Work Remotely?
Suddenly, an office full of 300 people is empty, and everyone has started working from home. Some of these employees can’t wait to get back at their desks, while others are saying they’re being more productive, having better work-life balance, better mental and physical health, and would be happy to work from home for good, or at least more often. They have proof, and the business could save money if it moved to a smaller location.
While the answer for every business in this situation will vary, business leaders are going to be looking for guidance on how to return to the workplace, if they should, and how to move forward in a world that has embraced remote work so fully. (You can read further discussion on this topic here, or if you’re thinking about hiring more freelancers and remote staff as you bring your business back up to speed after COVID-19, read this blog post.)
5. Trend: Conversations, Not Lectures
COVID-19 has given business leaders and employees more time to rediscover lost hobbies and revaluate what is important to them – both in their work and away from it. There will be a trend away from attending hour-long lectures and webinars with slide shows, and more embracement of workshops and short, impactful short pieces of content. Business leaders will find thought leaders that match the style of delivery they’re looking for, and it’s likely that for many, a one-sided conversation won’t cut it. They want to ask questions and be involved in long-form content (or have it be easily digested while doing other things, such as with a podcast), and consume written and video content in just a few minutes.
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