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Nine traits of future ready companies

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by Charlotte Gurney

As we move closer to a reality with much less COVID-19 regulation it’s an ideal time for every organization to take a pause and review next steps. The pandemic took the entire world by surprize and has created conditions that have been turbulent and challenging within the economy, which has also presented an opportunity for growth.

Below are nine key traits for companies focused on being future ready and embedding these positive changes into your organization.

1. Understanding that culture is at the heart of performance. Clear objectives and specific, observable behaviours that everyone in the organization follows create a strong and resilient culture that boosts performance and ensures employees feel more engaged in what happens next.

2. Getting clear on the ‘why.’ Future ready companies are driven by a crystal-clear focus on the business’ reason for being. Employees who are living their purpose are four times more likely to report higher engagement levels. A purposeful focus and drive is vital for organizations too.

3. Identifying where the business creates value. This kind of clarity allows resources to be funneled powerfully in the right direction.

4. A clear approach to data. It doesn’t matter what the industry, data is vital to being future ready today. Data governance and handling need to be clearly defined and combined with a new more modular approach to processes, as well as increased cloud integration. The end result is advantages, such as greater efficiency and more opportunity to deliver a positive experience for customers.

5. A focus on talent development. Future ready companies recognize the importance of talent over almost any other business asset. A diverse, inclusive and inspiring environment that puts the right people in the right position will help the business to get ahead.

6. Moving away from old hierarchies. Digital tools have provided more opportunities for those who want to approach management differently. Today, traditional hierarchical structures are widely being replaced by a network of teams and the old school management approach by a more coaching-driven structure that gives staff much more autonomy.

7. Swift decision-making. This is supported by systems that ensure that the right people - or algorithms - are making the right decisions so that momentum isn’t sapped by decision-making delay.

8. Strong external partnerships. Rather than an ‘us’ and ‘them’ approach, future ready companies treat external partners as part of the business. The focus is on creating positive, mutually dependent relationships that provide opportunities for both to grow through collaboration and to add value through their own uniqueness.

9. Putting learning and development at the heart of the organization. A focus on learning encourages curiosity, experimentation and innovation, as well as providing space for employees to make mistakes, which is a vital part of growth. Embedding the firm culture in learning creates opportunities for employees to adapt and upskill, reinvent themselves and move forward effectively as circumstances shift.

Being future ready could mean many different things for different businesses. However, at the heart of it will be the focus on agility, collaboration and learning from what these traits embody.