In May 2021, Royal Dutch Shell lost a landmark court case which ruled that the energy giant must bring its emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. Shell had already planned to become net-zero business by 2050, but the ruling means they must slash emissions faster and harder.
With this goal in mind, global management consultants Mckinsey and Company recently published an in-depth report into the practices of 30 high-performing organisations to understand what they are doing to maximise their chances of success in the future.
In this article we will be looking at some of the key points discovered by the report, and how businesses can implement them to help future-proof for a post-pandemic world.
Agility is keyPerhaps more than anything else, the pandemic has highlighted how important it is for businesses to be able to quickly adapt to face new challenges as they arise. In fact, even before the pandemic, data showed organisations that are able act and make decisions quickly will outperform their competitors.
To achieve this, businesses should look to adopt a flatter structure and simplify any decision-making processes so that firms can ‘avoid the usual baggage that comes with more hierarchical mind-sets’. The less hoops that a team has to jump through to get the ‘go ahead’ from those at the top, the faster they will be able to react to any emerging obstacles in the future.
Nurture talentThe McKinsey report urges companies to ‘treat talent as scarcer than capital’ amidst a radical transformation of the traditional workplace.
With the transition to remote working set to remain permanent for a number of businesses, people will be less bound by geographical restraints when it comes to finding employment. While this will provide a larger pool of talent for employers to choose from, it also means that firms will need go the extra mile towards attracting and retaining talent.
A key part in achieving this according to McKinsey is to ‘foster an inclusive employee experience’, having found that roughly 40% of respondents have turned down a role because of a perceived lack of inclusion.
It is also important to take the time to survey your existing employees. For many, the pandemic has been a learning curve that has drastically altered priorities, so the best way to find out what your employees believe are key issues and to reveal any new areas for improvement is to actively engage in these conversations.
Strengthen your business’ identityThe pandemic forced many businesses to reinvent themselves overnight, be it from shifting the entire office to working from home, spinning off new services or revamping their entire operation, very few businesses were able to endure 2020 without making radical changes.
McKinsey suggests that these cultural shifts have also prompted an identity crisis for some employees. As we start to emerge on the other side of the pandemic, many people will be looking to employers to provide a greater purpose than just profits, to meet their needs for affiliation, social cohesion, and shared goals.
The benefits of this can be huge for businesses as well, with Mckinsey suggesting that employees who are aligned with a business’ purpose are four times more productive than those who are not.
Invest in innovation, new equipment and technologyThe coronavirus pandemic has shown that our reliance on technology has never been greater, and therefore businesses that wish to succeed in our increasingly digital economy need to keep pace with the latest innovations.
One area in particular that firms should look to invest in is equipment and services to better support their employees when working from home, as a post-pandemic world is likely to see a greater portion of the work force working remotely, at least on a part-time basis.
Moreover, an increased focus on automation and green technologies risks your business falling behind the curve in a post-pandemic economy if you fail to invest.
Fortunately, thanks to many governments offering tax incentives to help boost investment as part of their recovery efforts, now is also the ideal time to reequip your business.
For instance, the new super deductible tax regime in the UK allows businesses to offset up to 130% of the cost of qualifying equipment against their tax, allowing companies to cut their tax bill by 25% for every £1 they invest.
Protect your cash flow against currency volatilityThe dramatic swings we have witnessed in the currency market over the past year have highlighted just how much currency volatility can impact a business's cash flow, showing just how important it is for businesses to take steps to mitigate their exposure to currency risks.
Currencies Direct can offer you a range of additional services to help protect your business from currency volatility and limit disruptions to cash flow.
For instance, one of our most widely used services is the Forward Contract, which allows a business to fix an exchange rate for a future transfer. This ensures that exporters are protected from any unfavourable shifts in the currency market between an order being taken and clients settling their invoices.
Alternatively, if you wish to hold out for a better exchange rate, you can set up a Limit Order, which allows you to target an exchange rate above the prevailing rate, with your transfer being made automatically the moment your target rate is struck.
Looking aheadForced to adapt and evolve to cope with some very difficult circumstances, many businesses will have come out the other side of the pandemic looking very different from when they went in. While many may desire to revert to how things were pre-pandemic, the demand to learn from these experiences cannot be ignored. Only those businesses with a future-facing attitude and a willingness to prepare for the next great challenge, whatever it may be, are likely to succeed in an uncertain landscape.
Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.