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Staying Ahead of the Curve During Tumultuous Times

“We all see the same headlines,” Hal Bennick, Senior Growth Executive at BairesDev, writes on LinkedIn. “We all read the same blogs and follow the same influencers. We all know that the world is crashing around us and the sky is falling and everything is terrible and it’s probably a good time to hide under [...]

Paul Azorin

By Paul Azorin

Chief Marketing Officer Paul Azorin defines BairesDev's vision while leading company modernization and fostering a customer-centric culture.

10 min read

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“We all see the same headlines,” Hal Bennick, Senior Growth Executive at BairesDev, writes on LinkedIn. “We all read the same blogs and follow the same influencers. We all know that the world is crashing around us and the sky is falling and everything is terrible and it’s probably a good time to hide under your desk.

“Except, it isn’t. The world isn’t ending. The sun has yet to fail to rise.

“Your competition is scared. They are coasting and tapping the brakes. This is your opportunity to lean into it. Do the smart things to accelerate and create.” 

It’s true — we are living in chaotic times. From the ongoing pandemic to natural disasters, our world seems to be in constant flux. Business continuity seems uncertain. But while it’s true that we are facing challenges collectively and individually, it is possible to persevere and even see growth and greater success.

Challenges Facing Businesses Across Sectors

In recent years, globally, we have been dealing with numerous obstacles, many of them unprecedented. For example, we are still grappling with reverberations caused by the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 saw the beginning of the Great Resignation, a period of upheaval during which the percentage of workers who quit their jobs reached unforeseen levels.

We are also coping with unisolated incidents of discrimination, sometimes with tragic consequences. There are violent global and regional conflicts, as well as natural disasters. According to some sources, we are headed for another recession, too.

Business leaders and others are right to be concerned and alert. But they would be wrong to throw up their hands and fold.

The fact is, our world is always volatile. Markets are ever changing. Circumstances are routinely in flux. Employees quit, and new ones are hired. There are difficult economic times. There are times of prosperity. Our world is always evolving — and evolving quickly.

It is impossible to predict the future with absolute certainty. Who could have foreseen a pandemic of such enormity changing the very face of our society, for example? That said, there are also always steps you as a business leader can take to persist and thrive in spite of the challenges that come our way.

Persistence in the Face of Obstacles

“The notion that crises bring great opportunities is an idea that’s been ingrained in the popular imagination for decades,” Nacho De Marco, the CEO of BairesDev, writes in Forbes. “And although it might seem like a cliche, it really holds true, especially when talking about adopting new technologies to boost a business. … Investing in tech during a crisis can better prepare companies for the moment after the crisis is done.” 

De Marco points to how people, communities, and organizations quickly pivoted and turned to technology when the pandemic struck. Videoconferencing tools and cloud-based collaboration programs allowed many companies to continue their operations remotely. Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar retail stores moved their services online. Even entertainment became confined to a digital space: games, movies, and more.

The point is that the world did not cave in, even when we as a collective society were faced with one of the most dire situations in our history.

“The pandemic completely disrupted the world, affecting practically every sector in an almost immediate way,” De Marco notes. “The answer from most companies and organizations to the challenges of such unexpected disruption was turning to technology to reimagine their operations.”

One of the reasons why tech companies were able to persist, for the most part, while many businesses in other industries found the circumstances more challenging was because they had experience imagining the unknown and innovating in the face of a variety of circumstances. But this way of working doesn’t have to be unique to tech — nor should it be. 

Seizing Opportunities: Going Forward

Bold decisions and a willingness to take risks will prove critical in weathering tumultuous times. But what does that really mean? Here are some ways business leaders can persist and even grow in spite of challenges.

1. Look Beyond Convention

“Most companies have stuck with conventional techniques for strategy-making — even in the face of extreme volatility — to the detriment of customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders,” write Michael Mankins and Mark Gottfredson in Harvard Business Review.

In short, what separates the businesses that thrive from those that don’t is how they envision their role not during times of prosperity but in times of distress. Strength in the face of adversity means reconsidering how to approach business models and operations. 

For example, consider how many distilleries across the U.S. immediately began churning out hand sanitizer in the early months of the pandemic. These businesses saw a demand and found an opportunity to meet it.

This is how you, too, can persist despite uncertain circumstances: by thinking outside the box.

2. Be Flexible

Flexibility is challenging. By nature, we want to be able to make plans and stick to them. But because of the volatile nature of every market — and even our entire world — businesses need to be flexible and adaptable in order to succeed. 

Consider Walt Disney as a case study. In 2017, taking note of how streaming services were replacing traditional television and movie viewing modes, the corporation announced that it would acquire BAMTech, a streaming technology company. This was the foundation for its ability to launch Disney+ shortly thereafter. It also acquired 21st Century Fox, allowing it to access the entertainment giant’s massive film collection.

Your business needs to consider what new ways of thinking will allow it to overcome obstacles, being flexible and adaptable.

3. Prioritize the Customer

The consumer is central to your vision. When you’re looking for ways to repurpose your business model or to weather the current crisis, first and foremost, think about what your users actually want and need. They, too, are undergoing challenges, and because of them, their own demands are changing. Your job is to fill in the gap for them.

Consider how distilleries pivoted to producing hand sanitizer. These companies saw high demand for a certain product — one they weren’t currently making — and knew they could provide a solution. So, your task is to figure out what your audience needs at a given moment and find your own solution, always prioritizing those individuals.

How Can Businesses Stay Ahead of the Curve?

During times of uncertainty, it’s natural to wonder about the survivability of your business. But this is not when you should shy away from challenges. Instead, consider your organization’s values and mission. Think about the obstacles you face in a different way, reflecting on the opportunities you have to use technology to persist and how you can innovate. 

It’s an ongoing process, of course — there will always be periods that are more difficult than others, and they will never fully disappear. But you can build resilience — and you can create a more resilient companyside

Paul Azorin

By Paul Azorin

Chief Marketing Officer Paul Azorin outlines BairesDev's vision and mission while leading company-wide modernization initiatives and fostering a customer-centric culture globally. Paul spearheads core business strategies and the overall brand experience.

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